Lesedi Local Municipality is a local municipality situated in the Sedibeng District Municipality of Gauteng, South Africa. Heidelberg is the seat of the municipality and during the first war of independence, Heidelberg served as capital of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, from 1880 to 1883. Lesedi Local Municipality can be described as a primarily rural area, the major urban concentration located in Heidelberg/Ratanda, which is situated along the N3 freeway at its intersection with Provincial Route R42, east of the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. Devon/Impumelelo, which is situated on the eastern edge of the Municipal area, abutting the N17 freeway on the north is a significant rural settlement, while Vischkuil/ Endicott east of Springs abutting Provincial Route R29 is a smaller rural centre. Lesedi spans an area of ±1430km², which is largely rural, with two towns situated with within it, namely Heidelberg/Ratanda in the western part, and Devon Impumelelo on its eastern edge. The area can be described as mostly agricultural, with Heidelberg and Devon being the primary service centers for the surrounding agricultural areas. As far as its sub-regional context is concerned, Lesedi is situated approximately 56km southeast of Johannesburg and is traversed by two national roads, namely the N17 and the N3, which create future economic development potential. According to Census (2011), the current population of Lesedi is estimated at 99 520, which reflects a population increase of about 27 652 since 2001. The racial composition of Lesedi geographically indicates that most of the African population is concentrated in areas such as Impumelelo and Ratanda. This illustrates the entrenched racial divisions within the municipality. These tend also to reflect the socioeconomic geography of the municipality and the pattern of access to services. The largest population group is Blacks. This group makes up 77.29% of the municipality’s population. The second largest population group is Whites which accounts for 19.66% of the population while the Asian and Coloured population groups account for 1% each of the total population.
Decades of distorted development in the area has manifested in highly skewed distribution of income and wealth. The unemployment rate among the economically active sector of the community is approximately 25,9% and this is according to the Census 2011. This shows an improvement of about 10% as compared to 2001 unemployment statistical reports. The Gross Geographic Product (GGP) of Lesedi Local Municipality is largely dependent on manufacturing (38.8%), community services (29.4%) and financial services (18.6%), and collectively these three sectors constitute 86.8% of GGP of Lesedi Local Municipality.
- British American Tobacco (BAT), is the largest cigarette manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere, occupying 35ha, with 125 000m under cover.
- Eskort Beacon, a large pork abattoir and distributor of fresh pork countrywide.
- Karan Beef, is the largest feedlot in the Southern Hemisphere, holding some 100 000 heads of beef.
- PK Farming and Manjoh Ranch are second largest feedlots supplying beef to the country.
- Van Driel’s Steel Construction, are structural engineers and fabricators with undertaking countrywide. The Company occupies approximately 3000 m2.
- Global Wheels, Manufacturers of heavy duty steel wheels for agricultural, commercial, mining, and military and off road industries. Exports bulk of production.
- Highveld Tissue Converters.
- Coca Cola Valpre Plant
- Transnet Bulk Liquid Terminal