About us

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Welcome to the Garden Route District

The GRDM is one of five District Municipalities (DMs) in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and the second-largest economy outside of the Cape Metro. The Garden Route district (GRD) covers an area of 23 331 km² in the south-eastern part of the Western Cape, covering the regions known as the Garden Route and the Little Karoo. The N2 is a valuable transport route for goods and tourists alike and connects the GRD to the Overberg District and the Cape Metro area in the west and the Eastern Cape Province to the east, while the N12 and the R62 links the GRD with inland areas to the north.

The GRD is the Western Cape’s largest and most significant rural district. The area covers one of the country’s best-known scenic tourism areas and boasts a relatively broad-based, steadily expanding regional economy. Agriculture, tourism, wholesale and retail trade, business and financial services, construction and manufacturing are key sectors of the regional economy, in terms of value addition. The largest sectors of the GRD economy are finance, insurance, real estate and business services, followed by wholesale and retail, and manufacturing. Combined, these three sectors contributed 60, 07 per cent to the total Gross Value Added (GVA) generated by the GRD economy in 2015, an increase from 57,78 per cent in 2001.

The increase in the GVA is attributed to a sharp increase of 104, 2 per cent in the contribution of finance, insurance, real estate and business services to the GVA. Over the same period, the contribution of the manufacturing sector to GVA decreased from 16, 19 per cent to 13, 96 per cent. Wholesale and retail trade contribution to the GVA of the GRD economy remains relatively stable over the period, hovering between 17 per cent and 18 per cent from 2001 to 2015.

The economic growth and development of the GRD depend on monopolising on its competitive advantages. The GRD has a wide range of competitive advantages namely the coastal line, with opportunities of the ocean economy and coastal tourism; large forestry; arable land for agriculture and farming, and effective natural resources.

The GRDM is pursuing projects that include the establishment of a development agency, bulk infrastructure provision, products value chain development, renewable energy, enterprise development, integrated waste management and other projects as identified within the GRGDS. These projects and programmes will enable the GRDM to fulfil its constitutional mandate and also address the UN-SDGs but above all address the three critical issues of poverty, unemployment and economic growth.


The GRDM has an Integrated Development Plan (IDP), SDF and LED plan in place, incorporating the seven municipalities in the GRD. The GRDM Waste Management and Disaster Management Plans also include all the municipalities, and the GRDM recently applied for Water Authority and Energy Authority status. Plans to expand the Port of Mossel Bay, George Airport, the road and rail network together with the Municipal Economic Agendas make the Garden Route the preferred place for investment and business expansion. The GRD is divided into the following seven local municipalities:

BITOU Plettenberg Bay, Keurboomstrand, Kurland, Kwanokhuthula, Nature’s Valley and Wittedrift.
GEORGE George, Wildernes, Hoekwil, Glentana, Herold’s Bay, Victoria Bay, Haarlem, Uniondale, Herold and Noll.
HESSEQUA Albertinia, Still Bay, Riversdale, Heidelberg, Slangrivier and Witsand.
KANNALAND Calitzdorp, Zoar, Ladismith and Van Wyksdorp.
KNYSNA Knysna, Sedgefield, Brenton, Buffalo Bay, Krantzhoek and Rheenendal
MOSSEL BAY Boggoms Bay, Brandwag, Buisplaas, D’Almeida, Dana Bay, Glentana, Fraaiuitsig, Friemersheim, Great Brak River, Hartenbos, Herbertsdale, Hershame, Kwanonqaba, Little Brak River, Outeniqua Beach, Reebok, Ruitersbos, Southern Cross, Tergniet and Vleesbaai
GREATER OUDTSHOORN De Rust, Dysselsdorp, Oudtshoorn and Volmoed