Location in the Free State
|• Type||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Lindiwe Makhalema|
|• Municipal Manager||Mr Busa Molatseli|
|• Total||4,880 km2 (1,880 sq mi)|
|• Density||26/km2 (68/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||87.4%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
Dihlabeng Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Thabo Mofutsanyane District of the Free State in South Africa. It was established in terms of Section 12 of the Local Government Structures Act, 117 of 1998, after the first general local government elections of 5 December 2000 which heralded the final phase of local government reform as envisaged in 1994 at the onset of the process of democratisation.
The Municipality is a category B as defined in the Local Government Structures Act and shares executive and legislative authority with the category C municipality within whose area it falls i.e. Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality. The type is that of a Collective Executive System combined with a Ward Participatory System.
The Dihlabeng Local Municipality is situated within the boundaries of the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality in the Eastern Free State. The geographical area is 7550.4910 km2. The Municipality consists of the towns Bethlehem (incl. Bohlokong & Bakenpark), Clarens (incl. Kgubetswana), Fouriesburg (incl. Mashaeng), Paul Roux (incl. Fateng-Tse-Ntsho) and Rosendal (incl. Mautse).
Bethlehem is situated approximately 240 km north-east of Bloemfontein, 140 km east of Kroonstad and 90 km west of Harrismith. The town is strategically situated in the heart of the picturesque north-eastern Free State and originally developed as a service centre. Growth is stimulated by the strategic location of the area that serves as a central regional centre, situated adjacent to the N5 between Bloemfontein and Durban.
The scenic town of Clarens, often referred to the “Switzerland” of South Africa is situated ± 34 km south-east of Bethlehem. Clarens is a mere 20 km from the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
Fouriesburg is situated on the R26 route and in close proximity of Lesotho. The town has the predominant function of a small service centre and is increasingly being supported by the tourism industry. 67% of the population resides in urban areas and 33% in surrounding rural areas.
Paul Roux is situated 35 km west of Bethlehem, on the N%. The area is mainly focused on agricultural significance.
Rosendal is located at the foot of the Witteberg mountain range on the R70.
The economic activities within the Municipality are dominated by farming (29.4%) and private business (17.2%). At ± 15% and 11% respectively, social services and trade operations are also relatively high economic activities.
Of a total farmland area of ± 3 000 ha in the Eastern Free State, 34% thereof is located within the Dihlabeng area – a factor that confirms the Agricultural comparative advantage that the sub region has in the Free State Province. The normal industrial incentives, with specific reference to affordable purchase prices, endorsed by Dihlabeng Local Council, ensure growth in the epithelium industrial area. The significance of the Lesotho Highlands Water and the Bethlehem Hydro Electricity projects are also relevant in this regard. Upmarket Residential, Business and Tourism development of a large scale is currently taking place in the region.
The agricultural sector of the Dihlabeng region is extremely prominent.
Considering small scale processing industries and intensive farming activities will result in future economic growth in the Agriculture sector. Effective productive grazing and small scale farming programmes on the existing and identified land for commonage have future growth potential. As part of Government’s Land Reform Programme, emerging farmers are trained and supported to ensure productive farming practices, which ensures economic growth in Dihlabeng..
The 2001 census divided the municipality into the following main places:
|Place||Code||Area (km2)||Population||Most spoken language|
|Remainder of the municipality||41304||4,655.83||38,834||Sotho|
The municipal council consists of thirty-nine members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Twenty councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in twenty wards, while the remaining nineteen are chosen from party lists so that the total number of party representatives is proportional to the number of votes received. In the election of 3 August 2016 the African National Congress (ANC) won a majority of twenty-five seats on the council. The following table shows the results of the election.
|African National Congress||25,299||27,565||52,864||62.9||17||8||25|
|Economic Freedom Fighters||2,610||3,094||5,704||6.8||0||3||3|
|Freedom Front Plus||619||644||1,263||1.5||0||1||1|
|Leihlo La Setjhaba Rainbow||208||312||520||0.6||0||0||0|
|African Christian Democratic Party||238||242||480||0.6||0||0||0|
|Congress of the People||177||273||450||0.5||0||0||0|
|African People's Convention||100||237||337||0.4||0||0||0|
|United Residents Front||51||99||150||0.2||0||0||0|
Bloemfontein is the capital city of the province of Free State of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals and is the seventh largest city in South Africa. Situated at an elevation of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) above sea level, the city is home to approximately 520,000 residents and forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of 747,431. It was one of the host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Sotho people, or Basotho, are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa, native to modern Lesotho and South Africa, who speak Sesotho. The Basotho have inhabited that region since around the fifth century and so are closely related to other Bantu peoples of the region.
The Free State is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its historical origins lie in the Boer republic called the Orange Free State and later Orange Free State Province.
Bethlehem is a large town in the eastern Free State province of South Africa that is situated on the Liebenbergs river along a fertile valley just north of the Rooiberg Mountains on the N5 road.It is the fastest growing town in the Free state province, with its target of being the Fourth largest city after Kroonstad in balance.
Clarens is a small town situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State province of South Africa and nicknamed the "Jewel of the Eastern Free State". It was established in 1912 and named after the town of Clarens in Switzerland where exiled Paul Kruger spent his last days. It is situated 336 km from Johannesburg, 284 km from Bloemfontein, 389 km from Durban.
Clocolan, established in 1906, is a small town in the Free State Province of South Africa. The Basotho called the place Hlohlolwane. New inhabitants mispronounced the name and called it Clocolan.
Fouriesburg is a small town situated at the junction of the R711 and R26 routes in the eastern Free State, South Africa. It is near the Maluti Mountains and only 10 km from Caledon's Poort border post, which gives access to Lesotho.
Rosendal is a small farming town and arts colony 49 km north of Ficksburg in the Free State province of South Africa which was founded in 1908. It has become a popular tourist destination, known for spectacular scenery, including the surrounding mountains, and is home to a community of artists and small business owners. The town has a number of attractive buildings and early-20th-century homes. There are several art galleries, a (magnificent) antique store, and several small cafes cum restaurants, including one that hosts live theatre.
Thabo Mofutsanyana is one of the 5 districts of the Free State province of South Africa. The seat of Thabo Mofutsanyana is Witsieshoek. The majority of its 725 932 people speak Sesotho. The district code is DC19
Motheo was, until the municipal elections of 18 May 2011, a district of the Free State province of South Africa. At the time of the 2011 elections it was disestablished as a consequence of Mangaung Local Municipality being upgraded to a metropolitan municipality
The Volksblad is an Afrikaans-language daily newspaper published in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and distributed in the Free State and Northern Cape provinces, where it is the largest Afrikaans daily. It is South Africa's oldest Afrikaans newspaper. The paper is owned by Media24.
Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Thabo Mofutsanyane District of the Free State in South Africa. It encompasses substantially all of the former bantustan of QwaQwa, except for the small enclave at Botshabelo. The population is almost entirely Southern Sotho. The municipality is named after the Drakensberg mountains. The peak in Qwaqwa is known as the Sentinel, which is called "Phofung" in Sesotho.
Mantsopa Local Municipality is a local municipality in the Thabo Mofutsanyana District of the Free State in South Africa.
Bethlehem Hydro owns and operates two small hydro power plants situated in the Dihlabeng Local Municipality in the Free State province of South Africa. The scheme utilizes the water supplied to South Africa by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which releases water into the As River via a tunnel outlet near the town of Clarens. South Africa has limited potential for hydro energy due to low average annual rainfall making projects like Bethlehem Hydro rare. The project was identified in 1999 and developed by NuPlanet Project Development. The two power stations in the scheme will cut back carbon dioxide emissions by 33,000 tons per year by reducing the demand for traditional fossil-fuel power stations.
Bolata is a rural village of Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality in the Free State province of South Africa.
Tshiame is a settlement 12 km west of Harrismith in Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality, Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality in the Free State province of South Africa. It is named after Tshiame Kenneth Mopeli, Chief Minister of the defunct QwaQwa homeland.
For thousands of years, a pilgrimage has been made by the Basotho people to a network of sacred caves to communicate with the spiritual world. The caves also contain dinosaur footprints and ancient rock paintings. The caves are located between the eastern parts of the Free State and Lesotho. These sacred caves are often described as 'the key to religion' in Southern Africa.
Witsie’s cave is a sacred site in the Free State and is named after the grandson of Chief Seeka of Bakholokoe. The cave is largely associated with Makholokoe – a tribe of the Basotho and has a rich history relating to this tribe, as well as the interactions between blacks and Boers in the 1800s. The cave has been claimed by Makholokoe as an important imprint in their history and is an important landmark in the Province.
Thabo Edwin Mofutsanyana was born in the Witsieshoek area in the Free State. He was a teacher, miner and journalist. Mofutsanyana became an active member of the Communist Party of South Africa and the African National Congress. He studied in the Lenin School in Moscow in the 1930s where he strengthened his political knowledge. A district municipality in the eastern Free State of South Africa is named in his honour.