EDITOR’S NOTE Midvaal shows the Delivery and accountability are buzzwords that take on extra weight in the time of elections. With local elections due to take place across South Africa in 2021, Covid-19 permitting, citizens are increasingly becoming aware of how directly their lives are affected by the performance of local government. The decision by Clover to close its cheese-making factory in the North West town of Lichtenburg was a depressing but predictable reminder that the quality of local government is vital to business. Although the town is the administrative centre of the Ditsobotla Local Municipality, services had deteriorated to such an extent that the company felt it had no choice but to move operations to KwaZulu-Natal. The resulting job losses will be felt hard in the small town. Astral Foods recently won a court order to force the national government and Treasury to come up with a financial recovery plan for the Lekwa Local Municipality. The company’s poultry factory in Standerton has been badly affected by electricity outages and water shortages. In this context, it is heartening to read about the successes of the Midvaal Local Municipality, not only in attracting and working creatively with a major investor such as Heineken, but in consistently delivering services to its citizens and racking up a shining record in achieving clean audits. To read of Midvaal’s achievements is to be reminded that there are many public officials in South Africa who take pride in their work and who understand that they have a responsibility to provide for the common good. Infrastructure programmes have been touted as a possible economic saviour ever since the 2010 World Cup was held in South Africa. Could current plans actually start to bear fruit? Sello Mabotja interrogates this issue from page 24. Elsewhere in this magazine, the implications of parliament’s approval of the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill are outlined (page 30) and an extract from a recent report by Africa-expert Dianna Games (page 38) looks at what the newly-minted African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) will mean for the transport and logistics sectors. Africa and South Africa are seldom short of plans. The Mayor of Midvaal and his council have shown that plans can be turned into reality, and that’s good to know. John Young, Editor 4 | www.opportunityonline.co.za way www.opportunityonline.co.za Editor: John Young Publishing director: Chris Whales Managing director: Clive During Online editor: Christoff Scholtz Designer: Tyra Martin Production: Aneeqah Solomon Ad sales: Venesia Fowler Joy Peter Norman Robson Gabriel Venter Tennyson Naidoo Tahlia Wyngaard Administration & accounts: Charlene Steynberg Kathy Wootton Distribution and circulation manager: Edward MacDonald Printing: FA Print PUBLISHED BY Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd Company Registration No: 2004/004982/07 Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales Physical address: 28 Main Road, Rondebosch 7700 Postal address: PO Box 292, Newlands 7701 Tel: +27 21 657 6200 Fax: +27 21 674 6943 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.gan.co.za No portion of this book may be reproduced without written consent of the copyright owner. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Opportunity, nor the publisher, none of whom accept liability of any nature arising out of, or in connection with, the contents of this book. The publishers would like to express thanks to those who support this publication by their submission of articles and with their advertising. All rights reserved.
Welcome to South Africa’s fabled diamond fields Frances Baard District Municipality is nestled in the north-eastern corner of the Northern Cape Province, and contains four local municipalities, namely Sol Plaatje, Dikgatlong, Magareng and Phokwane Municipality. In 1870 diamond diggers proclaimed it the Republic of Klipdrift. Other towns in the area include Delportshoop, Longlands, Kutlwano, Sydney on Vaal, Ulco and Windsorton. Dikgatlong is the site of the first alluvial diamond digging in the region and is renowned for its excellent fly-fishing spots and luxury game lodges. The adventurous are encouraged to go in search of the Gong-Gong waterfall on the Vaal where the quiet river suddenly tumbles into a gully and fills out into a tranquil pool. PROFILE SOL PLAATJE MUNICIPALITY This municipality is named after the first secretary-general of the African National Congress and writer, Solomon “Sol” Plaatje. At the heart of Sol Plaatje Municipality is the bright metropolis of Kimberley, the capital city of the Northern Cape. The municipality also includes the towns of Modder River, Ritchie, Riverton, Beaconsfield, Kenilworth, Ronald’s Vlei and Spytfontein. Kimberley is a diverse city with a vibrant, colourful history. The city is renowned for its Big Hole and Mine Museum, the largest excavated hole on earth, and important archaeological discoveries; Kamfers Dam, a wetland that supports the largest permanent population of lesser flamingos; Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, a premier rock art centre with over 400 San rock engravings; and the sprawling and vibrant Galeshewe Township, the first and oldest township in South Africa. MAGARENG MUNICIPALITY The name Magareng is a Setswana word meaning “The Middle” and is derived from the fact that this region is literally in the middle of the country. Warrenton is an agricultural town located 70km north of Kimberley on the Vaal River and is the administrative centre of the municipality. Diamonds were first discovered in Warrenton in 1888. The town was originally known as Stanger’s Rest, then Fourteen Streams, but was finally named Warrenton after Charles Warren in 1880. PHOKWANE MUNICIPALITY Phokwane embraces Hartswater, Pampierstad and Jan Kempdorp, originally named Andalusia. Hartswater is home to Olives South Africa and boasts a variety of nuts and local wines from Hartswater Wine Cellar. The town offers accommodation, leisure activities and historical attractions such as the burial site of Chief Galeshewe and the Women’s Memorial building. The town of Jan Kempdorp hosts two World War II concentration camps and lies in the heart of the Vaalharts Valley and irrigation area. DIKGATLONG MUNICIPALITY Dikgatlong is a Setswana name meaning “confluence”, referring to the place where the Harts and Vaal Rivers flow into one another. The hub of Dikgatlong Local Municipality, Barkly West, was founded as a mission village in an area known as Pniel, “Face of God”. ____ ___ _ FRANCES BAARD DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY Tel: +27 (0) 53 838 0911 | www.visitdiamondfields.co.za