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Vision Statement
‘An integrated, dynamic Vaal regional economy through collective action inspired by a common goal’

What is ‘Vaal 21’?
The ‘Vaal 21’ initiative is a cross-border agreement between the municipalities on the southern Gauteng municipalities (Sedibeng) and the northern Free State municipalities (Fezile Dabi) to work together to develop a regional economy around both banks of the Vaal River. The former ‘Vaal Trinagle’ was an example of a regional economy around the Vaal River. This initiative brings together the existing industries and natural resources that exists in this regional economy.
Other spheres of government and the private sector will be called upon to endorse the initiative and be partners in the flagship projects.

Participating Municipalities
The following local and district municipalities of the Fezile Dabi and Sedibeng Districts are driving this initiative:

  • Sedibeng District and Lesedi, Emfuleni and Midvaal Local Municipalities;
  • Fezile Dabi District and Metsimahole, Ngwathe, Mafube and Moqhaka Local Municipalities.

Operating Principles
The Vaal 21 municipalities have committed themselves to collectively grow and stimulate the Vaal region economy…

  1. By creating an enabling environment and infrastructure;
  2. Through short-term and long-term catalytic projects which could be new or existing implemented by individuals or collectively;
  3. By maximising the potential of our heritage, the river and the dam, to ensure public access and usage of the river system (both waterways and banks);
  4. Through ensuring clean air and water and safeguarding our biodiversity;
  5. By aligning to the Growth and Development Strategies  and other government priorities;
  6. By incorporating the projects in the Integrated Development Plans;
  7. Through promoting good governance and accountability;
  8. By healthy collaboration between municipalities;
  9. By creating and strengthening partnerships with all stakeholders and promoting community participation ; and
  10. By respecting the mandate of the collective and legal and constitutional imperatives.

The Vaal River & Vaal 21 Region
The Vaal 21 initiative will embrace the following development or potential development nodes along or adjoining the Vaal River and its key tributaries:

  • Heidelberg and Ratanda;
  • Meyerton and Vaal Marina;
  • Sharpeville; Boipatong and Vereeniging;
  • Sebokeng; Vanderbijlpark and Bophelong;
  • Deneysville and Orangeville;
  • Parys and Tumahole;
  • Vredefort
  • Sasolburg  and Zamdela;
  • Kroonstad
  • Villiers and Frankfort

This is an area with a rich history including in respect of:

  • Pre-history where the Vredefort Dome is the largest meteorite site in the world.
  • Iron age where we still have the Redan rock art and various San paintings in the area.
  • Modern history where this area was a major site of the Anglo Boer War as well as where the peace treaty was signed; and
  • The liberation struggle since the area was the site of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 and Boipatong massacre in 1992 as well as Vaal uprisings in 1984.

Economically, it is the 5th largest contributor to the national GVA. Industrial growth is concentrated around electricity, coal, steel and petro-chemicals. Agriculture is a significant economic sector while tourism and the diamond industry is growing

Significant rail, road and pipeline corridors run through the area connecting it with the rest of South Africa and the continent.

Flagship Projects
The Vaal 21 initiative will be driven through a series of flagship projects which individually and collectively aim to:

  • Enable development e.g. a new regional sewer works, an air quality management plan and enabling upstream and downstream manufacturing the mineral and energy sector.
  • Accelerate growth e.g. new Heineken brewery, Upgrading the R57, upgrading the airfields in Parys and Kroonstad.
  • Promote urban renewal e.g. Sharpeville Precincts, Evaton Renewal, township upgrading and beautification in areas such as Zamdela and others.
  • Promote tourism and leisure e.g. Development of an urban waterfront ( Vereeniging & Sasolburg), Vaal Dam and Vredefort Dome developments.

Some of the flagship projects are already being undertaken, others are in planning and some are proposed.  Some are the responsibility of local government, others of partnership between different spheres of government and others are private sector projects. The list is not cast in stone, but can be added on from time to time.

The unifying identity and brand of the Vaal 21 has three components.

Firstly a name.   The name Vaal 21 is proposed because the word “Vaal'' represents the:

  • potential of the Vaal River;
  • rich political history of the area; and
  • most well known name for our area.

The number '21' represents: 

  • Part of 2021 which can be a significant milestone from now to 2021;
  • The 21st century, which is a century of doing things differently; and
  • The 21st March 1960 which was the date of the Sharpeville Massacre.

Secondly, a slogan or brand statement. The brand statement “Vaal 21: A River City' was chosen because is reflects what we would like to see in 2021.

Thirdly, a catchy logo or brand. The logo and branding on this site is the adopted brand for Vaal21.The private sector is encouraged to use this brand.

Contact Details
At Sedibeng District Muncipality:
Mr. Thomas Mkaza
Tel: 016 450 3153

At Fezile Dabi District Municipality:
Mr. Kennedy Mahlatsi
Tel: 016 970 8808
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Government Department:
Gauteng Provincial Government
National Government
Gauteng Tourism Authority

Useful information

Tel: 016 450 3000
Fax: 016 455 2573

Postal Address:
PO Box 471
Vereeniging 1930

Working Hours:
Mondays to Fridays
07h45 to 16h15

Emergency: 10177

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Accommodation in Sedibeng
Local Municipalities
  Emfuleni Local Municipality EMFULENI
Local Municipality
016 950 5000
  lesedi LESEDI
Local Municipality
016 492 0049
  midvaal MIDVAAL
Local Municipality
016 360 7400

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