To be the preferred, vibrant, socio-economically developed municipal area that embraces a culture of human dignity, good governance, and characterized by good quality of service for all.
Ngqushwa Local Municipality will strive to become a benchmark institution in the country in respect of good quality and affordable services, through efficient resource mobilization and management, stimulation of economic growth and good governance practices.
Ngqushwa is located in the Eastern Cape. It is bounded on the East by the Fish River and on the South by the Indian Ocean and has 118 villages under its jurisdiction and a population of 84 234 made up of 20 757 households.
Ngqushwa Municipality area is bounded by major drainage channels. The Great Fish River and Keiskamma River bound it on the west and east respectively. The coastal zone that forms the southern boundary of the Municipality contains many estuaries of the minor rivers rising from the area and flowing into the Indian Ocean. The sensitive nature of the coastline requires proper local conservation practices and polices to ensure that the valuable ecological resources in the area not unnecessarily exploited but are developed in a sustainable manner.
The deeply incised Great Fish and Keiskamma Rivers have enabled the development of alluvial terraces. Although, the terraces of the Great Fish River are easily accessible (limited to the Tyefu area), the isolated nature of the terraces and the steep scarp zone along the Keiskamma River restrict accessibility to these areas.
Geology and Soils
Geologically, the coastal area consists of unconsolidated beach sand and high coastal dune as well as fixed dune and semi-consolidated sand overlying the older sedimentary rocks. The inland area is mostly underlained by mudstone, sandstone and shale of Karoo sequence and the properties associated with this formation are high erodability and medium to high suitability for foundation. In terms of soil fertility, previous agricultural practices have indicated that areas with soils suitable for agricultural purposes are confined to the following areas:
- The alluvial soils associated with the Keiskamma River terraces. These soils are considered suitable for subtropical fruit production, vegetable and / or pasture crop production.
- The irrigable soils located in the lower Tyefu area.
- The moderately high / moderate potential soils suitable for dry land crop production and situated in the coastal plain and plateau.
- Soils of various types, suitable for pineapple production, are found in the coastal plain and immediate plateau areas.
The area is drained by two major rivers, that is, the Great Fish and the Keiskamma Rivers and by numerous small rivers arising from the inland areas and flowing into the Indian Ocean. Reports indicate that the Lower Great Fish River cannot be used for irrigation or domestic purposes due to its high salinity (Directorate of Planning, 1989). The inland portion of the Keiskamma River, on the other hand, has adequate water of high quality that can be extracted directly from the river for irrigation and / or domestic purposes. Additionally, the numerous smaller rivers flowing into the Great Fish or Keiskamma Rivers provide additional local storage facilities.
With regard to underground water supplies, some villages and irrigation schemes are supplied from boreholes and these sources remain vital water source in the areas. The aquifers in the coastal zone are known to contain large amount of good drinking water that can complement existing surface systems and supplies.
Being part of the Western Sub-region, the Municipality has a climate which varies with the elevation from cool humid sub-topical at the coast to hot and sub-arid inland. The climate is characterized by variable moderate to low rainfall ranging between an annual average of 700m at the coast and 400m at Tyefu with about 60% of rainfall occurring in summer and peaks being in October and February. The dominant wind directions are south – westerly (winter) and north – westerly (summer) with coastal area being subject to considerable winds.
The natural vegetation has been vastly transformed by grazing practices and the condition of the veld correlates strongly with management techniques and agents. Even though certain parts of the vegetation have been degraded and show evidence of severe veld mismanagement, especially with the presence of “alien plants”, a greater portion of the region is in an environmentally superior state and the region is favorable for livestock production.
Ngqushwa Local Municipality falls within the jurisdiction of the Amathole District Municipality which is situated in the Eastern Cape Province. Amathole District Municipality covers an area of 23 573km² and the Ngqushwa Local Municipal area covers 2245 square kilometres which amounts for 10% of the district. The administrative seat of the Ngqushwa Local Municipality finds itself in Peddie and the municipal area is divided into 12 wards. Ngqushwa is located in the west of the Amathole district and consists of two towns Peddie and Hamburg and a portion of King Williams Town villages. It is one of the eight municipalities that fall within the Amathole District Municipality. Ngqushwa Local Municipality consists of 108 villages. Ngqushwa is bordered by the Great Fish River to the west and the Keiskamma River to the East. The southern boundary of 42km comprises a part of the coastline of the Indian Ocean and provides for some very interesting and exciting developmental prospects.
Visitors Guide for Ngqushwa Local Municipality
Ngqushwa Local Municipality’s warm, humid climate in the area is one of the key attractions. Approximately 53% of the Ngqushwa Local Municipality’s population is female and the remaining is 47% is male. 99% of the inhabitants are African. The remaining 1% is comprised of Coloured, White and Indian.
Hamburg, located on the R72 route between East London and Port Alfred, is a small seaside town in a unique location on the sunshine coast. The area showcase a spectacular natural environment, formed by a beach, a tranquil estuary, lagoon, indigenous vegetation, rare bird species, and wild landscapes. All these elements combine to make Hamburg a pristine environment, making it the perfect destination for holiday tourism and artist retreat. Combined with the dignity, warmth, and camaraderie of the “village” and fused with its culture and heritage, Hamburg provides a mecca of inspiration for artists and holiday ventures’ will become a unique tourism destination. Pikoli, potentially an enviro-tourism destination, championing Agri-tourism activities, whilst defending the fundamental rights of its habitants with its fertile produce. This unsurpassed village is approximately 18 kilometers outside Peddie CBD, towards Grahamstown and it boast to its neighbours by its rugged hills covered by lashed of Karoo vegetation that dramatically changes to blue watered dams and scenery.
Pikoli also prides herself for her warmth when welcoming all year round visitors coming to Uhambo Loxolo hiking trail, an 8 kilometer trail which shares the unspoilt views of Mankazane Dam, Intlambo Yezikhumba, Bird watching and Illiwa Lerhini Caves all encapsulated with imposing history of the frontier wars. Raising the Ostriches and Fishing in 5 dams (with picnic sites) as part of the agricultural activities has become second nature to the people from this diverse village. Accommodation is provided by trained homestay owners and chalets are available. Ngqushwa Local Municipality is also home (hosts) of the famous Tshatsha: HIV/Aids related TV educational programme. It is through this programme that the community identified the need to explore home stays. They initially offered their homes to the crew and it grew from strength to strength based on that experience. Today these facilities are available in the Ndlambe, Pikoli Woodlands locations and other villages.
Ngqushwa Local Municipality has an estimated population of 66 227 (Stats SA: 2016 figures). Compared to the previous census figures before 2011 the number of Ngqushwa population has decreased by 8.1%.
Nearly all of the people (99 %) in the municipality are African, and the remaining 1% is comprised of Coloured, White and Indians.
There are 17149 households in the municipality, with an average household size of 3, 7 persons per household. Just over half of households (51, 7%) are headed by females. A very high proportion of households (96 %) have access to electricity; while only 7, 2% of households have access to piped water inside their dwellings.
The table below shows a summary of key statistics by gender from Stats SA (2016):