Greater Kokstad is a local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. It is one of the family of four (4) local municipalities (i.e., Ubuhlebezwe, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Umzimkhulu) of the Harry Gwala District Municipality. The Municipality is bordered by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality, Umzimkhulu Municipality, uMuziwabantu Municipality, Umzimvubu Municipality and Matatiele Municipality to the north, east, southeast, south, and west, respectively. The municipality is also bordered by the Lesotho hinterland to the north-west. Kokstad is derived from Dutch, and it means ‘town of Kok’. It was named after Adam Kok III. The municipality is traversed by the National N2 Route connecting Durban to East London and the KwaZulu Natal Province to the Eastern Cape Province, as well as the R56 and R626.
The Greater Kokstad Municipality is a Category B municipality situated along the western border of the Harry Gwala District Municipality. The municipality covers an area of approximately 2 680 km². The Municipality consists of 10 wards and has 1 main town centre which is the town of Kokstad. In terms of section 18(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998), the MEC responsible for local government has determined that the municipal council consists of nineteen (19) councillors. No traditional leaders are recognised for Greater Kokstad Municipality and who are therefore allowed to participate in the proceedings of council in terms of Section 81(1) of the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998.
The Municipal Demarcation Board has delimited the municipality into ten (10) wards.
The Greater Kokstad Municipality is recognised as the lead economic node within the District of Harry Gwala. By virtue of its strategic location as the provincial gateway to the Eastern Cape, the town of Kokstad, which is the administrative, commercial, trade and financial services centre of the Greater Kokstad Municipality, has developed to become the main commercial services centre and principal economic hub of the Harry Gwala District.
The local economy of Greater Kokstad has benefited significantly through long-established trade and services networks with the neighbouring smaller “feeder” towns that rely upon the goods and services available at the town of Kokstad; such as Rietvlei, Harding, Underberg and Umzimkhulu in the province of KwaZulu Natal, and the surrounding towns of the Eastern Cape, such as Matatiele, Cedarville, Lusikisiki, Flagstaff, Mt Ayliff, Mt Frere, Ntabankulu and Matatiele; all of which have contributed immensely to the development of the Town of Kokstad.
The main economic sectors of the municipality include: - Agriculture (36%), trade (20%), community services (18%), finance (16%), transport (4%), manufacturing (3%), and electricity (2%).