PIGG’S PEAK TOWN AT A GLANCE

Pigg’s Peak is a developing town, located in the north-west of Swaziland, approximately 70 kilometers north-east of the capital city of Mbabane. The town is also located 40 kilometers from Matsamo boarder (the gateway to Mpumalanga Province in South Africa), with aerial extent of 856.6 hectares, 287 of which is afforested by Peak Timbers.  

The urban area is divided into more than 1400 plots, zoned into various land use zones, which include the following; residential, commercial, public facilities, industrial and public open spaces. The net worth of the town calculated in 2009, in terms of land is in the range of more than E280 million. Pigg’s Peak Town Council comprises of six departments namely; Administration / Human Resource, AMICAALL and Social Services, Finance, Environment and Public Health, Engineering and Internal Audit, with a total staff complement of forty-two (42) employees. 

The town was once an asbestos and gold mining center, as the nearby Forbes Reef “ghost town” reveals, with remains of an early gold-rush complete with workings, cemetery and hotel. Pigg’s Peak derived its name from a white settler, William Pigg who settled along the Lufafa mountains, with the view to exploit the gold deposits during the 1880’s. He settled approximately 15kilometres from the highest altitudinal point in Swaziland, namely the Bulembu mountain peak, which was then commonly referred to as Pigg’s Peak.

An activity node was established at the junction of the Bulembu-Pigg’s Peak corridor and Mbabane-Matsamo corridor, which gradually developed into a service center for the entire sub-region. Both Bulembu and Matsamo borders are prominent (or have the potential) to link with South Africa, although the Bulembu road from Pigg’s Peak is in need of upgrading in order to effectively provide such a link. Today the town is known for being the capital of the northern Hhohho region and service center to its hinterland. The town’s economy is mainly supported by the forestry (timber) industry and testament to this, two timber companies are operating, namely; Peak Timbers and Swaziland Plantations.   

SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS

The town of Pigg’s Peak has a population of about 4673 residents (2007, Swaziland National Population Census) and the visiting or day population is estimated at about 10 000 particularly during month ends (Pigg’s Peak Town Planning Scheme, 2009). The town’s population is predominately youthful, hence 56% of the population is under 18 years, whilst those above 60 years are only at 2%. Females form majority of the population at 52% whilst 48% are males.

ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS

The construction of the Maguga dam at the beginning of the century also changed the face of Pigg’s Peak, in the sense that the housing sector was hugely improved through the establishment of Glen Township. Both the retail and timber industries accounts for over ninety percent of the employment in Pigg’s Peak. Currently, business activities in the town range from small to medium –scale retail outlets, such as supermarkets, furniture shops, clothing outlets, etc.  In comparison to other towns within Swaziland, Pigg’s Peak appears to have a fairly broad economic base, including services such as financial services, retail and light industrial activity, which are not always present in other developing towns. Pigg’s Peak is also host to a number of government offices that provide public services.Pigg’s Peak relies heavily on timber plantation and processing. It is for this reason that two timber companies, namely Peak Timbers and Swaziland Plantations have vast expanses of afforested land within and around Pigg’s Peak. The economic versatility of the town is low, as such the site demarcated to be an industrial area lies idle. The economy is further supplemented by the commercial sector as well as the tourism sector. Although Pigg’s Peak itself does not have a strong tourism industry, many of its residents are employed within tourism activity taking place in the hinterland of the town, such Pigg’s Peak hotel, Maguga lodge and Phophonyane falls lodge.

Pigg’s Peak finds itself midway between various prominent tourism nodes/ attractions, such as Hawane, Malolotja Nature Reserve, Maguga dam, Matsamo Cultural Village, the world renowned Pigg’s Peak Hotel & Casino, and Phophonyane Falls Lodge, amongst others.

The town is also the first urban area to be encountered after the Matsamo border post when entering Swaziland from Mpumalanga and thus many tourist buses pass through; therefore, there is a need for Pigg’s Peak to capitalize on the tourism industry presented by the sub-region and its unique dynamics. It is against this background that the local authority’s vision is “To be a vibrant economic hub transforming the northern Hhohho region into a preferred tourist destination”.