Thulamela

Quick Fact

Thulamela Local Municipality has a population size of 618 462

Quick Fact Image 0,62% Growth Rate

Thulamela Local Municipality is a category B municipality established in terms of the Local Government Structures Act number 117 of 1998. Thulamela Local Municipality is one of the four local municipalities comprising Vhembe District Municipality. It is the eastern most local municipality in the district. The Kruger National Park forms the boundary in the east. The municipality borders Mutale Municipality in the north-east and Makhado Municipality in the south-west.

47,7% of the entire Vhembe district’s population lives in Thulamela Local municipality. More than 85% of the people in this municipality live in tribal areas.

Rank By:
4 ranking by population size
  Rank view all
Emfuleni , Gauteng 721,663 1
Polokwane , Limpopo 628,999 2
Msunduzi , KwaZulu-Natal 618,536 3
Thulamela , Limpopo 618,462 4
Mbombela , Mpumalanga 588,794 5
Rustenburg , North West 549,575 6
Bushbuckridge , Mpumalanga 541,248 7
Quick Fact

17,4% had no schooling.

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The majority of the people residing in the municipality speak Tshivenda as their first language at 63,2%, followed by Xitsonga at 32,5%.  Other languages share the remaining 4,3%, with English taking the bigger share at 0,7%.

The population in the Vhembe district is dominated by the young generation with 37,6% of people aged 15–35 years, followed by those aged 5–14 years at 22,6%. Adults (36–64) are 20,9%, those aged 0–4 are 12,7%, and lastly, those aged 65+ amount to 6%.

Only 4,7% of the population have tertiary education and more than 40% are still in Grade 8– Grade 12 (secondary school). 10% had no schooling.

Group Percentage
Black African99,3%
Coloured0,1%
Indian/Asian0,5%
White0,1%
Other0,1%
Age Males Females
0-4 6,3% 6,3%
5-9 5,7% 5,7%
10-14 5,8% 5,5%
15-19 6,6% 6,4%
20-24 5,2% 5,2%
25-29 3,3% 4,2%
30-34 2,3% 3,6%
35-39 1,9% 3,3%
40-44 1,7% 2,8%
45-49 1,5% 1,5%
50-54 1,2% 2,2%
55-59 1% 1,7%
60-64 0,8% 1,3%
65-69 0,6% 1%
70-74 0,5% 0,8%
75-79 0,3% 0,9%
80-84 0,2% 0,9%
85+ 0,2% 0,7%
Language Percentage
Afrikaans 0,3%
English 0,7%
IsiNdebele 0,1%
IsiXhosa 0%
IsiZulu 0,1%
Sepedi 0,3%
Sesotho 0,1%
Setswana 0,1%
Sign Language 0,1%
SiSwati 0,2%
Tshivenda 63%
Xitsonga 32,5%
Other 1.6%
Not Applicable 0,9%
Group Percentage
Married 18,9%
Living together like married partners 7,2%
Never married 66,3%
Widower/Widow 5,5%
Separated 1,7%
Divorced 0,5%
Group Percentage
No Schooling 2,3%
Some Primary 42,7%
Completed Primary 6,4%
Some Secondary 36%
Completed Secondary 9,6%
Higher Education 1,9%
Not Applicable 1,1%
Sex Percentage
Female 54,9%
Male 45,1%
Quick Fact

87,2% of the households have access to electricity.

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There are over 156 594 household in Thulamela Municipality, with an average of 3,9 persons per household. The majority of these households live in houses or brick/concrete block structures, which make up 85%, followed by those who live in traditional dwellings (13%).The majority of households in the district have access to piped water at 88%

Area Percentage
Urban 14,6%
Tribal/Traditional 85,4%
Farm 0%
Item Yes No
Cellphone 90,8% 9,2%
Computer 12,2% 87,8%
Television 73,3% 26,7%
Satellite Television 23,5% 76,5%
Radio 64,7% 35,3%
Landline / Telephone 2,5% 97,5%
Motor Car 16,7% 83,3%
Refrigerator 67,5% 32,5%
Electric / Gas-Stove 53,4% 46,6%
Energy Source Cooking Heating Lighting
Electricity 30,6% 32,4% 87,2%
Gas 1,2% 0,6% 0,2%
Paraffin 0,7% 0,6% 1,2%
Solar 0,1% 0,1% 1,5%
Candles 0% 0% 9,7%
Wood 67,1% 56,2% 0%
Coal 0,1% 0% 0%
Animal Dung 0% 0,1% 0%
Other 0% 0% 0%
None 0,2% 10% 0,3%
Access Percentage
From Home 2,1%
From Cellphone 17,6%
From Work 1,4%
From Elsewhere 4,8%
No Access 74,1%
Tenure Status Percentage
Rented 5,3%
Owned and fully paid off 65,5%
Owned but not yet paid off 4,2%
Occupied rent free 24,6%
Other 0,5%
Source of water Percentage
Regional/Local water scheme (operated by municipality or other water services provider) 76,9%
Borehole 5%
Spring 3,8%
Rain water tank 0,4%
Dam/Pool/Stagnant water 2,7%
River/Stream 5%
Water vendor 1,6%
Water tanker 1,9%
Other 2,7%
Toilet Facility Percentage
None 11,4%
Flush toilet (connected to sewerage system) 10,7%
Flush toilet (with septic tank) 1,6%
Chemical toilet 0,8%
Pit toilet with ventilation 16,6%
Pit toilet without ventilation 57,1%
Bucket toilet 0,2%
Other 1,6%
Refuse Disposal Percentage
Removed by local authority/private company at least once a week 12,5%
Removed by local authority/private company less often 0,4%
Communal refuse dump 0,8%
Own refuse dump 73,5%
No rubbish disposal 12,3%
Other 0,5%
Quick Fact

43,8% Unemployment rate.

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The municipality’s economic growth potential is in agriculture and eco-tourism. Most people in the district derive their livelihood through agricultural pursuits. The main occupation sector is agriculture (commercial and subsistence).

Employment Status Number
Employed 75592
Unemployed 58917
Discouraged Work Seeker 33530
Not Economically Active 195493
Income Percentage
None income 11,9%
R1 - R4,800 8,9%
R4,801 - R9,600 16,4%
R9,601 - R19,600 23,9%
R19,601 - R38,200 19,8%
R38,201 - R76,4000 7,6%
R76,401 - R153,800 5,3%
R153,801 - R307,600 3,8%
R307,601 - R614,400 1,8%
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 14,757
Poultry production 19,128
Vegetable production 27,545
Production of other crops 33,129
Other 4,708

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

Agricultural households
Type of activity Number
Crops only 0
Animals only 19,041
Mixed farming 9,748
Other 1,535

**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 21,497
R1-R4 800 5,402
R4 801-R38 400 34,953
R38 401-R307 200 8,480
R307 201+ 499
Unspecified 980

Place names

Places in Thulamela Municipality

Key Statistics 2011

Total population618,462
Young (0-14)35,2%
Working Age (15-64)58,8%
Elderly (65+)6%
Dependency ratio70,1
Sex ratio82
Growth rate0,62% (2001-2011)
Population density106 persons/km2
Unemployment rate43,8%
Youth unemployment rate58,3%
No schooling aged 20+17,4%
Higher education aged 20+11,2%
Matric aged 20+21,9%
Number of households156,594
Number of Agricultural households71,812
Average household size3,9
Female headed households54,4%
Formal dwellings85,7%
Housing owned/paying off69,7%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage10,7%
Weekly refuse removal12,5%
Piped water inside dwelling15,2%
Electricity for lighting87,2%

Key Statistics 2001

Total population581,487
Young (0-14)40,8%
Working Age (15-64)58,8%
Elderly (65+)5,8%
Dependency ratio87,1%
Sex ratio80,6
Growth rate1,71% (2001-2011)
Unemployment rate59,6%
Youth unemployment rate72,9%
No schooling aged 20+30,3%
Higher education aged 20+8,2%
Matric aged 20+15,4%
Number of households126,023
Average household size4,5
Female headed households55,4%
Formal dwellings57,2%
Housing owned/paying off68,7%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage10,4%
Weekly refuse removal9,5%
Piped water inside dwelling8,1%
Electricity for lighting59,7%