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									OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                        22 February 2002

                                    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1       OVERVIEW

1.1     Introduction

The Municipal Systems Act (Act 32 of 2000) requires that all municipalities shall
prepare an integrated development plan (IDP). The IDP is the principal organizing
instrument available to the Municipality. It is the means of integrating and determining
priorities across different sectors and it is the basis for accessing funding from the
national government for capital development projects and services provision. It is the
primary management tool for Council to guide planning and development in the
municipal area.

1.2     Regional setting and description of the Local Municipality

uThukela District Municipality (DM) is the in the western portion of KwaZulu Natal
(KZN) bordering on Lesotho, Free State, Majuba DM, Umzinyathi DM and
uMgungundlovu DM. It encompasses an area of 11000 square kilometers with a
1998 population of between 600 000 and 650 000. The local topography, notably the
Drakensberg and Thukela River have had a significant impact upon shaping the
settlement patterns and development in the region, coupled with the past segregation
of KZN into commercial and communal tenure areas. The uThukela DM is well
connected with Gauteng and the N3 route links the area via Van Reenen’s pass
while the R23 connects Ladysmith with Newcastle and Mpumalanga Province

Okhahlamba Local Municipality is one of five local municipalities in the uThukela DM.
It has a strong commercial agricultural base, but is largely reliant on the urban center
of Ladysmith for shopping and services including medical, education and
manufacturing. The uThukela DM has a strong district council that has performed an
important developmental and administrative role over the past seven years, which
has benefited many of the rural communities in the area in terms of water supply
schemes and the promotion of tourism in particular. The main tourism destinations in
the OLM are Cathkin Park, Cathedral Peak, Royal Natal National Park, and
Spioenkop, which includes the historical site, dam and lakeside resort run by Kwa-
Zulu Wildlife. Locations of growing significance for tourism include the Mnweni Valley
area, Okhombe and Busingatha Valley.

The Okhahlamba Local Municipality (OLM) is roughly circular in shape with its center
focused on Bergville, the site chosen for the seat of the Council (see map 1). The
OLM includes the Cathkin Park Valley to the south, its western and northern
boundaries are located along the Okhahlamba Drakensberg Park, the Lesotho
international boundary and the Free State provincial boundary running north
eastwards to Van Reenen.

The OLM is made up of privately owned commercial farmland and small holder
settlements; the urban areas of Bergville, Winterton, Cathkin Park and Geluksberg
and the two tribal authorities of Amazizi and Amangwane.

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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                        22 February 2002


2.1     Introduction

Okhahlamba includes 13 wards each with an elected Councillor and 13 proportional
representation Councillors serving on the Local Municipal Council. The Council is
served by a 5 person Executive Committee and advised by the Social Services,
Economic and Tourism, and Infrastructure Portfolio committees. The OLM includes
three former proclaimed TLC’s, rural settlements and small-scale farming or
settlement freehold areas. The result is that a restructuring of the administration is
required to rationalize posts and skills required managing the administration. This
restructuring process is still underway.

2.2     Institutions

Although there are a number of institutions operating within the OLM, there is still a
lack of administrative capacity within the Local Government to effectively co-ordinate
the activities of national and provincial government departments operating in its area
of jurisdiction; and there is no clarity of how the OLM will manage the implementation
of infrastructure and social development projects.

2.3     Powers and Functions of LM’s

The current powers and functions of Local Municipalities are vast and varied, and are
described in detail in the complete report, which this executive summary represents.
The relevant sections of the Constitution may also be referred to in order to obtain an
insight into the differing roles of Local and District Municipalities.

2.4     Finances

The current financial situation within the OLM is problematic. There are large CAPEX
requirements to meet the service backlogs existing in the area and there is no
adequate functional administrative center in Bergville. Added to this, there is still no
certainty over the roles and responsibilities of DMs and LMs, and who is responsible
for administering land and providing services. The revenue generating potential for
the OLM is also very limited


3.1     Population estimates and distribution

According to the 1996 population census data, the number of people living within the
OLM at that time was 119 319. (If the growth rate of 0.7% is used, which is the
average for the period 1996-2001 plus the effect of HIV-AIDS, then the current
population is estimated at 123 106). This population is predominantly resident in rural
tribal areas and freehold and settlement areas, and is 97% African. Such a high
percentage of Africans is due mainly to the fact that most of the land in the OLM is
owned by the Ingonyama Trust, or consists of black-owned freehold settlements,
which are densely settled with tenants. This population is mainly distributed in the

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                  Page ii
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                        22 February 2002

tribal areas along the eastern edge of the Amangwane and Amazizi tribal boundaries
(see Map 1). As most of the settlements are remote from urban areas, the provision
of basic services, infrastructure and employment is problematic, and there is a
continuous movement of people (particularly males) to the urban areas in search of
work. This results in a higher number of females and young people (under the
working age of 20yrs) in the rural areas, and more males in the urban centers.

3.2     Occupation, Employment and Income Levels

The majority of those people who were employed within the OLM at the time of the
1996 census were unskilled laborers, with a third of those employed being semi-
skilled workers. A very high proportion of women were unemployed, and as a result a
number of activities have been initiated in the area to help women earn some sort of
an income, including sewing groups, crafts, gardening (sponsored by World Vision),
savings clubs and the use of women contractors by Water Wise.

Most households have a combined income, which is well under the minimum living
level, and there is thus a very high level of poverty in the area.

3.3     Education

Research has shown that more than half the OLM population is functionally illiterate,
which may be ascribed to the lack of economic opportunity in the area resulting in
educated people migrating to the urban areas.

Based on the 1996 census data, there are 114 schools in the OLM : 79 primary, 29
secondary and 6 combined schools, with low scholar densities encountered on the
farm schools where children have far to walk to school, and much higher
pupil/classroom ratios in the urban areas. There is an existing project being run by
the Rand Water Mnweni Trust, which aims, to train adults in English literacy and

3.4     Health

Health services in the OLM were previously controlled by the Provincial Health
Department, but this responsibility was transferred to either the District or Local
Municipality during the 2000/2001 financial year. The most important health facility in
the OLM is Emmaus Hospital, situated 15kms from Winterton, and which supports 4
clinics and 22 mobile clinic points located mostly in the southern part of the municipal
area. Most of the health issues dealt with at Emmaus Hospital relate to Preventative
Tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS, while the greatest causes of death amongst children are
respiratory disease and Gastro Enteritis.

3.5     Housing

Of the housing projects, which have been identified within the OLM, four are in the
construction phase, while others are awaiting evaluation and preparation.

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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                      22 February 2002


4.1     Introduction

In terms of employment, agriculture was the area’s biggest employer in 1996, at
28%. Commercial agriculture occupies 70% of the municipal land area and this land
is being farmed fairly intensively for grains, vegetables and pastures for dairy and
semi-intensive beef and mutton production.

4.2     Resources

There are a number of different bioresource groups in the LM which include :
Montane veld, moist highland sourveld, moist transitional tall grassveld, moist tall
grassveld, dry tall grassveld and mixed thornveld. Each of these groups has its own
management requirements, uses and carrying capacities which need to be closely
adhered to in order to prevent deterioration and ultimate destruction of that

4.3     Commercial Farmers

In the face of such competition and at current economies of scale in the production of
grains, soya beans and sunflowers, it has become necessary to global competition.
Farm economies are under great pressure from increase in the scale of production
through the expansion of the area planted or the intensification of production through
the provision of irrigation.

Dairy farmers are facing the same pressures and as a result production is declining
in the OLM. To remain profitable, producers would need to expand their herds and
upgrade milking parlous. In the process there will be changes in the technology used
which often results in a reduction in employment levels. A number of opportunities in
the commercial agricultural sector include :
    exploring the opportunity for the production of high value crops and for local
      processing of agricultural produce
    developing partnerships with the small growers in the communal areas to
      produce these crops by contract agreement
    creation of a cadre of small commercial farmers through the new Land Reform
      and Agricultural Development (LRAD) programme

To realise these opportunities, however, a number of constraints need to be
addressed which include:
   theft of livestock
   lack of support for the commercial sector from the provincial Department of
   impacts of the implementation of Land Tenure and Labour legislation
   the imposition of rates on farm land

4.4     Agricultural Production in Communal Areas

This land is characterised by lack of individual ownership of land, high settlement
densities in the planned areas and sparse settlement in the remoter areas. Areas of

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                Page iv
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                      22 February 2002

arable land are small, stocking levels are uncontrolled and there is a lack of control
over animals which results in damage to crops. Subsistence farming is more
common than producing a surplus for the market. Although there are numerous
opportunities for developing this market and encouraging small scale commercial
production, a lack of expertise, skills and knowledge seems to be the primary
constraint which must be addressed, followed by better access to a range of inputs
such as traction power to work the lands, and better quality seed and fertilizer.

5       TOURISM

5.1     Introduction

Although some of the Drakensberg resorts fall outside of the jurisdiction of the OLM,
their associated attractions are integral to the district and LM, and provide good
potential for employment and economic growth.

5.2     Government Commitment

Research has shown that the tourism industry in South Africa is still to experience
growth; a concept for which government has shown its support as laid out in the 1996
White Paper on Tourism. A key term, “Afrikatourism”, has been proposed as an
indigenous label for ecotourism, and encompasses the idea of sustainable tourism
with community participation and conservation as cornerstones. It embraces, too, the
social and cultural resources, thus engendering a sense of ownership.

5.3     Opportunities for Tourism Development

Although there are a number of constraints to developing tourism in the OLM, the
opportunities seem far more numerous. The wide variety of tourist and spectacular
diversity of tourism opportunities need an in-depth study by the OLM to make the
most of its social, cultural and natural resources. A number of project proposals are
underway and many more have been identified and put forward for consideration.
Some of the key development issues which require consideration are :
    substantial private sector involvement and investment;
    establishment and co-operation of partnerships among key stakeholders,
     especially with local communities
    appropriate and responsible infrastructure provision
    effective marketing strategies and efficient information centers


6.1     Sensitive Environments

The OLM has a number of very important and sensitive natural environments and
some of the most sensitive of these are situated in the mountainous areas. It is
recognised that a great diversity in plant communities and climatic extremes exists in
this zone and the need for sensitive management is imperative. This need for
responsible management is highlighted by the wide variety of Red Data species

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                Page v
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                        22 February 2002

occurring in this zone. Inadvisable human use of these environments contributes
directly to their erosion and physical degradation and it is therefore desirable for
these areas to fall under conservation management. The OLM, as currently defined
has very little land falling into a formally conserved status, but the high Drakensberg
areas have potential as conserved areas which would bring them in line with the rest
of the Drakensberg areas falling into the Okhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. Efforts
have been made by the Bergville and Winterton communities with support from KZN
Wildlife to promote species and habitat conservation through the eradication of
unauthorised poaching and hunting. In addition, the development of the Special Case
Area Plan (SCAP), which outlines a land use management scheme in which
preferred land uses and activities are identified for each zone, is invaluable and has
made some important recommendations concerning those portions of the OLM
situated in the Drakensberg area. The establishment of the Drakensberg-Maloti
Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area has also done much to achieve
greater value for both South Africa and Lesotho with respect to the Heritage status
granted to the Drakensberg mountains. Although there are currently vast areas of
land degradation, especially in the communal tenure areas, donga reclamation
projects are being successfully implemented to rehabilitate some of these areas.

6.2     Cultural and Archaeological Resources

As mentioned in the Tourism section, the cultural and archaeological resources of the
area are significant. The international conservation community generally
acknowledges the holistic nature of biodiversity and notes that mountains are cultural
treasures that are critical for safeguarding the biodiversity, natural resources, health
and spiritual sustenance of societies. Note has also been made of the rich living
cultural resources in the Amangwane tribe which resides in the OLM, and the positive
effect which their centuries old way of life has had on the area in terms of the way
they interact with, and perceive their immediate environs and landscape.

6.3     Water Quality

In terms of water quality, the uThukela River and its northern Drakensberg tributaries
are a very important source of water for the country as a whole. The extent of land
degradation through poor management and inappropriate use in the Amangwane
and Amazizi areas result in a huge silt load being contributed to the river systems.
The solution to such problems requires a catchment wide approach which will
address the complex problems of poverty alleviation, local economic development,
livestock and agricultural control.

7       ECONOMY

7.1     Introduction

The national and provincial reduction in formal employment in recent years has
resulted in the growth of the informal sector as poor households, like the majority of
those in the OLM, have sought alternative livelihoods. Transport and trading have
seen the most significant growth, followed by contracting, manufacturing and small
holder agriculture. The support and promotion of these small business sectors

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                  Page vi
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                         22 February 2002

represents a growth opportunity for the local economy of the OLM. From data
obtained from the 1996 census, and corrected to correspond as accurately as
possible with the boundaries of the OLM, it becomes evident that the OLM’s
contribution to the district’s economy is relatively small, probably due to its rural

7.2     Economic Trends

A number of economic trends over the last decade have had a variety of impacts on
the local economy. These include:
    the reduction in formal employment (especially in the mining sector) which
      followed the opening up of the local economy and which reduced the number of
      jobs open to migrant labourers residing (or with dependents residing in) the
    the mixed effects of deregulation of the agriculture sector, but the most
      important one being a reduction of employment in this sector and further
      displacement of workers from the formal sector;
    the possible effects on the local economy of both the Land Reform and Support
      for Emerging Agriculture projects, once implemented;
    a lack of co-ordinated and sustained support for the booming informal or
      emerging entrepreneurial sectors;
    the democratisation process and the growth of local government is starting to
      have an impact in that the development requirements of the poor are being
      addressed in the expenditure patterns of government departments;
    the OLM is very vulnerable to crime as it lies on the frontier of three different
      authorities, namely the Free State, Lesotho and KwaZulu Natal. The mountains,
      poor communication links and lack of an integrated approach to crime fighting
      have made crime in the area a threat to the economy and social stability.

7.3     Economic Activities within the OLM

Agriculture : The OLM economy is currently dominated by agricultural activities,
although its contribution to the local GGP appears to be declining.

Small Holder Agriculture : The traditional settlement areas have considerable
agricultural potential. The main agricultural activity within these areas is the
traditional ranching of cattle, but over-grazing and stock theft are limiting returns from
this type of activity. Small holder agriculture also consists of maize, dry bean and
vegetable production on a small scale.
Recent data indicates that the proportion of unemployed adults of working age is high
at 60% and most households therefore grow maize largely for subsistence purposes.
The data has also shown that “on farm” incomes are contributing less to family
income and the proportion of pensions is increasing.

A number of positive steps are being taken to improve small holder agriculture in the
area, including
    a programme which has been concentrating on the establishment of community
    small irrigation schemes and broiler units;

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                  Page vii
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                         22 February 2002

     a pilot programme introducing institutional reforms around the rental of arable
      land; and
     a project launched by the Department of Land Affairs which should provide
      opportunity for emerging black farmers.

Despite its illegality, cannabis (dagga) is grown as a cash crop in the inaccessible
mountain slopes and constitutes possibly the most important part of the informal
sector within the district.

Agri-processing : A small soya bean mill and cold storage facility have recently been
opened in Bergville representing a market opportunity for farmers within the district.

Informal sector and Small Business Development : Shrinking levels of formal
employment over the last decade have seen a growth in the informal sector. Trading
and transport have been the two sectors targeted by emerging entrepreneurs. The
Department of Transport, the Rand Water Mweni Trust and Department of Water
Affairs have spearheaded projects in the area which have seen the emergence of
local contractors involved in the various projects. 106 women’s groups have been
identified within the municipality, many of which include productive enterprises.

Tourism : Tourism is playing an increasingly important role in the local economy, with
the wide asset base including a range of accommodation facilities, and outdoor
sporting and recreational activities. However, a lack of integration, marketing and a
creative approach to local tourism need to be addressed. The tourism industry does
provide jobs, but has not been integrated into the local community and its socio-
economic impact as a result has been limited. The scope for development in this
sector is large, and has been mentioned in more detail under the earlier TOURISM
section of this report.

Trade and Commerce : Commercial activity is centered around Bergville and
Winterton which function as service centers to the surrounding rural areas. These,
however rely on the larger centers of Ladysmith, Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Trade
and commerce is the fourth highest contributor to GGP and the third highest
contributor to employment within the municipality.

In conclusion, it would appear that one of the most significant constraints to the local
economy is the lack of integration in all sectors and in most government and non-
government structures. Support and strengthening of the institutions of civil society
would appear in the case of Okhahlamba to be a key economic development issue.


8.1     Introduction

The land reform programme, which is made up of restitution, redistribution and
tenure reform, is rooted in the national Constitution. Its aim is to redress inequities in
land access and use policies, which previously applied.

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                  Page viii
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                       22 February 2002

8.2     Land Reform in the OLM

The OLM has a number of Land Reform and Restitution projects operating, or under
consideration in its area. Since the Land Reform projects have been running for
some years, a number of communities, NGO’s and government departments are
actively involved in the area and have staff familiar with the dynamics of the region.
The first pilot projects with the Department of Housing are in this region which will
provide a wealth of information for such projects in the future.

Constraints to the success of these projects include the conflicts over land and land
administration in the past, which included political, tribal and labour tenant/farmer
conflicts. Also, the Department of Land Affairs is understaffed, and finally, the way
the Ingonyama Trust lands are to be dealt with, specifically in terms of the Land
Reform programme, is unclear.


9.1     Introduction

The development strategy for the region provides for balanced economic growth.
Infrastructure development is a key element in the process providing the broad
framework and foundations for economic growth, improved social services, and
improved basic living conditions for the residents of the region. In addition the
construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure services provide significant
long term employment opportunities and are themselves sectors of economic growth.
Infrastructure includes bulk and local facilities for water supply, sanitation,
transportation, solid waste collection and disposal, energy, communications, and
supporting facilities for social services.

9.2     Water and Sanitation

Following the 1996 census, it was noted that significant overall deficiencies exist in
the supply of water and sanitation within the OLM, with between 16% and 20% of the
population having inadequate sanitation and access to potable water. From this data
it is evident too that 68% of the population obtains its water from boreholes and
springs, but the current condition of these points is unknown. Although DWAF has
initiated a number of water supply projects since 1995, the implementation of these
projects has been protracted and of the 9 projects identified only 3 are recorded as
having been completed, and only one project has been formally transferred to the
Water Services Authority. In addition to these “small scale” water supply projects, two
bulk water supply areas are planned for the OLM, but funding for these schemes has
not been identified.

DWAF has also initiated 6 sanitation projects in the area. However, in contrast to
water supply schemes where the installation costs are borne by the government,
sanitation projects require a financial contribution from each household prior to
installation of a facility. This tends to make implementation more difficult.

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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                       22 February 2002

9.3     Roads

Business plans for the provincial road network are currently being completed. Four
roads programmes have been developed i.e.: construction, local roads, maintenance
and poverty alleviation.

9.4     Rail and Air

There are rail facilities in Bergville used for the transportation of goods. Three
airfields are registered in the region and assessment of current usage and future
additional requirements will need to be made in conjunction with the analysis of other
development sectors.

9.5     Energy

Figures obtained from the 1996 census show significant deficiencies in the electricity
supply to consumers in the OLM. Although medium voltage networks have been
installed in some settlements, it is not known when the low voltage networks
necessary for consumer connections will be installed. Energy resources for cooking,
heating and lighting include paraffin, candles, firewood and coal.

9.6     Communications

Communications in the area are available through the Telkom network and the
cellular telephone networks of Vodacom and MTN except in the remoter mountain

9.7     Schools and Clinics

This information is detailed earlier in this report

9.8     Housing

With the establishment of the new local government structures the responsibility for
housing delivery has now devolved to the municipalities. It is recognised that in the
rural areas, the approach to the provision of infrastructure and housing must be
adjusted to meet the particular needs of each particular community.

9.9     Infrastructure Development Prioritisation

The development of infrastructure within the LM should be prioritised in order to
maximise benefits to the residents, and to make effective use of available human,
financial and physical resources. Clearly the first priority of development initiatives
should be directed towards the provision of basic minimal services where these are
lacking. The second priority would be the provision of upgrading of infrastructure with
the aim of supporting and contributing towards local economic growth.

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                 Page x
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                      22 February 2002


10.1    Introduction

The OLM is strongly influenced by topography and the allocation of land by previous
governments. Topographically, the Drakensberg mountains have the greatest
influence on settlement patterns, followed by the uThukela River, and the transport
routes of Van Reenen’s Pass and Oliviershoek Pass. The division of the landscape
into freehold and customary tenure land is the major structuring element shaping
where people live, where settlement is located and the potentials for future

10.2    Rural Servicing

In KZN, there are currently two programmes in the early phases of development
aimed at establishing a system of coordinated service delivery to communities in the
rural areas, and making government services more accessible to the rural people by
locating departments in rural centers. The rationale for these development initiatives
is based on the need to provide information programmes in one locality that can
serve as a base from which a wide range of services and products can reach
communities. In the OLM, the Multi-Purpose Community Center (MPCC) has been
located at Dukuza, and good progress has been made toward developing this center.

10.3    Settlement Planning

The following planning principles are imperative to the development of the OLM:
   coordination of development plans and strategies across the whole of
     Okhahlamba so that it functions as an integrated system;
   public and private sector investment must be directed toward those areas and
     issues most in need, and most likely to succeed;
   all aspects of the environment must be integrated to ensure increased
     accessibility to all users;
   variety and diversity stimulate economic activity and arise through effective land
     use mixing;
   urban sprawl must be contained;
   public space should be used to good effect in achieving flexible and multi-
     functional use, and to provide cost-effective social infrastructure
   web based development should be encouraged adjoining, or including major
     transport routes in the municipal area as a mechanism to curb urban sprawl and
     achieve economically efficient allocation of resources. As a result of the
     dispersed nature of current development in the OLM, webs are not easily
     definable and the tendency should be rather towards the formation of a core
     area within each web as the basis for a wider catchment within which a range of
     activities is located; and
   higher densities are key to generating convenient and affordable environments
     and enhanced economic development.

Okhahlamba Local Municipality                                                Page xi
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OKHAHLAMBA IDP                                                       22 February 2002

10.4    Spatial Assessment of Needs

An in-depth identification of needs (which are categorised under the headings
infrastructure, employment and social needs) was carried out within the OLM, and
detailed summaries of the results are available in the full IDP. In summary, livelihood
issues account for the most needs, followed by education, health and access.
Numerous projects are underway to address these needs. Technical needs analyses
have also been conducted throughout the area, and the results show very different
priorities from one Ward to the next. An overview of development for each center and
its associated web, including the financial costings, has been included as an
Annexure in the full report.

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