West Rand District Municipality
West Rand District Municipality is a Vuna Award-winning local authority comprising of four local municipalities, namely, Mogale City, Randfontein, Westonaria and Merafong City. West Rand District Municipality includes the District Management Area – a unique area with special needs and the home of the Cradle of Humankind – a World Heritage Site.
The West Rand District Municipality (WRDM) established a West Rand Development Agency that is aimed at spearheading and stimulating economic development in the region.
With the Lanseria International Airport located close by, business potential has increased, with many exports being undertaken utilising the streamlined efficiencies of the airport. Unlike at OR Tambo International Airport, there is no backlog and customs here is relatively smooth.
Many emerging farmers are stationed in the area and there are developing opportunities in the SMME agricultural and related sectors. The region is also in close proximity to the Johannesburg fresh-produce market.
A number of mining houses reside in the West Rand, and this provides many opportunities for forward and backward linkages and the establishment of downstream gold activities such as refining, jewellery manufacturing and purification of mine water. This is the area that produces the largest amount of gold resources in the world.
Tourism remains a large income-producing sector, especially for the SMME developmental nodes. The Cradle of Humankind, Wonderfontein Caves, Magaliesberg Express, Magaliesberg Wilderness area and more than 50 golf courses all offer tremendous infrastructure and developmental promise for the emerging business sector and budding entrepreneurs.
The cultural- and heritage-tourism sector is the primary focus for tourism in the region. The Magaliesberg area is frequented by business and leisure tourists who visit for a quick getaway. The proximity of the region to Johannesburg attracts the cultural-tour segment, both from local and international tourists. The route to Sun City and the Pilanesberg traverses the district, and this often leads to passers-by returning to the region for lengthier stays.
One of the newer elements in tourism, which has evolved in the last 10 years, is the nature- and adventure-tourism segment. The district is ideally positioned to promote this particular segment to the Gauteng market and is geographically strategically positioned to maximise the sector’s potential. The WRDM has undertaken studies and been involved in promoting small- and microenterprise projects focusing on this segment. This in turn translates to a growth in the gross development profit for the region.
The LED and Tourism Department of the WRDM is active in the promotion of business nodes and is directly involved in the creation of sustainable local tourism associations.
Muldersdrift information and business centre provides an important outlet for services to communities and tourists alike. Many farms are scattered around the area where emerging and existing farmers have turned their farms into vacation resorts for weekend getaways.