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Location of Bitou Local Municipality within the Western Cape
|• Type||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Peter Lobese (AUF)|
|• Total||992 km2 (383 sq mi)|
|• Density||50/km2 (130/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||45.2%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||SAST (UTC+2)|
Bitou Local Municipality (formerly known as Plettenberg Bay Municipality) is a municipality part of Eden District Municipality located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Its municipality code is WC047.
The municipality covers an area of 992 square kilometres (383 sq mi) between the Indian Ocean and the Tsitsikamma Mountains around the town of Plettenberg Bay. It is the easternmost municipality on the coast of the Western Cape, with its eastern edge at the Bloukrans River forming the border with the Eastern Cape. It abuts on the Knysna Municipality to the west, the George Municipality to the northwest, and the Kou-Kamma Municipality to the east.
According to the 2011 census the municipality has a population of 49,162 people in 16,645 households. Of this population, 45.2% describe themselves as "Black African", 31.2% as "Coloured", and 16.9% as "White". The first language of 43.4% of the population is Afrikaans, while 38.0% speak Xhosa and 13.3% speak English.
A majority of residents of the municipality live in the town of Plettenberg Bay, which in 2011 had a population of 31,804. On the other side of the Keurbooms River mouth from Plettenberg Bay is the coastal resort of Keurboomstrand (pop. 475), while the resort of Nature's Valley (pop. 460) is situated further east at the mouth of the Groot River. The Griqua settlement of Kranshoek (pop. 5,597) is situated west of Plettenberg Bay. In the interior of the municipality are villages at Kurland (pop. 4,033) and Wittedrif (pop. 1,822).
The municipal council consists of thirteen members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Seven councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in seven wards, while the remaining six are chosen from party lists so that the total number of party representatives is proportional to the number of votes received. In the election of 18 May 2011 no party obtained a majority; the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC) won six seats each, with the remaining seat going to the Congress of the People (COPE). The DA and COPE formed a coalition to govern the municipality.
The DA won a ward from the ANC in a by-election held in 2014, and governed Bitou alone with an outright majority of seats on the council.
A hung council was elected following the 2016 municipal elections, with the DA and ANC each winning six seats, and the final seat going to the Active United Front (AUF). The AUF chose to join forces with the ANC. However, six months later, in April 2017, the AUF announced that the partnership had fallen apart because the ANC had frustrated attempts to establish clean administration, had failed to commit resources to address problems, had not implemented the coalition agreement, and had not signed the agreed-upon service delivery plan. The DA and AUF negotiated for a month, following which the DA gained control of the municipality.
|African National Congress||7,746||7,673||15,419||41.0%||3||3||6|
|Active United Front||1,026||989||2,015||5.4%||0||1||1|
|Economic Freedom Fighters||353||338||691||1.8%||0||0||0|
|African Christian Democratic Party||205||210||415||1.1%||0||0||0|
|African Independent Congress||148||263||411||1.1%||0||0||0|
|Congress of the People||93||87||180||0.5%||0||0||0|
|Bitou Independent Party||51||62||113||0.3%||0||0||0|
|United Democratic Movement||19||41||60||0.2%||0||0||0|
|Democratic New Civic Association||16||11||27||0.1%||0||0||0|
|Independent Civic Organisation||9||8||17||0.0%||0||0||0|
|Total votes cast||18,988||19,018||38,006|
The local council sends two representatives to the council of the Eden District Municipality. As of February 2017[update] this delegation consisted of one councillor from the Democratic Alliance and one from the African National Congress.