Alfred Nzo District Municipality
Alfred Nzo District is situated in the North Eastern part of Eastern Cape and is divided into two local municipalities the Umzimvubu Municipality that forms the provincial boundary with KwaZulu-Natal and the Umzimkhulu Municipality, which is an island of the Eastern Cape province within KwaZulu-Natal. The geographical area of the municipality is 7870.2803 square kilometres. All the area of this district once fell under the former Transkei homeland. Although it is made up of two municipalities, the spatial character of sprawling populous rural villages with very low levels of urbanisation corroborates the population figures. The main center is Kokstad, which actually lies within Kwazulu Natal Province. Other towns in the district are Matatiele, Maluti, Umzimkulu, Mount Ayliff and Mount Frere.
The land is high, all above 1000 meters and rising to the Drakensberg on the border of Lesotho. Rainfall is high, and can be very cold and snowy during winter season.
The coastal area of the Eastern Cape lies directly between the subtropical conditions of KwaZulu Natal and the Mediterranean conditions of the Western Cape, while its inland area is bisected by the great escarpment resulting in the southern reaches defined by a series of rivers and corresponding wetland fauna and flora, while the northern areas are those of the altitudinous plains of the Plateau and great Karoo. These topographical differences are what cause the climatic differences and conditions experienced by the towns and cities within these areas.
In the North East along the Wild Coast, towns like Port St John’s experience long, hot, balmy conditions and high rainfall, while Graaff Reinet, in the heart of the Great Karoo, experiences long hot summer months and moderate winters. Up towards the Free State (at towns such as Lady Grey and Aliwal North) the rise in altitude means the appropriate lowering in temperature and the towns, just a few hundred kilometres from the swelter of the other areas, experience conditions favoured more by skiers than sunbathers.
The coastal city of Port Elizabeth
enjoys a daily average of +/- 7-8 hours of sunshine annually. In Winter (from
April to August) the temperatures range from 7 to 20º C. In summer the
temperatures range from 16 to 26º C. On the whole the weather in the Eastern
Cape is good, rarely reaching extremes, except perhaps in the height of the
Karoo summer. The changes depend on how much you move across the province’s
expanse and in and out of different climatological zones.
The district is the smallest, with an area of 7,952 square km, with a population of 554,107 people in 1999 with an average population density of 72 people per square km despite its remote rural nature. The district with 112 957 households, indicates an average family size of 4.8 persons per household. Under apartheid, a large and growing population was restricted to the homelands. The population has a large African majority of 99% with few white and coloured inhabitants. Xhosa is the first language in most areas, but with significant use of Sesotho around Matatiele and Zulu around Umzimkulu.
It has a population of 544 107 persons It consists of two municipalities, namely Umzimkhulu and Umzimvubu (formerly called Mount Fletcher)
The Alfred Nzo district is second poorest district in the Eastern Cape after O.R. Tambo district municipality in terms of all poverty measures such as HDI, number of people living in poverty and poverty gap.
The population is predominantly African (99.8%). All other population groups makes only 0.2%.
The population pyramid that represents the age distribution of the district shows a very broad base and very lean elevation. The type of pyramid shows all the characteristics of under development. About 44% of population are below 15 years of age. Almost 57% of the population is below 20 years.
Women outnumber men in the Alfred Nzo district: 45% of the population are males and 55% are females.
Square km – 7,913
Total Population - 550,400
Male - 246,842 (44.8%)
Female - 303,558 (55.2%)
Africans - 549,356 (99.8%)
Coloured - 837 (0.2%)
Indian - 108 (0.02%)
White - 99 (0.02%)
0-4 Years - 68,153 (12.4%)
0-9 Years - 153,180 (27.8%)
0-14 years – 242,264 (44%)
0-19 Years – 316,145 (57.4%)
15-34 Years – 167,337 (30.4%)
35-59 Years - 92955 (16.9%)
Females 60+ - 32,908
Males 65+ - 10,229
Number of disabled (Estimate) – 37,615 (5.8%)
Human Development Index (HDI) – 0.47
Persons in poverty - 79.2%
Poverty Gap – R698 million
Literacy rate – 47.9%
HIV/AID Prevalence – N/A
Prominent occupation – Elementary (29.4%)
Biggest Employer - Public/Gov Sector (34.3%)
Unemployment rate – 68%
Not economically active – 67.8%
Number of households – 123,110
Annual Household Income 0-R6000 – 69.9 %
Annual Household Income 0-R18000 – 90.9 %
Annual Household Income 0-R42000 – 96.8%
Labour and Economy
75% of the households have income of less than R12000/annum or R1000/month, putting it in the very poor category. Unemployment is extremely high with greater than 75% of economically active population being unemployed and with very poor opportunities for formal employment in the district. The district revenue base is very poor generating far less than 50 million per annum in internal resources, thus making it reliant on external funding sources to deliver services.
Alfred Nzo has a small formal economy compared to the rest of the province with only 2% of provincial value added. The official statistics do not count the subsistence and informal economy. Agriculture is the principal private sector, providing 24% of value added and 12% of formal employment. Forestry is by far the greatest formal agricultural sector with extensive plantations in Umzimkulu and to a lesser extent around Maluti. Livestock farming includes cattle, sheep and goats. Much commercial farming is not registered in the statistics as it is often small scale and relies on farm gate sales. Subsistence farming is significant but must contend with heavy winter frosts and snows in much of the area.
In 1997, 64% of the working population in the ex-Transkei relied to some extent on subsistence farming. Manufacturing contributes 4% of value added and 6% of employment to the formal economy. It is dominated by the wood products industry, with a number of firms producing builders’ joinery and planks. Furniture manufacture is also present to a lesser extent.
Tourism is limited now, but the district has spectacular mountain scenery in the southern Drakensberg. A trans-frontier park between South Africa and Lesotho is planned for the Maluti area of the southern Drakensberg, but will require greatly improved access roads. Cultural tourism has potential for development. Government services play a major role in the economy, providing 46% of value added and 50% of formal employment. Government is the major formal employer in the economy, reflecting an inherited bureaucracy from the former Transkei. Total employment in 2000 was estimated at 19,666, of which 15,515 was formal employment and 4,151 was informal (21% of total).
Alfred Nzo municipality is one of the poorest districts in the country. As part of the former Transkei it inherited poor infrastructure and high levels of poverty. According to the 1996 Household Survey:
KEY NODAL CHALLENGES
High levels of unemployment
Unemployment is the most significant problem estimated at 76% for the whole District of Alfred Nzo. Mount Ayliff has the largest number of unemployed persons approximately 14 916 which is 86% of the population. This has a significant impact on poverty levels. It is estimated that people living in poverty are in the order of 75% in the District. Income levels are very low. The majority of households (78%) earn between 0-R18 000 per annum. Only 22% earn an income, which is above R18 000 per annum. Maluti has the highest percentage of people living in the lowest income category.
Low economic activity
There is marked dependency on government services, pensions and migrant workers. The major contributing factors to GDP are public sector: (education, health and public services) (68%) and agriculture and forestry (11%). This is a good indicator of potential that is untapped. The potential of the tourism, agriculture and forestry sectors is also underdeveloped. A number of people are involved in the informal business sector. Most informal businesses are involved in the sale of foodstuffs, fruit and vegetables. Support of these businesses in terms of finance and training is very poor. The decline in the economic is exacerbated by the lack of willingness of investors to participate in the economy of the region mainly due to lack of infrastructure. High dependency on grants
There is a noticeable dependency on welfare grants, migrant workers, and government services. The potential for tourism, agriculture, forestry and fishing and tertiary service provision is underdeveloped and in some cased unexplored. Service provision in terms of roads, water, sanitation, electricity, telecommunication and housing is still very low.
High child mortality rate
This mainly is caused by water borne diseases like diarrhoea and low immunisation coverage. This prevalence results from the poverty and unemployment in the area. Poor water and sanitation combined with lack of general hygiene also exacerbates the situation.
A very small percentage (1%) of people have sanitation at the recommended RDP levels (WSDP, 2002). It is estimated that approximately 73% of households have no access to toilets at all and about 4% use buckets and flush toilets. This type of statistics results in health hazards and the spreading of water-borne disease.
Poor water supply with 70%
of the population getting water from unprotected natural resources
Poor infrastructure for provision of social services.
Lack of office space for the district municipality