Sunday's River Valley Local Municipality

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Sundays River Valley

Official seal of Sundays River Valley
Location in the Eastern Cape
Location in the Eastern Cape
Coordinates: 33°25′S 25°27′E / 33.417°S 25.450°E / -33.417; 25.450Coordinates: 33°25′S 25°27′E / 33.417°S 25.450°E / -33.417; 25.450
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape
DistrictSarah Baartman
 • TypeMunicipal council
 • MayorS. H. Matinise
 • Total5,994 km2 (2,314 sq mi)
 • Total54,504
 • Density9.1/km2 (24/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African71.8%
 • Coloured21.4%
 • Indian/Asian0.2%
 • White5.9%
First languages (2011)
 • Xhosa64.3%
 • Afrikaans28.0%
 • English3.4%
 • Other4.3%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Municipal codeEC106

Sundays River Valley Local Municipality (Afrikaans: Sondagsriviervallei Plaaslike Munisipaliteit) is a local municipality in Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa. It has a total population of nearly 70,000 people. This area is one of the key production areas for citrus in South Africa. It also encompasses the Addo Elephant National Park and other significant areas of nature conservation.

Main places[edit]

The 2001 census divided the municipality into the following main places:[4]

Place Code Area (km2) Population Most spoken language
Addo Elephant National Park 20602 1.08 90 Xhosa
Addo 20601 3.21 1,752 Afrikaans
Barsheba 20603 0.61 517 Xhosa
Bontrug 20604 2.33 6,806 Xhosa
Enon 20605 0.40 782 Afrikaans
Kirkwood 20606 3.07 2,749 Afrikaans
KwaZenzele 20607 3.62 3,733 Xhosa
Nomathamsanqa 20608 1.53 9,266 Xhosa
Paterson 20609 0.22 671 Afrikaans
Remainder of the municipality 20610 3,491.83 15,218 Xhosa


The municipal council consists of sixteen members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Eight councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in eight wards, while the remaining 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 eleven seats on the council. The following table shows the results of the election.[5][6]

Party Votes Seats
Ward List Total % Ward List Total
African National Congress 10,540 10,478 21,018 71.4 7 4 11
Democratic Alliance 3,189 3,206 6,395 21.7 1 3 4
Economic Freedom Fighters 758 727 1,485 5.0 0 1 1
Pan Africanist Congress 243 236 479 1.6 0 0 0
United Democratic Movement 0 76 76 0.3 0 0 0
Total 14,730 14,723 29,453 100.0 8 8 16
Spoilt votes 170 183 353

Geography and land use[edit]

The municipality derives its name from the 250 km (160 mi) long Sundays River, the fastest flowing river in South Africa. The river winds its way through the Zuurberg mountains and passes Kirkwood in the fertile Sundays River Valley; it empties into the Indian Ocean at Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth.

To the north of Kirkwood lies the Rietberg mountain with the Uyepoort (Uye gateway) that provides passage to the Zuurberg mountains and the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. A panoramic view of Kirkwood and the orange groves is visible from The Lookout. The Lookout is also known as a site where large dinosaur fossils have been dug up by archeologists. The first complete dinosaur fossil to be found in South Africa, nicknamed "Kirky," was found not far from Kirkwood.[7]

The municipality comprises three regions with distinct characteristics:[8]

  • The coastal zone, between the mouth of the Sundays River and Alexandria, is predominantly characterised by reserves and conservation areas, which form part of the Greater Addo Park. No settlement occurs in the coastal zone; it is largely undeveloped and contains the Woody Cape Nature Reserve, the Alexandria Coastal Reserve and the Alexandria State Forest. The area is unique for its mobile dunes and unspoiled wilderness.
  • The Sundays River Valley is characterized by wide, fertile flood plains, high-intensity agricultural activities (in particular the production of citrus fruits), and a well-developed irrigation system. In addition to citrus cultivation, various tourist attractions, bed and breakfast facilities, packing sheds and game-related tourist facilities are present throughout the valley. The town of Kirkwood is the main focal point of the Valley, with Addo and Sunland as secondary nodes.
  • The hinterlands, north and east of the Sundays River Valley, are characterised by high-lying mountainous areas with steep valleys and drainage features. This region includes the Addo Elephant National Park and Zuurberg Conservation areas, as well as the town of Paterson with the Shamwari Game Reserve.


The municipality's population (as of 2005) is 63% urban and 37% rural. 64% of the population are 34 years old or younger. Suggested unemployment rate figures range from 20% to 44%. In 2001, among persons older than 20 years, 5461 had had no schooling, 7642 had had some primary education, 2487 had completed primary school, another 6594 had had some secondary education, 2363 had finished Grade 12, and 827 had gone on to some higher level of schooling.[8]

Among individual residents, 41.63% earned no income in 2001; 45.74% earned R800 or less per month; 6.96% earned between R801 and R1600 per month; 5.71% earned over R1600 per month.

Approximately half of the municipality's households live on less than R800 (US $110) per month.[8]


The agricultural industry, centering mainly around citrus fruit, dairy and chicory farming, plays a major role in the economy and functioning of the region; it alone counts for 31.2% of the GGP and 47.7% of employment.

Approximately 25% of South Africa’s navel oranges and 50% of the country’s lemons are produced in the Sunday’s River Valley. The area exports million of cartons of navel oranges per year, earning more than R1 billion in foreign exchange for the country. Other agricultural products include vegetables, potatoes, maize, wheat, chicory, flowers and rye grass.

Ecotourism is another driving force of the local economy, thanks to the presence of vast unspoiled wilderness areas. Addo receives about 115 000 visitors each year, of which 50% are foreign, and this figure is on the increase.[8]


  1. ^ "Contact list: Executive Mayors". Government Communication & Information System. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Statistics by place". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  4. ^ Lookup Tables - Statistics South Africa
  5. ^ "Results Summary – All Ballots: Sundays River Valley" (PDF). Independent Electoral Commission. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Seat Calculation Detail: Sundays River Valley" (PDF). Independent Electoral Commission. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  7. ^ "History and Culture." Sundays River Valley Municipality website. Retrieved on 14 October 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d Integrated Development Plan 2009/2010. Sundays River Valley Municipality. Retrieved on 14 October 2009.

External links[edit]