Ermelo was founded in 1880 by Dutch Reformed Church Reverend Frans Lion Cachet (1835�1899). Cachet had met and been influenced by Hermanus Willem Witteveen from Ermelo in the Netherlands as a young man, and named the settlement in honour of Witteveen.

Ermelo is the educational, industrial and commercial centre of the Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga Province. Ermelo is well known for its excellent farming potential, ranging from maize, cattle, potatoes, beans, wool, pigs, sunflower seeds, lucerne to sorghum) Lately Ermelo also became an important mining town,especially coal mining.

The town has always been an important stop over, as it was used as a stopover for oxwagon trains travelling between Lydenburg on the Mpumalanga Escarpment and Durban. Today the town is the crossroads of three national highways, N2, N11 and the N17, only Pretoria and Johannesburg are crossed by more.

Ermelo is the seat of the Msukaligwa Local Municipality and includes smaller towns like Breyten, Chrissiesmeer, Lothair and Davel. The area covers 6016 square kms and has a population of 149 377 comprising of 49 932 households.

The official unemployment rate is 26.8% and the youth (15-34 years) unemployment rate is 34.5%

Education (aged 20 +)

No Schooling 12.30%
Higher Education 9.60%
Matric 29.20%

Household Dynamics

Households 40932
Average Household Size 3.50
Female Headed Households 37.80%
Formal Dwellings 75.30%
Housing Owned 43.40%

Household services

Flush Toilet Connected To Sewerage 70.60%
Weekly Refuse Removal 65.50%
Piped Water Inside Dwelling 53.00%
Electricity For Lighting 74.70%

Source: Census 2011 Municipal Fact Sheet, published by Statistics South Africa.

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