Location in the Free State
|• Type||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Nkosenjani Speelman (ANC)|
|• Total||5,155 km2 (1,990 sq mi)|
|• Density||79/km2 (200/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||87.7%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
Matjhabeng Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Lejweleputswa District of the Free State in South Africa, that includes the city of Welkom. The name is a Sesotho word meaning "where nations meet". It is derived from the migrant labour system where people from various countries like Lesotho, Mozambique, etc. meet to work in the mines of the Goldfields.
In 2011 the municipality came into the news as one of the worst examples of the widespread corruption under the ANC. In about four years about R2bn went missing
The municipality covers an area of 5,155 square kilometres (1,990 sq mi) in the goldfields of the central Free State, north of Bloemfontein and south of Kroonstad. According to the 2011 census it has a population of 406,461 people in 123,195 households. Of this population, 88% describe themselves as "Black African", 10% as "White", and 2% as "Coloured". The first language of 64% of the population is Sotho, while 12% speak Xhosa, 12% speak Afrikaans and 4% speak English.
In the western part of the municipality there is a string of mining towns that runs from northwest to southeast: Allanridge (pop. 19,337), Odendaalsrus (pop. 63,743 ), Welkom (pop. 211,011 ) and Virginia (pop. 66,208 ). Further to the east are the agricultural towns of Hennenman (pop. 24,355 ) and Ventersburg (pop. 11,260 ).
The municipal council consists of seventy-two members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Thirty-six councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in thirty-six wards, while the remaining thirty-six 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 forty-six seats in the council. The following table shows the results of the election.
|African National Congress||68,925||69,781||138,706||62.2||29||17||46|
|Economic Freedom Fighters||9,138||9,738||18,876||8.5||0||6||6|
|Freedom Front Plus||1,858||1,858||3,686||1.6||0||1||1|
|Congress of the People||1,510||1,198||2,708||1.2||0||1||1|
|United Front of Civics||0||2,708||2,708||1.2||0||1||1|
|African People's Convention||207||509||716||0.3||0||0||0|
|African Christian Democratic Party||273||308||581||0.3||0||0||0|
|Independent Civic Organisation||159||310||469||0.2||0||0||0|
In a by-election held on 23 August 2017, a ward previously held by a DA councillor was won by the candidate from the United Front of Civics.Council composition was reconfigured as seen below:
|African National Congress||29||17||46|
|Economic Freedom Fighters||0||6||6|
|United Front of Civics||1||1||2|
|Congress of the People||0||1||1|
|Freedom Front Plus||0||1||1|
Virginia is a gold mining town located in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality and on goldfields of the Free State province in South Africa about 140 km (90 mi) northeast of Bloemfontein the provincial capital.
Welkom is the second-largest city in the Free State province of South Africa, located about 140 kilometres (90 mi) northeast of Bloemfontein, the provincial capital. Welkom is also known as Circle City, City Within A Garden, Mvela and Matjhabeng. The city's English name, Matjhabeng means 'where nations meet', derived from the migrant labour system, where people of various countries such as Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique etc. met to work in the mines of the gold fields.
Allanridge is a gold mining town in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality of the Free State province in South Africa. It is the main centre of the Loraine Gold Mining Company and is dominated by the tall headgear and complex reduction works that processes thousands of tons of gold-bearing ore every month.
Hennenman is a small town in the Free State goldfields in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality of the Free State province of South Africa. The settlement is unusual for the district as being supported by agriculture rather than the mining industry.
Odendaalsrus is the oldest gold mining town in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality in the goldfields of the Free State province in South Africa.
Ventersburg is a small town in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality of the Free State province in South Africa, 148 km north of Bloemfontein.
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The Free State goldfields were only developed after the Second World War even though gold had been discovered in 1938. The development gave rise to major development of the region.