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Location in the Eastern Cape
|• Type||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Koliswa Vimbayo|
|• Total||36,144 km2 (13,955 sq mi)|
|• Density||22/km2 (57/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||93.3%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
Chris Hani is a landlocked district situated in the centre of the Eastern Cape and is made up of eight local municipalities. Most of the communities live in rural areas. The landscape ranges from moist uplands and grassland hills to the arid Karoo scrubland.
In 2016, the region reported a population of 840 000 people—accounting for 1.5% of South Africa’'s total population and 12% of the Eastern Cape’s total population. Most of the district municipality’s employment is based on unskilled labour.
In the east are Emalahleni Local Municipality, Ngcobo, Intsika Yethu Local Municipality, Sakhisizwe Local Municipality and a section of Lukhanji Local Municipality. These local municipalities were originally part of the Transkei and Ciskei, which were former homelands during Apartheid, designed to separate different ethnic groups. This area is still characterised by its rural settlements and typical subsistence agriculture activities.
Inkwanca Local Municipality, Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality, Tsolwana Local Municipality and part of Lukhanji are in the west. These areas were originally part of the Republic of South Africa during Apartheid.
The district’s agricultural industry is identified as dualism since it is divided into the first economy of commercial agriculture and the second economy of subsistence farming. In spite of its significant agricultural outputs, the municipalities are importers of processed food.
The provision of basic services is particularly limited in the eastern municipalities which are largely rural. Backlogs include the delivery of tap water and adequate sanitation, school infrastructure and tarred roads. The district is situated on the intersections of the N6 from East London, Eastern Cape to Aliwal North via Queenstown, the R61 from Queenstown to Mthatha through Cofimvaba via Ngcobo and the N10 from Middelburg, Eastern Cape to Aliwal North via Cradock, Eastern Cape. Evidence of tarred roads in the rest of the district municipality is below the Eastern Cape’s provincial average—resulting in limited public transportation and access to health care facilities in bigger towns.
The district municipality is situated on the watershed of four river systems. These are namely the Orange River, Great Fish River, Mbashe River and Great Kei River. Surface water sources supply water for most of the towns in the area while only a few rely on groundwater supplies.
In rural areas, communities use water from unprotected springs, streams and boreholes. For the commercial farms in the west, the water supply is usually groundwater from boreholes.