NEWS Okhahlamba Local Municipality
Clean air, clean rivers and a clean audit South Africa has a myriad of pockets of excellence situated throughout the country – some of which are less well-known than others. Nestled in the foothills close to the Free State and Lesotho borders, and in the shadow of the northern Drakensberg Mountains, is a serene local municipality that not only has clean air – it also boasts a clean audit, significantly for five years in a row. The Okhahlamba Local Municipality comprises of privately owned commercial farmland, small-holdings, three tribal authority areas and the urban areas of Bergville, Winterton, Cathkin and Geluksberg. The seat of government is Bergville. Interestingly, a retired sea captain founded this quaint town in 1897. Barely two years later the Anglo Boer War broke out and the area was caught up in the skirmishes between the Boers and the British soldiers. The British built a blockhouse in the settlement and remarkably this blockhouse is still
standing -the only blockhouse left in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The area is redolent with cultural and historical significance and attracts many tourists. Whilst Bergville developed as a trading and commercial centre, servicing the cattle ranching and agricultural industries, the area is blessed with some of the most majestic and picturesque mountain sceneries in Africa. Approximately 50km from Bergville is the Royal National Park where the gorgeous aesthetics of the Amphitheatre are to be found. This is a rock wall with a dramatic cliff face approximately five kilometers in length and 500 meters high. Above the Amphitheatre, the Mountaux Sources peak soars into the sky, creating the source of the Orange River that meanders through South Africa, spilling into the Atlantic Ocean on the border of South Africa and Namibia. Completing this awe-inspiring natural water feature is the source of the Tugela River also originating from this peak.