Bushbuckridge Local Municipality

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Official seal of Bushbuckridge
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
CountrySouth Africa
 • TypeMunicipal council
 • MayorSlyvia C Nxumalo (ANC)
 • Total10,250 km2 (3,960 sq mi)
 • Total541,248
 • Density53/km2 (140/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African99.5%
 • Coloured0.1%
 • Indian/Asian0.1%
 • White0.2%
First languages (2011)
 • Xitsonga56.9%
 • Northern Sotho24.5%
 • Swazi7.8%
 • Sotho5.4%
 • Other5.4%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Municipal codeMP325

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality is a third-level administrative division in the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga in South Africa.[8] Commercial farming, which consists of pine /bluegum plantations, Tobacco, cotton, sub-tropical fruits and vegetables are farmed in the municipality's countryside. The municipality includes part of Kruger National Park.[2] Bushbuckridge is the largest local municipality in Mpumalanga, both in terms of land and by population size.


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 and Hazyview was well known as Mapulaneng, it has been home to the Mapulana people for centuries before the Tsonga people and the Swazi people were allowed to settled in the area during the reign of Mapulana chief Maripe Mashile. Mapulaneng was replaced during the white conquest and named Bushhbuckridge by British and Boer Colonialists. Mapulaneng proper stretches from the Swazi border to Ermelo in the south, Olifants River(Lepelle) in the north, Lebombo Mountains in the east and also includes the whole town of Hazyview, Lepunama (Nelspruit) Sabie, Graskop, Hoedspruit, Barberton, Lydenburg and Dullstroom in the west. In Sepulana, Mapulaneng means "Place of the Mapulana people"; the tribe derive their name from their founding leader, Lepulana who later changed his name to Chiloane. Mapulana are descendants of Morolong and their origin can be traced back to Kgalagadi before they settled in Thaba Chueu, in what is today eastern Lesotho and Shakwaneng (Carolina) in the 1500s.Mapulana of Matshwe I got their name from their leader Pulane and they are of Amazizi of Nguni origin and they join the other Mapulana of Mohlomi at Thaba Chueu after the death of their leader Tsosane. Mapulana successfully defended the area from Swazi armies who they annihilated at the battle of Moholoholo in December 1864.

1995-1996 Protest[edit]

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 language (57%), followed by Northern Sotho with about 25%.[8]

Administrative subdivisions[edit]

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

Main places[edit]

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

Place Code Area (km2) Population Most spoken language
Amashangana 98601 584.12 106,877 Tsonga, Zulu
Bushbuckridge 98602 72.65 1,726 Northern Sotho, Zulu
College View 98603 1.78 1,927 Sotho
Hoxane 98604 53.19 39,617 Tsonga
Hoxani 98605 93.05 14,341 Tsonga
Jongilanga 98606 256.87 50,128 Tsonga
Malele 98607 16.08 11,637 Northern Sotho
Manyeleti 98608 185.69 114 Tsonga
Mapulaneng 98609 35.25 12 Northern Sotho
Mathibela 98610 111.46 57,416 Swazi
Mnisi 98611 461.03 66,659 Tsonga
Moletele 98612 51.29 22,527 Northern Sotho
Moreipuso 98613 84.43 28,322 Northern Sotho
Sabiesand Game Reserve 98614 4.70 134 English
Setlhare 98615 168.93 44,000 Northern Sotho
Thabakgolo 98616 100.14 53,624 Northern Sotho
Remainder of the municipality 88601 315.93 641 Northern Sotho


The municipal council consists of seventy-six members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Thirty-eight councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in thirty-eight wards, while the remaining thirty-eight 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 the African National Congress (ANC) won a majority of fifty-three seats on the council.

The following table shows the results of the election.[14][15]

Party Votes Seats
Ward List Total % Ward List Total
ANC 89,017 89,156 178,173 69.5 33 20 53
Bushbuckridge Residents Association 23,205 23,186 46,391 18.1 5 9 14
Economic Freedom Fighters 7,201 7,036 14,237 5.6 0 4 4
Democratic Alliance 3,944 3,777 7,721 3.0 0 3 3
African People's Convention 3,051 3,186 6,237 2.4 0 2 2
ACDP 396 551 947 0.4 0 0 0
Democratic Community Movement 398 421 819 0.3 0 0 0
Congress of the People 360 443 803 0.3 0 0 0
Independent 633 633 0.3 0 0
Pan African Socialist Movement of Azania 284 184 468 0.2 0 0 0
Agang SA 0 67 67 0.0 0 0 0
Total 128,489 128,007 256,496 100.0 38 38 76
Spoilt votes 2,329 2,766 5,095

In December 2020, the Better Residents Association (formerly the Bushbuckridge Residents Association) lost 3 of its 14 seats in the municipality after it expelled three of its ward councillors, and did not contest the resulting by-elections.[16]

Notes and references[edit]

  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. ^ a b c "Integrated Development Plan" (PDF). Bushbuckridge Local Municipality. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bushbuckridge". Statistics South Africa, Government of South Africa. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Wards: List of Councillors and Villages" (PDF). Bushbuckridge Local Municipality. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  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. ^ a b "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2015. 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[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Results Summary – All Ballots: Bushbuckridge" (PDF). Independent Electoral Commission. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Seat Calculation Detail: Bushbuckridge" (PDF). Independent Electoral Commission. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  16. ^ Sussman, Wayne (10 December 2020). "BY-ELECTIONS OUTCOME: Christmas comes early for the ANC in Oudtshoorn and Bushbuckridge, but it loses a seat to a new party in the Overberg". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 24 December 2020.

External links[edit]