Beaufort West Local Municipality

Beaufort West Local Municipality (Afrikaans: Beaufort-Wes Plaaslike Munisipaliteit) is a municipality located in Western Cape Province, South Africa. As of 2011 the population is 49,586.[2] Its municipality code is WC053.

Beaufort West
Official seal of Beaufort West
Location of Beaufort West Local Municipality within the Western Cape
Location of Beaufort West Local Municipality within the Western Cape
Coordinates: 32°20′S 22°45′E / 32.333°S 22.750°E / -32.333; 22.750Coordinates: 32°20′S 22°45′E / 32.333°S 22.750°E / -32.333; 22.750
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
DistrictCentral Karoo
SeatBeaufort West
 • TypeMunicipal council
 • MayorJapie van der Linde (DA)
 • Total21,917 km2 (8,462 sq mi)
 • Total49,586
 • Density2.3/km2 (5.9/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African16.3%
 • Coloured73.5%
 • Indian/Asian0.5%
 • White9.2%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans84.3%
 • Xhosa10.7%
 • English2.5%
 • Other2.5%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Municipal codeWC053


The municipality covers an area of 21,917 square kilometres (8,462 sq mi), making it the largest local municipality in the Western Cape and the sixth-largest in South Africa. It is located in the furthest northeastern part of the province in the Great Karoo. It abuts on the Karoo Hoogland Municipality to the northwest, the Ubuntu Municipality to the north, the Dr Beyers Naudé Municipality to the southeast, the Prince Albert Municipality to the south and the Laingsburg Municipality to the southwest.

According to the 2011 census the municipality has a population of 49,586 people in 13,089 households. Of this population, 73.5% describe themselves as "Coloured", 16.3% as "Black African", and 9.2% as "White". The first language of 84.3% of the population is Afrikaans, while 10.7% speak Xhosa and 2.5% speak English.[3]

The main town in the municipality is Beaufort West, which as of 2011 has a population of 34,085.[4] Murraysburg (pop. 5,069)[5] is situated in the far east of the municipality. Nelspoort (pop. 1,699) is situated northeast of Beaufort West, while Merweville (pop. 1,592) is in the far west of the municipality.


At the end of the apartheid era, the area that is today the Beaufort West Local Municipality was divided between two Regional Services Councils (RSCs): the western part around Beaufort West formed part of the Central Karoo RSC, while the eastern part around Murraysburg formed part of the Kamdeboo RSC. The towns of Beaufort West and Murraysburg were governed by municipal councils elected by their white residents, while the coloured residents of the towns were governed by management committees subordinate to the white councils. Kwa-Mandlenkosi was governed by a town council established under the Black Local Authorities Act, 1982.

After the national elections of 1994 a process of local government transformation began, in which negotiations were held between the existing local authorities, political parties, and local community organisations. As a result of these negotiations, the existing local authorities were dissolved and transitional local councils (TLCs) were created for each town and village. In December 1994 the Beaufort West TLC replaced the Municipality of Beaufort West, Beaufort West Management Committee and Kwa-Mandlenkosi Town Council. In January 1994 the Murraysburg TLC replaced the Municipality of Murraysburg and Murraysburg Management Committee. In June 1995 the Murraysburg district was removed from the Kamdeboo RSC and added to the Central Karoo RSC.

The transitional councils were initially made up of members nominated by the various parties to the negotiations, until May 1996 when elections were held. At these elections the Central Karoo District Council was established, replacing the Central Karoo RSC. Transitional representative councils (TRCs) were also elected to represent rural areas outside the TLCs on the District Council; the area that was to become Beaufort West Local Municipality included Beaufort West and Murraysburg TRCs.

At the local elections of December 2000 the transitional councils were dissolved. The Central Karoo District Council was replaced by the Central Karoo District Municipality. The Beaufort West Local Municipality was established as a single local authority covering the area of the Beaufort West TLC and TRC, except for the Karoo National Park which became a District Management Area (DMA). The area of the Murraysburg TLC and TRC also became a DMA. In 2011 DMAs were abolished and these areas were included into the Beaufort West Local Municipality.


The municipal council consists of thirteen members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Seven councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in seven wards, while the remaining six are chosen from party lists so that the total number of party representatives is proportional to the number of votes received. In the election of 3 August 2016 no party obtained a majority; the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC) won six seats each, and the Karoo Democratic Force (KDF) won the remaining seat. The DA and KDF formed a coalition to govern the municipality.[6]

The following table shows the results of the 2016 election.[7][8][9]

Party Votes Seats
Ward List Total % Ward List Total
Democratic Alliance 7,671 7,699 15,370 49.0% 5 1 6
African National Congress 6,682 6,561 13,243 42.2% 2 4 6
Karoo Democratic Force 825 799 1,624 5.2% 0 1 1
Economic Freedom Fighters 203 227 430 1.4% 0 0 0
Freedom Front Plus 113 114 227 0.7% 0 0 0
Congress of the People 48 120 168 0.5% 0 0 0
Pan Africanist Congress 61 49 110 0.4% 0 0 0
Independent Civic Organisation 50 51 101 0.3% 0 0 0
South African Religious Civic Organisation 31 47 78 0.2% 0 0 0
Independent 24 24 0.1% 0 0
Total 15,708 15,667 31,375 7 6 13
Valid votes 15,708 15,667 31,375 98.9%
Spoilt votes 156 192 348 1.1%
Total votes cast 15,864 15,859 31,723
Voter turnout 15,891
Registered voters 26,027
Turnout percentage 61.1%

The local council sends five representatives to the council of the Central Karoo District Municipality. As of February 2017 this delegation consisted of two councillors from the Democratic Alliance, two from the African National Congress, and one from the Karoo Democratic Force.[6]



  1. ^ "Contact list: Executive Mayors". Government Communication & Information System. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Beaufort West Local Municipality". Census 2011.
  4. ^ Sum of the Main Places Beaufort West, New Town, Kwa-Mandlenkosi and Rustdene from Census 2011.
  5. ^ Sum of the Main Places Murraysburg and Rooivlakte from Census 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Political composition of councils February 2017" (PDF). Western Cape Department of Local Government. February 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Results Summary – All Ballots: Beaufort West" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Seat Calculation Detail: Beaufort West" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Voter Turnout Report: Beaufort West" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 June 2017.

External linksEdit