Bushbuckridge Local Municipality

Local municipality

Location in Mpumalanga
Location in Mpumalanga
Coordinates: 24°28′S 31°32′E / 24.467°S 31.533°E / -24.467; 31.533Coordinates: 24°28′S 31°32′E / 24.467°S 31.533°E / -24.467; 31.533
Country South Africa
Province Mpumalanga
District Ehlanzeni
Seat Bushbuckridge
Wards 37[1][2][3][4]
  Type Municipal council
  Mayor Renias E. Khumalo (ANC)
  Total 10,250 km2 (3,960 sq mi)
Population (2011)[6]
  Total 541,248
  Density 53/km2 (140/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[6]
  Black African 99.5%
  Coloured 0.1%
  Indian/Asian 0.1%
  White 0.2%
First languages (2011)[7]
  Tsonga 56.9%
  Northern Sotho 24.5%
  Swazi 7.8%
  Sotho 5.4%
  Other 5.4%
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
Municipal code MP325

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality is a third-level administrative division in the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga in South Africa.[8] Tobacco, cotton and vegetables are farmed in the municipality's countryside. The municipality includes part of Kruger National Park.[2] It is the biggest local municipality in Mpumalanga, in terms of land mass and by population.


The name Bushbuck Ridge was given because of the large herds of bushbuck found there in the 1880s, and the prominent WNW-ESE ridge in the southeastern part of the municipality.[9] The town of Bushbuckridge grew around a trading store that opened in 1884. Prior to the colonial and apartheid era, the land known today as Bushbuckridge was known as Mapulaneng, it has been home to the Mapulana people for centuries before the Tsonga and the Swazi invaded the area. Mapulaneng was replaced during the white conquest and named Bushhbuckridge by British and Boer Colonialists.

1995-1996 Protest

In 1994, when the Transvaal Province was dismantled and divided into four Provinces, the area from Bushbuckridge to Hazyview was included in Limpopo province. The decision was based on the fact that most of the Bushbuckridge area had been part of three separate bantustansGazankulu, Lebowa and KaNgwane — but the bigger sector fell within Gazankulu, which was incorporated into Limpopo. The citizens of Bushbuckridge became embroiled in a dispute with the government, demanding inclusion of the area in Mpumalanga province. They were concerned that should the area be included into Limpopo, they would be marginalised and suffer poor service delivery since Polokwane, the Capital city of Limpopo Province, is more than 300 km away, whereas Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga is 58 km away. For more than two years the government refused to allow Bushbuckridge to fall under Mpumalanga, leading to violent protests and resistance from the community, which included stay-aways, road blockage with burning tyres and destruction of property.

A decision was taken at Cabinet level in 1998 to transfer the area to Mpumalanga. However, the area was not transferred to Mpumalanga until 2000 when President Thabo Mbeki and his Cabinet amended the Constitution and legally handed over Bushbuckridge to Mpumalanga. However, because of red tape it was not until 2005 that Bushbuckridge was officially transferred to Mpumalanga.[10]


Bushbuckridge is bounded by Mopani District Municipality of Limpopo Province to the north, by Mozambique to the east, by Mbombela Local Municipality and Nkomazi Local Municipality to the south, and by Thaba Chweu Local Municipality and Maruleng Local Municipality to the west.[2][3]

The 2013 proposal to adjust the border between the municipal area of Mbombela Local Municipality (MP322) and Bushbuckridge Local Municipality (MP325)[11] was approved for implementation in 2016.[12]


The population of the municipality in the 2011 census was 541,248.[3] The principal first language is Tsonga (57%), followed by Northern Sotho with about 25%.[8]

Administrative subdivisions

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality consists of 135 settlements and is divided into thirty-seven wards.[3][4]

Main places

The 2001 census divided the municipality into the following main places:[13]

Place Code Area (km2) Population Most spoken language
Amashangana 98601584.12106,877Tsonga, Zulu
Bushbuckridge 9860272.651,726Northern Sotho, Zulu
College View 986031.781,927Sotho
Hoxane 9860453.1939,617Tsonga
Hoxani 9860593.0514,341Tsonga
Jongilanga 98606256.8750,128Tsonga
Malele 9860716.0811,637Northern Sotho
Manyeleti 98608185.69114Tsonga
Mapulaneng 9860935.2512Northern Sotho
Mathibela 98610111.4657,416Swazi
Mnisi 98611461.0366,659Tsonga
Moletele 9861251.2922,527Northern Sotho
Moreipuso 9861384.4328,322Northern Sotho
Sabiesand Game Reserve 986144.70134English
Setlhare 98615168.9344,000Northern Sotho
Thabakgolo 98616100.1453,624Northern Sotho
Remainder of the municipality 88601315.93641Northern Sotho


The municipal council consists of seventy-four members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Thirty-seven councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in thirty-seven wards, while the remaining thirty-seven 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 18 May 2011 the African National Congress (ANC) won a majority of fifty-five seats on the council. The following table shows the results of the election.[14][15]

Party Votes Seats
Ward List Total % Ward List Total
African National Congress 81,338 87,006 168,344 74.4 35 20 55
Bushbuckridge Residents Association 11,103 11,153 22,256 9.8 1 6 7
Congress of the People 4,776 4,556 9,332 4.1 0 3 3
African People's Convention 4,201 4,186 8,387 3.7 0 3 3
Democratic Alliance 4,444 3,887 8,331 3.7 0 3 3
Independent 4,010 4,010 1.8 1 1
Pan Africanist Congress 1,800 1,020 2,820 1.3 0 1 1
African Christian Democratic Party 843 839 1,682 0.7 0 1 1
United Democratic Movement 366 441 807 0.4 0 0 0
Ximoko Party 36 156 192 0.1 0 0 0
Total 112,917 113,244 226,161 100.0 37 37 74
Spoilt votes 2,228 2,872 5,100

Notes and references

  1. In 2001 there were thirty-four wards. By the 2011 census there were thirty-seven due to expansion of the municipality by the addition of parts of the Kruger National Park.
  2. 1 2 3 "Integrated Development Plan" (PDF). Bushbuckridge Local Municipality. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 August 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Bushbuckridge". Statistics South Africa, Government of South Africa. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015.
  4. 1 2 "Wards: List of Councillors and Villages" (PDF). Bushbuckridge Local Municipality. 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 June 2014.
  5. "Contact list: Executive Mayors". Government Communication & Information System (GCIS), Government of South Africa. 2009. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  6. 1 2 "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  7. "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  8. 1 2 "Bushbuckridge Local Municipality 877 from Census 2011". Adrian Frith. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014.
  9. South African Languages - Place names
  10. Mayher, Anne; Raab, Erin (2009). "THE WATER DIALOGUES SYNTHESIS REPORT 2009-Bushbuckridge Case Study" (PDF). The Water Dialogues. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  11. "Redetermination of municipal boundaries". Municipal Demarcation Board. August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015.
  12. "The Municipal Demarcation Board makes a final determination on the South African municipal landscape in 2016". Municipal Demarcation Board. 16 October 2013. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015.
  13. Lookup Tables - Statistics South Africa
  14. "Results Summary – All Ballots: Bushbuckridge" (PDF). Independent Electoral Commission. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  15. "Seat Calculation Detail: Bushbuckridge" (PDF). Independent Electoral Commission. Retrieved 24 November 2013.

External links

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