Camdeboo Local Municipality incorporates the towns of Graaff-Reinet, Aberdeen and Nieu-Bethesda. It is strategically situated in an area renowned for its pristine natural environment, rich heritage, diverse people and cultures. The name Camdeboo has evolved from a similar Khoi word meaning "green hollow".
The area (12,422 km² in extent) boasts a number of popular tourist attractions, beautiful landscapes and a healthy climate and is home to a diverse population of about 50 000 people. The town of Graaff-Reinet, 4th oldest in South-Africa and referred to as the “Gem of the Karoo”, is a hub of agri-tourism activity; it 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 3 towns has its 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 our country’s history and are closely associated with the Camdeboo, include the likes of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, Dr Anton Rupert, Beyers Naudé, 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, redmeat production and crops) and tourism. The town of Graaff-Reinet is home to many well-known museums as well as the Valley of Desolation - situated within the Camdeboo National Park. The Local Municipality provides free basic services and subsidized support to the indigent.
Approximate distances between Graaff-Reinet and surrounding towns / key destinations are:
Being situated in an arid area within the Cacadu District, Camdeboo faces many challenges, the biggest of which is access to natural sources of water. 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, an unreliable source as the water table drops drastically during dry spells. The lack of a sustainable and permanent water supply is probably the most inhibiting factor in the area’s economic development, as it restricts both agricultural and industrial activities.
In accordance with the Municipal Structures Act 117/1998, Camdeboo has been classified as a Category B Municipality with a plenary executive system combined with a Ward participatory system. Currently all but one of the 14 Councillors serve in a part-time capacity. Only the Mayor has been allocated full-time status. There are 7 Ward Councillors and 7 Proportional Representatives.
Tel: 049 807 5700