The municipality is named after the Vaal River which is commonly known as Lekwa, the Sesotho name for Vaal River.
Lekwa Local Municipality is situated within Mpumalanga province, and is one of seven municipalities in the Gert Sibande District. Lekwa Local Municipality is a category B municipality as it shares municipal executive and legislative authority with a category C municipality which is the Gert Sibande district.
Lekwa Local Municipality was established on the 5th of December 2000 after the amalgamation of three former transitional local councils namely, Standerton, Sakhile and Morgenzon. It covers a total area of 4585km² and is rural in character. Lekwa Local municipality lies in the large open plains of the highveld region, which is characterised by tall grass, and it is transverse by the Vaal River, which flows in a western direction.
It is in the south west of the district, and serve as the immediate entrance to KwaZulu-Natal (Newcastle), Gauteng (Heidelberg), and Free State (Vrede). Lekwa Local Municipality is bounded by Govan Mbeki Local Municipality to the north, Pixley Ka Isaka Seme and Msukaligwa Local Municipalities to the east and Dipaleseng Local Municipality to the west. Standerton serves as the major urban node, whilst Morgenzon located 45km north east of Standerton, serves as a satellite node.