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Welcome to Phumelela Local Municipality

Geography, History & Economy

Phumelela Local Municipality is part of Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality.

MDB code: FS195

Description: The Phumelela Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated within the Thabo Mofutsanyana District in the Free State Province. It is the largest municipality in the district, making up a quarter of its geographical area.

Vrede (‘at peace’) rests in the north-eastern Free State about 20km east of the N3, close to the Mpumalanga border. Vrede is surrounded by undulating Highveld hills. It is 220km from northern Johannesburg and about 30km from Cornelia on the R102 to Warden and Harrismith, on the Volksrust-Newcastle Road. It is the spine of the Drakensburg off the N3 highway from Durban to Mbombela (previously Nelspruit), and the alternative Durban to Johannesburg, and also on the main route from Johannesburg via Newcastle to the North Coast and Zululand. Travellers from down south can use it to make their way to the Kruger National Park. 

Warden is a town situated on the N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban. The town has one of the largest Dutch Reformed Churches in South Africa, with seating for 1 750 people. 

Memel is a Russian word meaning ‘surrounded by water’ and is named after a small town in east Prussia. This pristine country village is situated in the north-eastern corner of the Free State close to the Drakensberg escarpment, 240km from Johannesburg and 300km from Pietermaritzburg. The village of Memel is the central hub of the local farming community but is fast becoming one of South Africa’s most sought-after birding spots. Also, the well-known Amajuba Mountain is only 40km from Memel.

Area: 8 197km²

Cities/Towns: Memel, Vrede, Warden

Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture, tourism