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Location in the Western Cape
|• Type||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Colan Sylvester (DA)|
|• Total||3,537 km2 (1,366 sq mi)|
|• Density||27/km2 (70/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||9.1%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
The municipality covers an area of 3,537 square kilometres (1,366 sq mi) in the Little Karoo, stretching from the Swartberg mountains in the north to the Outeniqua Mountains in the south, and from the Gamkaberg in the west to the Kammanassie Mountains in the east. It abuts on the Prince Albert Municipality to the north, the George Municipality to the east, the Mossel Bay Municipality to the south, the Hessequa Municipality to the southwest and the Kannaland Municipality to the west.
According to the 2011 census the municipality has a population of 95,933 people in 21,910 households. Of this population, 77.3% describe themselves as "Coloured", 12.5% as "White", and 9.1% as "Black African". The first language of 91.0% of the population is Afrikaans, while 4.8% speak Xhosa and 2.3% speak English.
Most of the residents of the municipality live in the town of Oudtshoorn, which as of 2011 has a population of 61,507. East of Oudtshoorn are the towns of Dysselsdorp (pop. 12,544) and De Rust (pop. 3,566). There are small agricultural villages at Armoed (pop. 472) and De Hoop (pop. 151).
The municipal council consists of twenty-five members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. Thirteen councillors are elected by first-past-the-post voting in thirteen wards, while the remaining twelve 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, the Democratic Alliance (DA) won a majority of fourteen seats on the council, defeating an ANC-lead coalition that previously controlled the council.
|African National Congress||7,770||7,722||15,492||27.2%||1||6||7|
|Independent Civic Organisation||1,927||1,750||3,677||6.5%||0||2||2|
|South African Religious Civic Organisation||783||729||1,512||2.7%||0||1||1|
|Economic Freedom Fighters||474||428||902||1.6%||0||1||1|
|Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners||414||409||823||1.4%||0||0||0|
|Freedom Front Plus||374||407||781||1.4%||0||0||0|
|Unemployed Peoples Association||220||245||465||0.8%||0||0||0|
|African Christian Democratic Party||177||168||345||0.6%||0||0||0|
|Congress of the People||105||196||301||0.5%||0||0||0|
|South Africa Civics||82||88||170||0.3%||0||0||0|
|Democratic New Civic Association||49||61||110||0.2%||0||0||0|
|Total votes cast||28,903||28,716||57,619|
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.
Municipality (1) — The town council adopted the Van Reede van Oudtshoorn arms "with certain modifications" on 7 February 1908. The arms were : Argent, two bars dancetty Sable (i.e. a silver shield with two black zig-zag stripes across it), with two golden gryphons as supporters. A golden mural crown was placed above the shield (this appears to have been the "modification").
Municipality (2) — The arms were re-designed in 1959 by Ivan Mitford-Barberton and H. Ellis Tomlinson, and granted by the College of Arms on 9 September 1960. They were registered with the Cape Provincial Administration in June 1961 and at the Bureau of Heraldry in October 1970.
The changes to the design were the addition of a red chief bearing a golden mural crown to the shield; the addition of a crest consisting of a pair of black wings inside a golden ring; and each supporter was given an ostrich feather to hold. For some reason, the municipal council later changed the colours : the chief was changed to gold and the mural crown to red, the wings were changed to silver and the ring to red, and the gryphons were changed from gold to red. The registration at the Bureau does not appear to have been amended to reflect these alterations.