Introduction and Background
Metsimaholo Local Municipality, like all other municipalities in South Africa, has to use Integrated Development Planning as a method to plan future development in its areas. Integrated Development Planning is an approach to local government planning that was developed with an objective to ensure developmental municipalities and also to overcome the poor planning arrangements of the past. The apartheid planning left us with towns that:
Have racially divided business and residential areas Are badly planned to cater for the poor – with long travelling distances to work and poor access to business and other services. Have great differences in level of services between rich and poor areas Have sprawling informal settlements and spread out residential areas that make cost-effective service delivery difficult Left rural areas underdeveloped and largely unserviced. In order to overcome the above mentioned and other challenges, the legislative framework upon which Integrated Development Planning is derived, requires that the entire municipality and its citizens must work together in finding the best solutions to achieve good long-term development.
The outcome of an integrated development planning is an Integrated Development Plan (IDP). An IDP is a super plan for a municipality that gives an overall framework for development. It aims to co-ordinate the work of local and other spheres of government in a coherent plan to improve the quality of life for all the people living in an area. It should take into account the existing conditions and problems and resources available for development. The IDP should further look at economic and social development for the area as a whole. It must set a framework for how land should be used, what infrastructure and services are needed and how the environment should be protected. These are all the goals that this IDP seeks to elaborately outline and achieve.
Metsimaholo Municipality was established in 2000 through the amalgamation of the then Sasolburg, Deneysville and the Oranjeville Transitional Local Councils. In simple translation, the name Metsimaholo means “Vast Waters” due to the abundance of water resource available in this area.
The municipality is located within Fezile Dabi District Municipality and covers an estimated area of 1 739 square kilometers. The major towns within the Metsimaholo areas of jurisdiction include Sasolburg, Zamdela, Deneysville, Refengkgotso, Oranjeville, Metsimaholo, Viljoensdrif and Coalbrook.
The dominance of Sasolburg because of its population density and its proximity to the economically active Johannesburg city provided the area with the opportunity of being declared the “head-offices” of the entire Metsimaholo Municipality. According to Statistics South Africa’s 2016 Community Survey, it is estimated that the total population of the municipality is 163 564 with 59 113 estimated households. Given the context of the fundamental reform of local government, the rationalisation and the wide mandate of developmental local government, Metsimaholo Local Municipality, like many other municipalities in the country, still faces some challenges in implementing and sustaining the new system. These challenges include amongst others, governance challenges, accountability challenges, capacity and skills shortages, financial constraints, and general service delivery challenges.
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This modern and predominantly industrial town is further located in close proximity (20km) to the nationally well-known industrial areas of Vereeniging/Vanderbijlpark. The Sasolburg / Zamdela urban area is 340km from Bloemfontein and 80km from Johannesburg.
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.
The town owes its existence to the petro-chemical industry as it was established in 1954 in order to provide housing and facilities for Sasol (South African Coal, Oil & 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.
Sasolburg is located in the heart of worldly renowned coalfields. Apart from the internationally known SASOL “oil from coal refinery”, a vast number of by-products including olefins, waxes, alcohols, tar products, inorganic chemicals, rubber, gases, plastics, fertilizers, etc are manufactured in the area. Its refinery is one of the only two viable coal-derived oil refineries in the world.
The Deneysville / Refengkgotso urban area is situated in the north-eastern section of the Metsimaholo Region, approximately 36km east of Sasolburg and 350km north-east of Bloemfontein. Other larger centres such as Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark are all within 50km from Deneysville.
The town was established in 1939 around the Vaal Dam and named after Deneys Reitz, son of a former Free State President.
The town’s close proximity to the coal mining and industrial activities in Sasolburg and its nearby location to the large industrial complexes of Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark, definitely influence economic activities in Deneysville. The strong recreational character of the town further enhances this phenomenon.
The Oranjeville / Metsimaholo urban area is located within the former district of Heilbron. Oranjeville is situated on the riparian of the Vaal Dam in close proximity to the northern boundary of the Free State Province. The area is accessible by road and within 55km from Sasolburg, Vereeniging, Frankfort, Heilbron and Villiers.
Oranjeville 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.
Although the prominent economic sector of the area is agriculture, it is strategically situated from a recreation and tourism point of view. This is in view of the fact that the town is bound on three sides by the Vaal Dam and located in close proximity to the Gauteng metropolitan area. It is also linked to several other towns in the vicinity.
Civic Centre, Fichardt Street, Sasolburg, 016 973 8301