Profile of the Municipality

General Overview

Matjhabeng Local Municipality came into existence on 05 December 2000 after the amalgamation and emergence of the former six (6) Transitional Local Council into one (1) financially viable and economically sustainable municipality. Matjhabeng Municipality incorporates the city of Welkom and the towns of Odendaalsrus, Virginia, Hennenman, Allanridge and Ventersburg with a combined population of more than 500 000 people.

The economy of the Matjhabeng Municipality area centered on mining activities located in and around Allanridge, Odendaalsrus, Welkom and Virginia. Manufacturing aimed at the mining sector exists to a limited extent in the above towns. Other manufacturing activities are limited. Bulk water infrastructure consists mostly of reservoirs and pipelines of Sedibeng Water. These supply all of the Matjhabeng towns and the mines with water from the Vaal River near Bothaville and to a lesser extent from the Sand River. The bulk electrical network is well established in the Matjhabeng area. Eskom serves all mines and towns in the Municipal area and thus there is sufficient bulk infrastructure available to serve the whole area. In all the previously disadvantaged area Eskom sells directly to consumers. No public transport system operates in Matjhabeng, bar privately-owned taxis.

Spatial Description

Matjhabeng Local Municipality is situated in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality in the Free State. It is bound by the Nala Local Municipality to the North, Masilonyana Local Municipality to the South, Tswelopele Local Municipality to the East and Moqhaka Local Municipality to the West. Matjhabeng represents the hub of mining activity in the Free State province. The municipal area incorporates the towns of:

  • Welkom
  • Allanridge
  • Hennenman
  • Odendaalsrus
  • Ventersburg.
  • Virginia

Environmental Profile

The municipality covers an area of 515546.4ha of which 59.8 % has remained as natural habitat. There is one formal land-based protected area in the municipality, namely the Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve. There are no RAMSAR sites. There is one biome in the Matjhabeng Municipality covering 515546.5ha, namely Grassland. Seven vegetation types are found, namely Bloemfontein Karroid Shrubland, Central Free State Grassland, Highveld Alluvial Vegetation, Highveld Salt Pans, Vaal-Vet Sandy Grassland, Western Free State Clay Grassland and Winburg Grassy Shrubland. There is one endangered ecosystem, covering 56728ha (11%) of the Matjhabeng Municipality. This is the Vaal-Vet Sandy Grassland. There is only one water management area, namely the Middle Vaal. Five rivers run through the municipality, including the Koolspruit, Sand, Sandspruit and Vet. Wetlands cover 5.5 % of the Matjhabeng municipality.