Area: 9,786 square kilometres
Main towns: Grahamstown, Graaff-Reinet, Port Alfred, Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay
The Cacadu District, the largest of the Eastern Cape’s six districts, covers the rural western areas of the Eastern Cape. Cacadu is an isiXhosa term meaning "semi-arid and mountainous".
About 6% of the population of the Eastern Cape lives in the Cacadu district.
Black Africans are in the majority in Cacadu (53%), followed by coloureds, whites and Asians.
The economy is dependent on the agricultural sector which has a high prevalence of game farming and which is now seen as one of the district’s major industries.
The area is well known for its scenic beauty and the vast Tsitsikamma and Baviaans Parks lie in the extreme west of the district. The Baviaans Mega Reserve is the only world heritage site in the Eastern Cape.
The historic town of Graaff-Reinet is an important centre in the north of the district. Despite the arid interior, the Sundays and Fish River support extensive irrigated farming and are fed by water from the Orange River.
Grahamstown, in the east, is also known as the “City of Saints” because of its various churches. It is also home to Rhodes University and the National Arts Festival.
The performance of the Cacadu district has been satisfactory over the past decade or so, with an average annual growth rate from 2000 to 2010 of 3.6%. In 2010, the growth rate was 2.3%.
The tertiary sector is the municipality's largest contributor to its economy at 74.6%. This is followed by the secondary sector (19.2%) and the primary sector (6.2%).
Agriculture also plays an important role in the district's economy, and it has a strong and diversified agricultural sector. This is complemented by a strong food and beverages manufacturing sector that contributes 4.6% to the region's economy.
The district makes a 1.4% contribution to the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector of the South African economy, but its contribution to the Eastern Cape sector is more significant at 21.8%.
Manufacturing also plays an important role in the district economy.
The unemployment rate stood at 17% in 2010.
A detailed study on this district is available here (link to study).