Frances Baard District Municipality is the smallest district in the Northern Cape. Its area accounts for 3,4% of the total area of the province. However, the District Municipality accommodates the largest proportion of the population of the province, giving it the largest population density (30,85 persons per square km) in the province.
The area of jurisdiction falling under the Frances Baard District Municipality includes the four local municipalities of Dikgatlong, Magareng, Phokwane and Sol Plaatje. The city of Kimberley, which is the seat of the District Municipality and of the Northern Cape legislature, is located in Sol Plaatje Municipality, the largest of the four.
The Vaal, Harts and Orange rivers run through the District.
Learn more about each region:
The geographical area of Phokwane LM is 833.9 km². The N18 passes through the Phokwane Municipal Area. The administrative seat of the municipality is Hartswater. The economy of Phokwane is based on Agriculture, Community Development, Retail, Private Households and the Informal Sectors. Phokwane municipality includes the urban areas of Hartswater, Jan Kempdorp, Pampierstad and the old Vaalharts TRC areas in the upper north eastern corner. Phokwane area is predominantly residential with a fair number of middle income households in parts of Hartswater and Jan Kempdorp.
Magareng LM is situated approximately 75 km from Kimberley and is located on the banks of the Vaal River. The geographical area of Magareng LM is 1541.6 km². Warrenton is the seat of the municipal administration. The municipality is referred to as Magareng due to its convergence of two important transport routes which lead to the two business hubs in the country, namely the N12 national road which connects Gauteng and the Western Cape as well, as the N18 route from the North West which also passes through Warrenton. The railway line, that connects Gauteng with the Northern and Western Cape Province, runs through Magareng Municipality with a railway station at Warrenton, Fourteen Streams and Windsorton Station. The economy is based on three predominant industries namely agriculture, social/ private households and retail.
Dikgatlong municipality is situated about 35km from Kimberley, the geographical area is 2377.6 Km² or 19.23 % of the Frances Baard District, and has potential for mineral development and tourism. Dikgatlong is the Setswana name referring to the convergence of two rivers namely the Orange and the Vaal Rivers. The administrative centre is Barkly West which lies south-east of Kimberley. The economy is based on two major capital and labour intensive sectors namely the Agriculture and Mining industries. Dikgatlong Municipality includes the urban areas of Barkly West, Windsorton, and Delportshoop as well as all areas previously part of the Vaal River Transitional Council, in the central region of the District Municipality.
Sol Plaatje’s economy was built on the foundation of a thriving diamond industry dating back to the days of Cecil John Rhodes. Sol Plaatje is the seat of the Northern Cape Provincial Administration and the seat for the offices of the Frances Baard District Municipality. The N12 highway, which connects Gauteng to the Western Cape Province, runs through the City of Kimberley which is located in Sol Plaatje LM. The geographic area of Sol Plaatje LM is 1877.1 km². The Sol Plaatje LM includes the urban areas of Kimberley and Ritchie, in the southern eastern corner of the area.
Although predominantly a mining and agricultural region, Frances Baard District Municipality also offers rich experiences in terms of culture and history. The climate is favourable for outdoor living with a great number of sunny days throughout the year. Two of the largest rivers, the Orange and Vaal, flow through the district.
Kimberley is the capital city of the Northern Cape. It is situated in the centre of South Africa on the N12 national road between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Kimberley offers visitors a plethora of fascinating tourist attractions such as:
- The William Humphrey Art Gallery
- The Duggan Cronin Gallery, which holds a collection of early photographs of indigenous Africans.
- Various old buildings and monuments dating back to 1899
Other attractions include:
- Flamingo Casino
- Game farms
- Kamfers Dam (flamingo-breeding island)
- Ghost tours
- ‘Big Hole’ Tram Route
District-wide priority issues for 2017/18 – 2021/22
Water and Sanitation
Roads and storm water
Speed bumps and roads signs
Strategic government institution
Refuse and rock removal
Sports and recreation
Roads Stalls (Taxis)
Community Hall and Library
Refurbishment of the Municipal buildings (Offices)
Local economic development
According to the STATSSA 2016 community survey, FBDM ‘s population growth rate has increased by 1.5% since 2011 (382083 – 387741). A slight growth in Sol Plaatje Local Municipality (248037 – 255351); and Dikgatlong Local Municipality (46839 – 48164). Followed by a decline in Phokwane Local Municipality (63000 – 60168); and Magareng
Local Municipality (24207 – 24059).
|Number of households
||16 923 309
||1 193 780
||55 653 654
Source: Census 2016
The population of the district is fairly young with 69% of the population aged 40 years and younger. Those between the ages of 41 and 65 years account for 23% and only 7% of the population is of retirement age, i.e. 66 years and older (Census 2016).
The dominant languages in the district are Setswana, Afrikaans, English and IsiXhosa and black Africans account for over 250 000 of population.
The household size was the largest in Sol Plaatje with 4.11 persons per household followed by Magareng 3.95, Dikgatlong 3.91 and Phokwane 3.59.
The district economy is primary sector driven though the services sector is the biggest contributor to the district GDP. Agriculture and mining remain the anchor sectors in the district. The structure of the district economy is as follows:
Agriculture & Agro-processing
The districts agricultural production is made up of predominantly field crops followed by animal products, animal and horticulture sub-sectors. The actual products in these sub- sectors are wheat, fruit, peanuts, maize, cotton, olives, cattle, game farming, viticulture, fishing and vegetables.
The district has completed a feasibility that came out positive for the establishment of an oils extracting plant, focusing on different nuts. The study also highlights an opportunity for further exploration of essential oils.
Some of the minerals found in the District include diamonds, limestone’s, and cement. Of these, diamonds mining is the dominant contributor to mining production. Limestone and cement deposits are located in the Ulco area.
Small scale mining has become one of the strategic ways of maintaining and increasing mining value addition in the district.
Manufacturing in the Province and in the Districts has not really taken off to the level corresponding with the richness of the deposits these areas are blessed with. In terms of the Province, manufacturing only contributes about 2, 4% to the Provincial GDP while in Frances the contribution is at 1, 3% of total value addition.
Sub sectors that contribute the most to the manufacturing sector are food & beverages, petroleum products, non-metal mineral products, furniture and metal products.
Unemployment in the Frances Baard DM is relatively high with approximately 34% of the municipality unemployed in 2011, with the youth (15-35 years of age) unemployment rate being higher at approximately 50%. This rate however had decreased since 2001, showing positive growth had occurred in the district.
FBDM Labour absorption
Source: STATISTICS SA, 2011
The biggest employers in the district is agriculture, community services and trade.
The education statistics of individuals aged 20 and older has also improved in Frances Baard over the last 10 years, the rate of no schooling has decreased and the number of people completing Grade 12 moving to higher education qualifications has increased as the skills level has increased so has the number of jobs.