The Thaba Chweu Local Economy falls within the Ehlanzeni District and is the ninth largest contributing economy within the Mpumalanga Province, contributing only 9.8% to the District economy. Thaba Chweu contributes, on average, 3% to the Provincial economy. It is also only the fourth largest economy in the Ehlanzeni District. Future investment opportunities are informed by the assessment tabled below.
Thaba Chweu Local Economy recorded an average growth rate of 2.2% over the 10 year period up to 2010.
Current Status Analysis:
- The municipality experiencing low economic growth of 1.2%: 2015/20 – 2.7%:1996/2015 – contribute 3,1% to province economy
- The current unemployment rate is 20.3% (20.5% -2011)
- The slow growth is due to mining economy performance – retrenchments etc.
- Potential land for economic development under government ownership
- The pillars of the provincial economy include: Manufacturing, Mining and Quarrying, Finance and Business Services, Trade and General Government Services - contributing approximately 73.9% towards the provincial economy.
- The pillars of the Ehlanzeni District economy include: Manufacturing, Finance and Business Services, General Government Services, Trade, Transport and Communication services - contributing approximately 77.5% towards the district economy.
- The pillars of the Thaba Chweu Municipal economy include: Manufacturing, Mining and Quarrying, Finance and Business Services, Transport and Communication Services - contributing approximately 70.1% towards the provincial economy. The contribution of the manufacturing sector in Thaba Chweu is significant at 25.2%
Population and Households
- Population of 101 895 (Community Survey:2015) – 98 387:2011
- Total number of households is 37 210 (CS:2015) – 33 352(2011)
- The population growth estimated at low rate 0.8% per annum (2015), which is lower than the population growth of the Province
- Nevertheless the municipality experience economic in-migration due to job opportunities in mining and forestry sectors – which also attract illegal immigrants
The contribution of Thaba Chweu towards the district economy is 8.4% per annum (2012), which is lower than the economy contribution of 9.8% indicating a low absorption rate.
Formal versus Informal Employment Growth Trends (GVA), 2000 to 2010