Metsimaholo Local Municipality is located in the Fezile Dabi District Municipality. The geographical area of the municipality is 1717.0680 square kilometers. Metsimaholo means “big water” in Sesotho, due to the abundance of this resource in the area. It was formerly known as Sasolburg municipality. The three major towns that form part of Metsimaholo Local Municipality are Sasolburg (Municipal Head Office), Oranjeville and Deneysville.
Sasolburg is a large industrial town in the far north of the Free State province. The town owes its existence to the petro-chemical industry that was established in 1954 in order to provide housing and facilities for Sasol (South African Coal, Oil and Gas) employees. Sasolburg attained official town status in 1967. Its refinery is one of the only two viable coal-derived oil refineries in the world.
It is reached by the R59 from Vereeniging and the east Rand Johannesburg International Airport is a mere 100km from Sasolburg. Johannesburg lies 80 km to the north of Sasolburg on the N1 while Bloemfontein is situated some 360 km south of the town.
The town is situated on the southern banks of the Vaal River. The area lies at an altitude of approximately 1500 meters above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 638 mm while the average maximum summer temperature is 26.9°C and the average minimum winter temperature is 16°C.
Sasolburg is exceptional in its wealth of trees. The town boasts almost 12000 oak trees, including 26 different oak variants.
This town, situated on the banks of the Wilge River, was established during 1919 as a halfway stop for oxwagons between Heilbron, Frankfort and Vereeniging. The landowners eventually named it Oranjeville in honour of the “Prins of Oranje” from the Netherlands Royal Family.
The town was established in 1939 around the Vaal Dam and named after Deneys Reitz, son of a former Free State President. It is also known as the Gateway to the Vaal Dam. Being a registered Urban Conservancy, Deneysville is also a bird watcher’s heaven and it is also not unusual to catch a glimpse of hare, hedgehogs and porcupines in town.
The town is situated on the northern border of the region - on the banks of the Vaal Dam. Deneysville is a small, rural village providing visitors access to vast water surfaces of the dam. The town is also known as the Highveld’s inland sea and the yachting mecca for its landlocked neighbours.
Councilor Tshepo Brutus Mahlaku is the Executive Mayor of the Metsimaholo Local Municipality.
The Metsimaholo Municipality has 42 seats. Following the 2011 local government elections, three political parties are represented in the municipality, namely, the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus.
The Municipal Manager is the administrative head of the Metsimaholo Local Municipality. As the accounting officer, the Municipal Manager has oversight responsibility for all managers. The Municipal Manager in turn accounts to the Executive Mayor and the Council on administrative matters.
The species of game to be found in the park include zebra, springbok, eland, gemsbok, impala, bontebok, duiker, steenbok, black wildebeest, tsesebe and bird watching. It is a 330ha eco-park, open over weekends and public holidays, 06:00 - 18:00. Entrance is free. It is perfect for hiking or a picnic in the park.
A bird sanctuary lies behind the Highveld Garden, where up to 70 different species of highveld birds can be viewed. In the Vaalpark wetland, beautiful and quite rare swallow-tailed bee-eaters have been spotted. Other places of interest include:
Etienne Rousseau Theatre;
Arts and crafts; and
Water sport activities on the Vaal River.
Oranjeville is situated on the banks of the Wilge River and is renowned for its water sports activities. It is considered an angling mecca for fishermen and hosts big national angling competitions. Oranjeville is also home to a large resort west of the town and situated on the banks of the Vaal River.
Deneysville is a peaceful and sage village with a host of restaurants, a croc ranch, gallery and art and craft centers. It remains the largest growing town in the Vaal complex. Various water sports and boating activities are on offer, including. Around the Island Race and Sailsure Week.
Alignment with other spheres of government
The strategic alignment between national, provincial and district service delivery priorities are a critical factor in ensuring that the municipal plans echoes integrated government priorities. Alignment between the Free State Growth and Development Strategy the municipality is also considered central in ensuring that the municipality continues to contribute to the economic development of the province.