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Location of Knysna within the Western Cape
|• Type||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Mark Willemse (DA)|
|• Total||1,109 km2 (428 sq mi)|
|• Density||62/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||36.1%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
Knysna Local Municipality is a municipality part of Garden Route District Municipality located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. As of 2011[update] the population is 68,659. Its municipal code is WC048.
The municipality covers an area of 1,109 square kilometres (428 sq mi) between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua Mountains around the town of Knysna. It abuts on the George Municipality to the north and west, and on the Bitou Municipality to the east.
According to the 2011 census the municipality has a population of 68,659 people in 21,893 households. Of this population, 40.9% describe themselves as "Coloured", 36.1% as "Black African", and 21.0% as "White". The first language of 51.2% of the population is Afrikaans, while 28.4% speak Xhosa and 15.4% speak English.
Most of the residents of the municipality live in the town of Knysna, which as of 2011 has a population of 51,078. Knysna is situated on the shores of the Knysna Lagoon; other coastal settlements are Sedgefield (pop. 8,361) and Buffelsbaai (pop. 71). Away from the coast are agricultural settlements at Rheenendal (pop. 3,936) and Karatara (pop. 880).
The municipal council consists of twenty-one members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Eleven councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in eleven wards, while the remaining ten 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 3 August 2016 no party obtained a majority of seats on the council. The Democratic Alliance (with ten seats) formed a coalition with the African Christian Democratic Party (one seat) and an independent councillor.
|African National Congress||7,777||8,153||15,930||32.1%||3||4||7|
|Congress of the People||1,430||1,402||2,832||5.7%||1||0||1|
|Knysna Unity Congress||535||503||1,038||2.1%||0||1||1|
|African Christian Democratic Party||462||436||898||1.8%||0||1||1|
|Economic Freedom Fighters||427||420||847||1.7%||0||0||0|
|Independent Civic Organisation||350||350||700||1.4%||0||0||0|
|African Independent Congress||164||336||500||1.0%||0||0||0|
|Freedom Front Plus||209||175||384||0.8%||0||0||0|
|South African Religious Civic Organisation||36||36||72||0.1%||0||0||0|
|Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners||25||44||69||0.1%||0||0||0|
|Democratic New Civic Association||49||49||0.1%||0||0|
|South Africa Civics||12||22||34||0.1%||0||0||0|
|Total votes cast||25,434||25,304||50,738|
|African National Congress||4||4||8|
|African Christian Democratic Party||0||1||1|
|Congress of the People||1||0||1|
|Knysna Unity Congress||0||1||1|
The local council sends three representatives to the council of the Garden Route District Municipality. As of February 2017[update] this delegation consisted of two councillors from the Democratic Alliance and one from the African National Congress.
Joy Cole was first elected mayor under the DA in December 2000 but defected in the September 2004 floor-crossing to become an ANC-aligned independent and reconstituted the council under ANC control. Cole formed a broad-based coalition of the ANC and DA after the March 2006 local government elections when neither party had obtained an outright majority. After Cole resigned in December 2006 to pursue another career, Doris Wakeford-Brown of the DA formed a multi-party coalition. This short-lived coalition collapsed in May 2007 when the Knysna Civic Alliance switched allegiances to the ANC, which brought Eleanore Bouw-Spies in as the new mayor. In the September 2007 floor crossing window the two civic party councillors defected to the ANC, giving the party an outright majority of 9 seats out of 16. Bouw-Spies' term as mayor ended when the DA won an absolute majority in the 2011 election and Georlene Wolmarans was elected mayor. In the 2016 election the DA fell short of an absolute majority, but formed a coalition with the ACDP and an independent councillor. Bouw-Spies, who had crossed to the DA in 2014, returned for a second term as mayor.
Bouw-Spies was removed as mayor after an ANC-initiated vote of no confidence in June 2018. The motion was supported by two DA councillors, Mark Willemse and Peter Myers. Willemse was then elected as the new mayor with COPE member Ricky van Aswegen as deputy mayor. The DA has instituted disciplinary action against its two members, but the matter has dragged on into 2019 without a solution as of yet.