Maluti a Phofung

Quick Fact

The municipality is named after the Drakensberg mountains (known as “Maluti” in Sesotho). The peak in Qwaqwa is known as the Sentinel, which is called “Phofung” in Sesotho. Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality was established in 1998 and proclaimed in 2000. The most densely populated local municipality is Maluti-A-Phofung which contains 46% of the district’s total population. In terms of enumeration area (EA) types, 27% of the population lives in traditional residences.

Quick Fact Image

Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality is situated in the Free State. Maluti-A-Phofung is a local municipality and was established on 5 December 2001, and comprises of four former TLC local authorities, which are Qwaqwa Rural, Phuthaditjhaba, Harrismith and Kestell. The municipality is comprised of 35 wards and covers approximately 4 421 km2 in extent. Phuthaditjhaba is the urban centre of Qwaqwa and serves as the administrative head office of Maluti-A-Phofung municipality. Surrounding Phuthaditjhaba are the rural villages of Qwaqwa, established on tribal land administered by the Department of Land Affairs. Harrismith is a service center for the surrounding rural areas and a trading belt serving the national road, N3, which links the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Harrismith is surrounded by Tshiame located 12 km to the west and Intabazwe, which is located 1,5 km to the north.

The town is an economic hub for people living in Tshiame, Intabazwe and Qwaqwa. Kestell is a service center for the surrounding agricultural oriented rural area, with Tlholong as the township. Kestell is situated along the N5 road that links Harrismith with Bethlehem. The rural areas of Maluti-A-Phofung comprise commercial farms and major nature conservation centres such as Qwaqwa National Park, Platberg, Sterkfontein Dam and the Maluti Mountain Range. The area is not only a tourist attraction destination, but also makes a big contribution in generating gross agricultural income for the whole of the province and is also highly regarded for its beef production.

Rank By:
18 ranking by population size
  Rank view all
Greater Tzaneen , Limpopo 390,095 15
Newcastle , KwaZulu-Natal 363,236 16
Mogale City , Gauteng 362,422 17
Maluti a Phofung , Free State 335,784 18
Greater Tubatse , Limpopo 335,676 19
uMhlathuze , KwaZulu-Natal 334,459 20
Thembisile , Mpumalanga 310,458 21
Quick Fact

8,9% of those 20+ have no schooling.

Quick Fact Image

The cultural and historic landscape of Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality lies within a rich heritage heartland of the Free State. Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality extends over the smallest area in the Thabo Mofutsanyana municipal district but has the highest population density. It accommodates almost 46% of the population of the district municipality. The population is relatively young; almost 33% is younger than 15 years.

Group Percentage
Black African98,2%
Coloured0,2%
Indian/Asian0,2%
White1,3%
Other0,1%
Age Males Females
0-4 5,8% 5,8%
5-9 5,5% 5,5%
10-14 5,1% 4,9%
15-19 5,9% 5,7%
20-24 4,9% 5,3%
25-29 3,7% 4,6%
30-34 2,8% 3,6%
35-39 2,4% 3,2%
40-44 2% 3,1%
45-49 1,9% 1,9%
50-54 1,5% 2,5%
55-59 1,3% 2,1%
60-64 1% 1,6%
65-69 0,7% 1,1%
70-74 0,5% 0,9%
75-79 0,3% 0,7%
80-84 0,2% 0,5%
85+ 0,1% 0,4%
Language Percentage
Afrikaans 2%
English 1,5%
IsiNdebele 0,3%
IsiXhosa 0,6%
IsiZulu 10,7%
Sepedi 0,1%
Sesotho 81,7%
Setswana 0,3%
Sign Language 1,4%
SiSwati 0%
Tshivenda 0%
Xitsonga 0%
Other 0.2%
Not Applicable 1%
Group Percentage
Married 19,4%
Living together like married partners 6,2%
Never married 67,6%
Widower/Widow 5,3%
Separated 0,9%
Divorced 0,6%
Group Percentage
No Schooling 1,9%
Some Primary 42,3%
Completed Primary 5,7%
Some Secondary 34,4%
Completed Secondary 12,7%
Higher Education 1,5%
Not Applicable 1,5%
Sex Percentage
Female 54,4%
Male 45,6%
Quick Fact

89% Use electricity for lighting.

Quick Fact Image

There are 100 228 households (Census 2011) in Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, with a total area of 4 338 km2 and an average household size of 3,4 persons per household. Maluti-A-Phofung is rated as the most poverty-stricken area in the Free State: about 60% of households earn less than R1 650 per month. About 68% of households do not have access to piped water inside the dwelling unit, 70% are without access to flush toilets, and 11% are without access to electricity.

Area Percentage
Urban 39,2%
Tribal/Traditional 57,9%
Farm 2,9%
Item Yes No
Cellphone 89,2% 10,8%
Computer 11,8% 88,2%
Television 76% 24%
Satellite Television 27,8% 72,2%
Radio 78% 22%
Landline / Telephone 5,5% 94,5%
Motor Car 17,7% 82,3%
Refrigerator 69,2% 30,8%
Electric / Gas-Stove 80% 20%
Energy Source Cooking Heating Lighting
Electricity 81% 49,4% 89%
Gas 3,2% 3,5% 0,1%
Paraffin 8,7% 17,9% 1,1%
Solar 0,1% 0,1% 0,2%
Candles 0% 0% 9,4%
Wood 4,4% 11,1% 0%
Coal 1,8% 9,6% 0%
Animal Dung 0,5% 0,6% 0%
Other 0% 0% 0%
None 0,2% 7,6% 0,2%
Access Percentage
From Home 3,3%
From Cellphone 16,9%
From Work 2%
From Elsewhere 5,9%
No Access 71,9%
Tenure Status Percentage
Rented 8,3%
Owned and fully paid off 65%
Owned but not yet paid off 7,3%
Occupied rent free 16,4%
Other 3%
Source of water Percentage
Regional/Local water scheme (operated by municipality or other water services provider) 89,1%
Borehole 3,3%
Spring 0,3%
Rain water tank 0,3%
Dam/Pool/Stagnant water 1,3%
River/Stream 0,3%
Water vendor 0,7%
Water tanker 1,6%
Other 3%
Toilet Facility Percentage
None 2,6%
Flush toilet (connected to sewerage system) 30,3%
Flush toilet (with septic tank) 2,4%
Chemical toilet 2,9%
Pit toilet with ventilation 15,4%
Pit toilet without ventilation 44,1%
Bucket toilet 0,6%
Other 1,7%
Refuse Disposal Percentage
Removed by local authority/private company at least once a week 24,8%
Removed by local authority/private company less often 0,4%
Communal refuse dump 4,6%
Own refuse dump 61,8%
No rubbish disposal 7,4%
Other 1%
Quick Fact

53% Youth unemployment rate.

Quick Fact Image

The greater majority of the population depends on subsistence farming and backyard gardens as characteristically is the case with the agricultural landscape and topology of MAP Municipality. The mushrooming of support and service sectors, i.e. arts and crafts, beadwork, sculpting, pottery, entertainment, cultural heritage projects, B&Bs, conservation product owners etc. enable the unemployed and self-employed to earn an income.

Statistics depict a picture of inequality with regard to income generation amongst the community. 42% of the community of Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality is unemployed. The youth unemployment rate is 53%, and 62% of the municipal population is economically active.

Employment Status Number
Employed 52867
Unemployed 38002
Discouraged Work Seeker 18379
Not Economically Active 99048
Income Percentage
None income 13,5%
R1 - R4,800 9%
R4,801 - R9,600 13,7%
R9,601 - R19,600 23,7%
R19,601 - R38,200 20,7%
R38,201 - R76,4000 9%
R76,401 - R153,800 5,2%
R153,801 - R307,600 3,3%
R307,601 - R614,400 1,4%
R614,001 - R1,228,800 0,3%
R1,228,801 - R2,457,600 0,1%
R2,457,601+ 0,1%
Agricultural households
Type of specific activity Number
Livestock production 6,161
Poultry production 11,435
Vegetable production 39,772
Production of other crops 17,085
Other 3,461

**An agricultural household may engage in more than one agricultural activity

Agricultural households
Type of activity Number
Crops only 36,222
Animals only 6,794
Mixed farming 8,067
Other 650

**An agricultural household may not fall under more than one agricultural activity

Income category of agricultural households
Annual income category of agricultural household heads Number
No income 17,151
R1-R4 800 3,740
R4 801-R38 400 25,495
R38 401-R307 200 4,423
R307 201+ 269
Unspecified 655

Key Statistics 2011

Total population335,784
Young (0-14)32,7%
Working Age (15-64)62%
Elderly (65+)5,3%
Dependency ratio61,2
Sex ratio83,9
Population growth rate-0,71% (2001-2011)
Population density77 persons/km2
Unemployment rate41,8%
Youth unemployment rate53%
No schooling aged 20+8,9%
Higher education aged 20+7,9%
Matric aged 20+26,8%
Number of households100,228
Number of Agricultural households51,733
Average household size3,3
Female headed households50,9%
Formal dwellings80,4%
Housing owned/paying off72,3%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage30,3%
Weekly refuse removal24,8%
Piped water inside dwelling31,9%
Electricity for lighting89%

Key Statistics 2001

Total population360,549
Young (0-14)34,5%
Working Age (15-64)62%
Elderly (65+)4,9%
Dependency ratio65,1
Sex ratio85,3
Population growth rate0,41% (2001-2011)
Unemployment rate57,5%
Youth unemployment rate67,8%
No schooling aged 20+23,1%
Higher education aged 20+5,9%
Matric aged 20+17,3%
Number of households90,349
Average household size3,9
Female headed households49,2%
Formal dwellings65,2%
Housing owned/paying off60,1%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage21,6%
Weekly refuse removal22,8%
Piped water inside dwelling16,9%
Electricity for lighting57%