Masilonyana Local Municipality (FS181)

Geography, History & Economy

Masilonyana Local Municipality is part of Lejweleputswa District Municipality.

MDB code: FS181

Description: The Masilonyana Local Municipality is a Category B municipality located within the Lejweleputswa District in the Free State. It is situated between the province’s biggest municipality, Mangaung Metro, in the south and the second-biggest municipality, Matjhabeng, in the north. It is one of five municipalities in the district. The following former Transitional Local Councils were amalgamated into the municipality: Theunissen, Brandfort, Winburg, Soutpan and Verkeerdevlei. It is an impoverished semi-urban area with a high unemployment rate.
 The municipality plays host to two toll plazas on two major roads in the province; the Verkeerdevlei Plaza on the N1 is the last before entering Bloemfontein from the north, and the Brandfort Plaza on the former R30 (now ZR Mahabane Road) is situated between Brandfort and Bloemfontein. Brandfort is also known for its rich political history, which includes the National Military Museum on a farm that used to be a concentration camp during the Anglo-Boer War and the Winnie Mandela House, where Mandela was sentenced to House Arrest during the State of Emergency in the 1980s.
 Theunissen is also situated on the ZR Mahabane Corridor between Bloemfontein and Welkom, and hosts the three mines within the municipal jurisdiction. Winburg has economic potential because of its location, which is 100km west of Bloemfontein, and its linking of Bloemfontein with Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. It prides itself with the Voortrekker Monument as its Heritage Site, and Masilonyana boasts several game reserves across all its towns.
 The municipality prides itself on its tourist destinations, such as the Florisbad National Quaternary Research Station. This is where the first human skull was discovered. There are also cooperatives in Soutpan working on the salt lakes to produce salt.

Area: 6 618km²

Cities/Towns: Brandfort, Soutpan, Theunissen, Verkeerdevlei, Winburg

Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture, mining, community services

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