The greater Oudtshoorn area is nestled at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains in the Little Karoo region. It is described as a semi-desert area with a unique and sensitive natural environment. The Oudtshoorn municipality’s development strategy recognises the impact of being home to the world’s largest ostrich population, which is a key component of their agricultural industry. Oudtshoorn is a centre of regional cultural, sport and art activities, as well as agriculture and tourism – including the Cango Caves, a popular tourist attraction since the 1800s.
Oudtshoorn’s relatively higher development potential is directly linked to its geographic location on main transport routes, natural resource base, human resources, institutional centre function, and commercial services. Oudtshoorn was identified recently as one of the 14 important ‘leader towns’ in the Western Cape province. The construction sector in Oudtshoorn showed above-average growth over the period 2011 to 2015. This is mainly attributed to the Riemvasmaak / Rosevalley housing development.
The famous Cango Caves is a major tourist attraction in the Oudtshoorn area. A successful turnaround strategy has been implemented in the past three years to make it commercially even more viable. Additional plans for the expansion of infrastructure, establishment of a theatre and conference facilities, restaurant area expansion and the creation of craft shops and entrainment areas with extended hours of operation will increase the number of tourists to the area significantly.