Welcome to Mafube Local Municipality

The Mafube Local Municipality is located in the Fezile Dabi District Municipality. Mafube, a Sotho name meaning, “where the sun rises”, is one and a half hour’s drive from Johannesburg on the N3 route to Durban. The geographical area of the municipality is 4604.3810 square kilometres. The four major towns that form part of the municipality are Frankfort (the municipal head office), Villiers, Cornelia, and Tweeling. The lowest estimated population figure for Mafube was 61 936 in 2008. The latest official figure was 57 650 in 2001. There was a considerable decline in the rural population of 10.3% per annum over the past five-year period. The highest annual population growth rate was in Villiers with an annual growth rate of 11%. Tweeling and Cornelia have also experienced relatively high levels of population growth.

Compared with South Africa, the Free State, and Fezile Dabi, Mafube had the largest percentage of people younger than 15 years. The percentage in Mafube was 34.5% compared with 29.4% in the district. Mafube also had the highest percentage (7.9%) of population older than 60 years. The census data reveals that the percentage of males dropped from 47.7% in 1996 to 46.8% in 2001.

The municipality covers an area of 460432.7 ha of which 65.8% has remained natural habitat. There are no formal land-based protected areas or RAMSAR sites in the municipality. There is only one biome, namely Grassland, covering the whole municipality. Six vegetation types are found in the municipality. There are no critically endangered or endangered ecosystems in the municipality. There are three vulnerable ecosystems in the Mafube Municipality. These are the Eastern Free State Clay Grassland, Eastern Temperate Freshwater Wetlands, and Soweto Highveld Grassland. The freshwater ecosystems in the municipality are characterised by one water management area, namely the Upper Vaal. Twelve rivers run through the municipality and wetlands cover 2.4% of the Mafube Municipality.