Blue Crane Route Local Municipality

Blue Crane Route Local Municipality is named after the South African national bird, the Blue Crane. It spans an area of approximately 9,836 square kilometres with a population of nearly 40 000 people in the towns of Cookhouse, Pearston and Somerset East.

The area is characterized by a small population, low populations density, concentration of employment in agriculture, disinvestment in rural areas, the dominance of one urban centre in the region and the resultant disparity between rural and urban areas. In addition to this, the Blue Crane Route Local Municipality has a high prevalence of poverty and declining employment levels.

An analysis of the contribution of the various economic sectors to the Blue Crane economy may be summarised as follows:

  • The contribution of transport and communicationis the largest contributor to GGP;
  • The government sector (particularly health and education) contributes significantly to the GGP;
  • Finance, business services and the manufacturing sector also contributes significantly to the GGP;
  • The contribution of Agriculture has declined in recent years;
  • There has been a significant decline in the contribution of the wholesale and retail trade sector; and
  • The contribution of community services and construction to the GGP has increased over the years.

The construction industry has also experienced growth due to the initiation of new housing schemes. The manufacturing and government sectors have been consistent contributors to employment in the area. The highest levels of employment in the formal sector are in the agricultural sector and the community services sector. The agricultural sector employs the highest percentage of people therefore it plays a fairly big economic role.

Somerset East is the administrative centre of the Blue Crane Route Municipal Area and it is situated at the foot of the Boschberg Mountains. 

Tourism and farming are also major drivers of the local economy. It also encompasses part of the Addo Elephant National Park and other significant areas of nature conservation.

Tel: 042 243 1333