Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality incorporates the towns of Graaff-Reinet, Aberdeen,
Nieu-Bethesda, Jansenville, Klipplaat, Willowmore, Steytlerville and
surrounding areas. The municipality is the result of the amalgamation of the former Bavians, Ikwezi and Camdeboo local municipalities.
It is strategically situated in an area renowned for its pristine natural environment, rich heritage, diverse people and cultures. Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naude was a South African cleric, theologian and the leading Afrikaner anti-apartheid activist who resided in the town of Graaf-Reinet in his early childhood years.
Dr Beyers Naude is the 3rd largest local municipality in the country in terms of its land area and boasts a number of popular tourist attractions, a healthy climate and is home to a diverse population of about 78 328 people. The town of Graaff-Reinet is the 4th oldest town in South-Africa and referred to as the œGem of the Karoo; is the seat of the Municipal Council and is also the centre where the largest concentration of the population lives and works.
Each of the 7 towns have their own unique dynamics and attractions that draw visitors from far and wide, some of whom have made this their home. Well-known personalities that have carved a niche in the rich history of this area include the likes of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, Dr Anton Rupert, Beyers Naude, Rev. Andrew Murray, Prof James Kitching, Athol Fugard, Anna Neethling Pohl, DF Malan, Helen Martins and Andries Pretorius, amongst others.
Key features of the economy include agriculture (wool, mohair, ostrich, poultry, red meat production and crops) and tourism. The area is identified as one of the top performing local municipalities in the district when it comes to commercial farming (sheep, goat and game). Moreover, the local municipality prides itself on providing free basic services and subsidized support to the indigent.
Approximate distances between Graaff-Reinet and surrounding towns / key destinations are:
Being situated in a somewhat arid area within the Sarah Baartman District, parts (Janseville, Willowmore, Steytlerville and Klipplaat) of the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality experience water shortages and low rainfall. Aberdeen and Nieu-Bethesda are in the fortunate position of having perennial springs that supply adequate and good quality water, which is used for both domestic consumption and irrigation. Graaff-Reinet gets its supply from the Nqweba Dam; when dry, the town is dependent on borehole water.
Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality is headed by the former Speaker of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Honorable Mayor, Deon de Vos and Honorable Speaker, Cllr Thembisa Nonnies. There are 14 Ward Councillors and 13 Proportional Representatives.
Tel: 049 807 5700