Locality & Context

The Great Kei Municipality (GKM) is located within the Eastern Cape Province and covers an area of 1 421 square kilometres (km²). The GKM is bounded in the East by the Great Kei River and Mnquma Municipality, in the South East by the coastline between Kwelera and Kei Mouth, in the West by the Buffalo City Municipality and the Amahlathi Municipality, which is situated to the North. The Municipality is divided into six wards, which are the amalgamation of previously different communities and municipal entities, including Komga, Kei Mouth, Cintsa East, Haga Haga,Mooiplaas and Kwelera.The district is divided into six wards which were previously different municipal entities; Komga, Kei Mouth, Cintsa and Haga Haga together with the Komga TRC and portion of the East London TRC. Regional access is obtained through the district via the N2 National Route from East London to Butterworth with a provincial main road connection between Komga and Stutterheim.

Analysis of Spatial Characteristics

The Great Kei Municipal area (1 421 km²) stretches inland from the coastline of the Indian Ocean to the Kubusi River (a tributary of the Great Kei River). It is bounded on the north east by the Great Kei River itself, which forms a natural barrier between the area and adjacent communal settlements of the former Transkei. The Great Kei River is situated within a regionally significant drainage basin with a gross catchment area of 20 611 km² and an estimated mean annual runoff of 500 million m³/a. To the southwest the area is bounded by the Gonubie and Kwelera Rivers, which geographically separate the area from the Buffalo City municipal area.The area possesses a short section of coastline, which rises fairly abruptly through broken coastal terrain to a plateau around Komga.The physical aspect of the area has an influence on its climatology represented by the higher rainfall areas along the coastal strip with more arid conditions along the upper reaches of the Great Kei River and northern extent. The forest reserves and moderately sub tropical climate of the coastal area represents a significant and largely undeveloped tourist resource.Within the area the small town of Komga constitutes the centre of institutional and business service to the adjacent farm areas. Other settlements comprise the Kei Mouth Resorts (Kei Mouth, Morgan Bay and Haga Haga), East Coast Resorts (Cefane, Cintsa East, Cintsa West, Glen Muir, etc), as well as the State Land settlements of Mooiplaas and Kwelera.These settlements are distributed according to historical factors and are functional in terms of their predominately outward linkages to the immediate farming and ‘aspirant metropolitan’ area. Urban-oriented settlements, such as Mooiplaas and Kwelera, function primarily as residential areas for people working or seeking work in Buffalo City and surrounding areas.

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