The Regional Service Centre The
The Regional Service Centre
The Greater Kokstad Municipality is located to the south western tip of KwaZulu-Natal Province. The municipality is bordered by Matatiele Local Municipality and Lesotho to the west, KwaSani Local Municipality to the north, Umziwabantu Local Municipality to the south east and Eastern Cape to the east.
The municipality is faced with challenges relating to inefficiency in terms of providing health care, good infrastructure, fulfilling commercial requirement of the community due to its location as border to Eastern Cape and Lesotho. In particular, the enormous influx of people in search of job opportunities from the adjoining rural areas of Eastern Cape poses major challenges to planning and service delivery. Relative to population densities, Kokstad is comparatively well-off in terms of infrastructure. There are a number of informal housing areas in Bhongweni, which are densely settled and largely unserviced. It is important that security of tenure be provided to residents so that they can access funding and develop further.
The area has three potential economic growth pillars: tourism, agriculture, industrial and manufacturing. All these pillars have not been exploited to their full potential.
Kokstad serves as the service centre and commercial hub for most of East Griqualand and much of the Eastern Cape. This has tremendous potential for the town to strengthen its commercial sector, build small and micro enterprises and promote Local Economic Development strategies. The town is located on the main transport arterial linking KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape and is the point at which the rail transport link stops. The existing industrial area is well located and easily accessible. Most of the sites are developed but the demand for industrial sites is not great.
The agricultural sector provides most economic activity. Agriculture is divided into two categories: commercial farming, and subsistence farming. The main products produced within the area are: vegetable products, dairy products, forestry and livestock. Livestock is a dominant activity in the area and supplies two abattoirs located in Kokstad and Cedarville.
The District is known for its progressive farming methods, which have resulted in a continually increasing output, and is consequently increasing the prosperity of the town. Subsistence farming is dominant in rural areas. The present dearth of significant activity in some areas can be attributed to lack of access to land and opportunities. Emerging and aspirant farmers need to be nurtured. Opportunities and facilities are available for the establishment of secondary industries associated with farming and timber products. To ensure continued agricultural growth local residents must be encouraged to support local products and attract outsiders to spend in Kokstad. The diversification of agricultural products is of value.
Municipal income is derived from rates, the sale of water and electricity, refuse removal, lease agreements and other charges. Development is catered for from the capital budget, district municipality, consolidated municipal infrastructure programme applications and the National Electricity Regulator.
Local Economic Development includes the need to
Develop Kokstad’s own local brands;
Develop residents’ entrepreneurial skills –
Use of local skills and labour to implement public sector projects;
Empower communities to take the initiative in projects.
Ensure that SMME’s become a permanent feature of local economic regeneration.
The four types of tourism activities in the area include: Getaway tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism and adventure tourism. It is necessary to promote tourism in Kokstad by developing a set of incentives to attract tourists and potential developers in order to maximize the potential of the Greater Kokstad Municipal area as a tourist destination.
Mount Currie Nature Reserve, the proposed Cultural Centre opposite Wimpy, and the Mission are primary tourist nodes in the Greater Kokstad Municipality. These have cultural and historical significance, which will enhance tourism in the Municipality. Potential also exists in the form of fly fishing dams and sports facilities.
Other specific projects are the: Construction of more Market Stalls, Establishment of a Skills Plaza, Identification of vacant land for staging of Flea Markets, Identification of historical sites to be turn into heritage sites.
Historical and Other Places of Interest
Griqua Laager, East Griqualand Museum (artefacts of settler history and African involvement being researched) The Griqua National Independent Church is the oldest church in town. The Roman Catholic Cathedral with its twin spires is a well-known landmark, while the Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist and Dutch Reformed churches are all fine examples of early 20th century architecture. Many small churches are also found in the District. The well-planned town has broad, tree-lined streets and several national landmarks, including the town hall and museum. The public library is housed in the original town hall.
To be the most effective in providing sustainable developmental services to all our communities.
Working together to render community driven, economically viable and sustainable services.