WEST RAND DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY CONTEXTUALISATION
The West Rand District Municipality (WRDM) consists of three local municipalities namely: Mogale City, Merafong City, Rand West City (Randfontein and Westonaria). It is located on the South Western edge of Gauteng Province and it is home to the famous Cradle of the Humankind World Heritage Site. The West Rand Region is 4,095 km2 size of the land cover, and a population size of 848,597.
The West Rand District Municipality lies to the west of Johannesburg, about 50 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport. It borders the North West Province and accessibility is easy from all major Gauteng centres. This region is a great base from which to explore this fascinating and ancient part of South Africa.
The West Rand Region has a rich and diverse landscape with the lovely Magaliesberg Mountains forming the backdrop. Towns in the region include Krugersdorp, Randfontein; Westonaria and Carletonville. Each of these is in easy reach of the peaceful countryside well known for its warm hospitality.
There is a wonderful selection of things to do in this area, such as game drives, hiking and mountain biking trails, horse-riding and visiting art galleries. Two tourist routes, the Magalies Meander and Crocodile Ramble, provide excellent day trips from Johannesburg and Pretoria. The area is also world-renowned for its rich archaeological and anthropology sites. The highlight of these is the Cradle of Humankind, which is home to the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng Visitors’ Centre, which has been developed in Kromdraai, an area so rich in anthropology that it has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is here where evidence of the ancient hominid habitation has been documented, stretching back over two million years.
Another great attraction in the West Rand is the world’s deepest mining shaft, plunging to 3.6 kilometres into the earth. Gold and uranium mining are major economic contributors in the District, and old mine tailings are reprocessed using modern technology. The District is focused on attracting downstream mining industries like refining and beneficiation. The West Rand District Municipality contributes the most of all the district municipalities (excluding metropolitan municipalities) in Gauteng to the Province’s economy in terms of sectors. The District Municipality contributes over R15 billion. Its economy is driven by manufacturing, community services, mining and trade and finance. The West Rand District Municipality has consistently enjoyed comparative advantages in the following sectors:
- Mining (Westonaria, Merafong City and Rand West City)
- Manufacturing (Mogale City and Rand West City); and
- Construction (Rand West City and Mogale City).
In terms of the location quotient, mining appears to be the leading sector but has been experiencing a steady decline since 2005. Mining in Rand West City and Merafong City dominates in terms of sector contribution, but mining will not be sustainable in the future and thus the economy for Rand West City and Merafong City needs to be diversified. The area is endowed with abundant pockets of land with medium to high agricultural potential as well as favourable climatic conditions. The District also forms part of the Maize Triangle and consequently the Gauteng Provincial Government is reinforcing this strength by investing in the area as part of the roll-out of Agricultural Hubs.
Proximity to Lanseria International Airport increases the area’s neighbouring African countries and international profiles, and creates a number of opportunities in terms of manufacturing, agro-processing and distribution. The West Rand municipal area is serviced by National, Provincial and Local roads. The N12 and N14 are the two National roads that cross the district in a west to north eastern direction. These routes generally provide good regional access between the WRDM and Johannesburg to the east, Pretoria to the north and the North-West Province to the north-west. Movement linkages are essential as they increase a region’s connectivity and access to economic and learning opportunities.
The district is well serviced in terms of east-west regional linkages and these directly link the West Rand to the northern and central Gauteng economic powerhouses to its east and the agricultural and mining zones of the North West Province to its west. On the other hand, the north-south linkages centralise it between the Free State Province and the eastern parts of the North West Province such as the Bojanala Local Municipality.
Taxis dominate the public transport operations in the District. Bus transport in the district is very limited with no subsidised commuter services, apart from contracted learner transport services that are provided in the predominantly rural area. A lot of people commute to Mogale City, Merafong City and Rand West City within the region as these are main towns where economic activity happens. Outside the region, the movement of people is mainly towards the City of Johannesburg.
Commuter rail services operate in the West Rand and these connect the far western side of the region (Merafong City) with the City of Johannesburg. There are training services operating in Mogale City and Rand West City. The Lanseria airport node is an important development for the entire region and could influence the development of the K29 corridor. The K29 road serves as a regional corridor between Johannesburg area and Rustenburg area and also connects with the Platinum Toll Road as a spatial corridor. The main developmental and commercial nodes within the West Rand municipal areas are in Mogale City and Rand West City.
Merafong City is comparatively a bigger node than Westonaria, with both nodes mainly having mining as the anchor economic development activity. Despite the developmental limitations faced by the individual municipalities in varying degrees, due to among other things, prevalence of dolomitic conditions, the West Rand region as a whole has the potential to attract development towards the western part of Gauteng. This is a developmental opportunity emanating from the fact that the western part of Gauteng still has pristine development areas that could still be exploited and contribute towards the integration of the various municipal areas within the West Rand and also with Tshwane in the North and City of Johannesburg in the East. The main business districts and industrial areas are predominantly situated in Mogale City and Rand West City. Though Merafong City has business districts and industrial areas, the main anchor economic activity is mining.
The strategic location of the WRDM in relation to the Gauteng Province creates a huge potential for the agriculture sector to grow and stimulate economic development in the region. The advantage held by farmers within the West Rand is their close proximity to the largest consumer market of perishable goods in South Africa (i.e. City of Tshwane and City of Johannesburg), coupled with the fact that the region has areas with good to excellent agricultural potential.
Furthermore, the region possesses the potential to develop agro-processing within its borders, as the majority of required resources are available. Mining is still a very important economic sector in the West Rand, both in terms of production and employment and its influence in the economy of the West Rand is still to be felt for many years to come. Therefore it’s critical that the mining sector be used as a catalyst for developing other economic activities within the region.
Integrating District Governance to achieve a better life for all
To provide an integrated and excellent developmental district governance system in the West Rand
Moving towards a greener, better, brighter future for all
Core Business Values
- Service excellence (responsive / sense of urgency / client focussed / emotional intelligence / friendliness / patience)
- Pride (committed / diligent / motivated / hard working / productive / disciplined / enthusiastic / dedicated)
- Integrity (honest / transparent / ethical / trustworthy / credible / respectful / consistent / incorruptible / confidentiality)
- Responsible (accountable / taking charge / taking ownership)
- Innovative (thinking out of the box / creative / initiative / proactive / flexible / adaptable / open minded)
- Teamwork (collaborative / collective / participative / consultative / engaging
FIVE STRATEGIC GOALS
- STRATEGIC GOAL ONE: BUSINESS EXCELLENCE: Business excellence within the WRDM
- STRATEGIC GOAL TWO: GOVERNANCE: Sustainable governance for local communities
- STRATEGIC GOAL THREE: PUBLIC SAFETY: Ensuring that the West Rand communities feel and are safe
- STRATEGIC GOAL FOUR: REGIONAL PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Economic Development makes the West Rand District a prosperous, sustainable, investment attractive region
- STRATEGIC GOAL FIVE: HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Long and healthy life for all people within socially integrated communities