The word “cacadu” comes from a Khoi word that describes the local vegetation and environment as being marked by semi-arid stretches of land, broken only by mountains leading to the warm Indian Ocean.
Jeffrey’s Bay falls under the governance of Kouga Municipality, which is under the larger umbrella of Cacadu (pronounced ‘Kakadoo’) Municipality. Cacadu is a District Municipality, which means it operates at the third tier of Government. It is the largest municipality in the Eastern Cape and is responsible for the western half of the province. Its Head Office is based in Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay. It has a total of nine other municipalities under it, as well as four additional District Management Areas, covering a total area of about 60 000 square kilometres. Its official borders are the Bloukrans River (west), the Great Fish River (east), Graaff-Reinet (north) and the ocean (south).
The nine local municipalities in the Cacadu District are:
• Baviaans (Towns: Steytlerville, Willowmore)
• Blue Crane Route (Towns: Cookhouse, Pearston, Somerset East)
• Camdeboo (Towns: Aberdeen, Graaff-Reinet, Nieu Bethesda)
• Ikwezi (Towns: Jansenville, Klipplaat)
• Kouga (Towns: Hankey, Humansdorp, Jeffrey’s Bay, Oyster Bay, Patensie, St Francis Bay)
• Kou-Kamma (Towns: Joubertina, Kareedouw)
• Makana (Towns: Alicedale, Grahamstown, Riebeeck East
• Ndlambe (Towns: Alexandria, Bathurst, Boknes, Bushman’s River, Cannon Rocks, Kenton-on-Sea, Port Alfred)
• Sundays River Valley (Towns: Addo, Kirkwood, Paterson)
The Executive Mayor of Cacadu District Municipality is Councillor Mlungisi Gerald Mvoko, who is supported by Municipal Manager, Mr. Ted Pillay.
The municipality is divided into various departments for efficient running, namely:
1. Finance and Corporate Services
2. Health Services
3. Infrastructure Services
4. Office of Municipal Manager
There are approximately 400 000 people within the Cacadu Municipality’s jurisdiction. Almost 30% of these ones enjoy some level of secondary education, while 15% have never had any form of schooling.
Most of the Cacadu residents are involved in agriculture, community services (health and education, for example) and trade. This area is fertile and produces approximately 50% of the Eastern Cape’s agricultural goods. The citrus farms are particularly successful, and the entire Hankey, Patensie and Gamtoos Valley area is known for its citrus orchards. Significantly, Cacadu Municipality’s components are also known for their excellent and plentiful squid as well as their mohair production.
The areas within the Cacadu district are generally small towns and villages located either in the plant-laden mountains and valleys, or along the stunning South African coastline. As such, the entire area benefits from gorgeous, fertile natural surrounds coupled with stunning views. Unlike other bustling metropolises, though, these places remain fairly quiet and rustic. Investors from all over the world have spotted this potential, and have begun to pour money into maintaining and developing these areas for the ultimate benefit of the local residents and communities.
The Cacadu district is equipped with six accessible airports in Graaff-Reinet, Aberdeen, Willowmore, Somerset East, Grahamstown and Port Alfred. These airports are for local flights only, while Nelson Mandela Bay is home to an international airport.