Malmesbury, economically significant.
Situated in the heart of the Swartland region, Malmesbury lies about 65km north of Cape Town CBD. The town is the largest in the Swartland, an area which takes its name from the indigenous plant known as Renosterbos (“rhino bush”), which turns black during the warm, dry summers. The Swartland is known for agriculture, especially grain, livestock farming and wine cultivation. Malmesbury fulfils an important urban niche in the region and the province. Its high development potential can be attributed to factors such as its relative accessibility from the N7 road/rail corridor, closeness to Cape Town and diversified economic base, which not only accommodates agriculture but also well-developed industrial and commercial sectors and supportive infrastructure. The widening of the N7 highway to a dual carriageway from Cape Town and ultimately through to Namibia, has placed the Swartland town of Malmesbury firmly on the map. It has shortened the trip from the Mother City by about a third, which considerably improves accessibility to and from the town, making it even more attractive to professional first-time and family buyers who can commute to places of work in Cape Town; this while enjoying living in a wholesome and secure, country environment. Large areas of agricultural land characterise the Swartland municipal area and it has the second biggest economy in the district, contributing R6.9 billion to the WCD economy. Over the last five years, the Swartland area experienced an average annual growth rate of 2.9%, which is in line with economic growth in the district and slightly higher than the provincial growth rate. The high property values in the Cape Town Metropole and the attraction of a local tranquil atmosphere are moving people to settle here and commute to Cape Town on a daily basis. Malmesbury is home to a number of large companies, as well as regional offices of provincial and national government departments.