INTRODUCTION TO THE WESTERN CAPE
The Western Cape is located on the southern tip of the African continent between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It is bordered by the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces. The Western Cape’s natural beauty makes the province one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions. The region is topographically and climatically diverse. It has a temperate southern coastline fringed with mountains. To the north it stretches deep into the Karoo plateau, while the west coast is extremely dry.
It covers an area of 129 462 km² and has a population of over 5.5 million people. It is the fourth-largest province in South Africa by surface area and also ranks fourth in population. The capital is Cape Town. Other major cities and towns include George, Knysna, Paarl, Swellendam, Oudtshoorn, Stellenbosch, Worcester, Mossel Bay and Strand.
The Western Cape is rich in agriculture and fisheries. The climate of the peninsula and the mountainous region beyond it is ideal for grape cultivation, with a number of vineyards producing excellent wines. Other fruit and vegetables are also grown here, and wheat is an important crop to the north and east of Cape Town. Fishing is the most important industry along the west coast and sheep farming is the mainstay of the Karoo. The province has a well-established industrial and business base and the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Sectors such as finance, real estate, ICT, retail and tourism have shown substantial growth, and are the main contributors to the regional economy. Many of South Africa’s major insurance companies and banks are based in the Western Cape. The majority of the country’s petroleum companies and the largest segment of the printing and publishing industry are located in Cape Town.
The Western Cape is divided into one metropolitan municipality (City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality) and five district municipalities, which are further subdivided into 24 local municipalities.
Table Mountain Sunset taken from Brackenfell – Author: J Van Zyl
WESTERN CAPE MUNICIPAL AREAS
Bo-Kaap painted houses – Author: DJ
City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality: This district is situated in the southern peninsula of the province and has a coastline of 294 km. It stretches from Gordon’s Bay to Atlantis and includes the suburbs of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.
The municipalities adjacent to it are Swartland and West Coast to the north; Drakenstein, Cape Winelands and Stellenbosch to the north-east; and Theewaterskloof, Overberg and Overstrand to the south-east. It is also bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west.
The City is South Africa’s second-largest economic centre and second most populous city after Johannesburg. It is the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape, as well as the legislative capital of South Africa, where the National Parliament and many government offices are located.
The City is famous for its harbour, as well as its natural setting in the Cape Floral Kingdom, including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. It is hailed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world as officially recognised by Forbes. It is also Africa’s most popular tourist destination. Being the oldest city in South Africa, it is affectionately known as ‘The Mother City’.
Cities/Towns: Athlone • Atlantis • Belhar • Bellville • Blackheath • Blouberg • Blue Downs • Brackenfell • Cape Point • Cape Town • Delft • Durbanville • Elsies Rivier • Fish Hoek • Goodwood • Gordon’s Bay • Grassy Park • Guguletu • Hout Bay • Khayelitsha • Kommetjie • Kraaifontein • Kuils River • Langa • Macassar • Matroosfontein • Melkbosstrand • Milnerton • Mitchells Plain • Muizenberg • Noordhoek • Nyanga • Parow • Philadelphia • Philippi • Robben Island • Scarborough • Simon’s Town • Sir Lowry’s Pass • Somerset West • Southern Suburbs • Strand • Table View
The Cape Winelands – Source:
The Cape Winelands: The District (CWDM) is situated next to the Cape Metropolitan area and was formerly known as ‘Boland District Municipality’.
CWDM is a landlocked area in between the West Coast and Overberg coastal districts. The District includes five local municipalities.
The area is one of the ‘pearls’ of South Africa’s rural and small-town sub-regions, but disparate with a relatively high and diverse level of development. It’s a superb wine-producing area, and indeed the best known in South Africa. The magnificent mountain ranges around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek provide ideal microclimates for the vines.
Cities/Towns: Ashton • Bonnievale • Ceres • De Doorns • Die Dorp Op Die Berg • Franschhoek • Gouda • Klapmuts • McGregor • Montagu • Paarl • Pniel • Prince Alfred Hamlet • Rawsonville • Robertson • Saron • Stellenbosch • Stellenbosch Farms • Touws River • Tulbagh • Wellington • Wolseley • Worcester
Central Karoo District Municipality: The district is bordered by Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality in the north, Sarah Baartman District Municipality (Cacadu District Municipality) in the east, Eden District Municipality in the south, Cape Winelands District Municipality in the west and Namakwa District Municipality in the north-west.
It is comprised of three local municipalities; the seat of the district is Beaufort West.
Cities/Towns: Beaufort West • Klaarstroom • Laingsburg • Leeu Gamka • Matjiesfontein • Merweville • Murraysburg • Nelspoort • Prince Albert • Welgemoed
Eden District Municipality: This is the second-largest district in the province and the region is defined as a medium capacity functional municipality.
Eden District shares borders with four other district municipalities, namely: Sarah Baartman District Municipality (previously Cacadu District Municipality) in the Eastern Cape Province, and Overberg, Cape Winelands and Central Karoo District Municipalities. Eden District has a diverse natural resource base.
The district municipality incorporates seven municipal areas. The Eden District is marketed with regards to tourism under the internationally acclaimed brand of ‘Garden Route and Klein Karoo’.
Cities/Towns: Albertinia • Boggoms Bay • Brandwacht • Brenton • Brenton-on-Sea • Buffels Bay • Calitzdorp • De Rust • Dysselsdorp • Friemersheim • George • Gouritz • Groot Brakrivier • Haarlem • Heidelberg • Herbertsdale • Herolds Bay • Jongensfontein • Keurboomstrand • Knoetzie • Knysna • Krantshoek • Kurland • Kwanokuthula • Ladismith • Mossel Bay • Nature’s Valley • Oudtshoorn • Plettenberg Bay • Rheenendal • Riversdale • Sedgefield • Slangrivier • Still Bay • Uniondale • Vanwyksdorp • Victoria Bay • Vlees Bay • Wilderness • Witsand • Wittedrift • Zoar
Overberg District Municipality: This district is just over Sir Lowry’s Pass to the southernmost tip of Africa. There are four local municipalities that form part of the Overberg region.
The adjacent municipalities are Cape Winelands District to the north, Eden District to the east and City of Cape Town to the west. It is also bounded by the Indian Ocean to the south-west and Atlantic Ocean to the west. The seat of the municipality is Bredasdorp.
Cities/Towns: Agulhas • Arniston • Barrydale • Betty’s Bay • Birkenhead • Bot River • Bredasdorp • Buffeljagsrivier • Caledon/Myddleton • De Kelders • Elim • Fishershaven • Franskraal • Gan’s Bay • Genadendal • Grabouw • Greyton • Hawston • Hermanus • Infanta • Kleinmond • Klipdale • Malagas • Napier • Onrus • Pearly Beach • Pringle Bay • Protem • Riviersonderend • Rooi-Els • Sand Bay • Stanford • Struis Bay • Suiderstrand • Suurbraak • Swellendam • Theewaterskloof • Van Dyk’s Bay • Vermont • Villiersdorp
Sunset over Lambert’s Bay – Author: DJ
West Coast District Municipality: The district is comprised of five local municipalities with Moorreesburg being the seat of the district.
The municipalities adjacent to the West Coast District Municipality are Namakwa District to the north and north-east, Cape Winelands District to the south-east and City of Cape Town to the south. It is also bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
Cities/Towns: Abbotsdale • Aurora • Bitterfontein • Cederberg • Chatsworth • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam • Darling • Doring Bay • Ebenhaezer • Eendekuil • Elands Bay • Graafwater • Grotto Bay • Hopefield • Jacobs Bay • Kalbaskraal • Klawer • Koringberg • Lambert’s Bay • Langebaan • Leipoldtville • Lutzville • Malmesbury • Moorreesburg • Nuwerus • Paternoster • Piketberg • Porterville • Redelinghuys • Riebeeck Kasteel • Riebeeck West • Rietpoort • Riverlands • Saldanha • St. Helena Bay • Strandfontein • Vanrhynsdorp • Velddrif • Vredenburg • Vredendal • Wupperthal • Yzerfontein
Source: Information extracted from http://www.localgovernment.co.za