eMnambithi- Ladysmith forms part of the UthukelaDistrictMunicipality, with Ladysmith, Ezakheni, Steadville and Colenso/ Nkanyezi as the main urban areas. Ladysmith is the primary urban area, located along the N11 National Route, 20 kilometres off the National N3 route. Ladysmith is 370 kilometres from Johannesburg and 250 kilometres from Durban. The priority development key issues for eMnambithi/ Ladysmith are: physical infrastructure and services; social development and services; economic development; land reform, environment and land use management; institutional development; financial development, and democracy and governance.Urban areas have far more services than rural ones but a much lower population, indicating a clear imbalance in provision. The Driefontein Complex has been identified as an area for priority spending. It has the highest population concentration but the lowest service standards. Economy
A thriving, friendly town on the banks of the KlipRiver, Ladysmith is the commercial centre for a large farming district and serves as a major shopping centre for towns such as Colenso, Glencoe, Bergville and Dundee. As Ladysmith is the economic hub of the municipality the banking sector is strong. Ladysmith boasts a strong and diverse manufacturing base offering several industrial areas, the largest being the Ithala Industrial Estate a short distance from the CBD.In line with several other projects initiated to strengthen the Province’s food processing activity, the setting up of a Pecan Nut Estate and Processing Facility in Ladysmith is underway.
The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Provincial Growth and Development Strategy and the National Spatial Development Framework state that one of the primary development corridors run through the uThukela Regional Council (RC) area from Pietermaritzburg to Harrismith, with a branch off to Ladysmith and Newcastle. Regional roads link Bergville District and the Bergville Transitional Local Council (TLC) to this corridor at Ladysmith. Ladysmith is thus centrally located with respect to the important development corridor and transport routes in the region. Consequently, freight and logistics are a growing sector. It is generally accepted that the corridor will increase economic opportunities in and around Ladysmith leading to growth of the town and increasing migration and commuting.
The municipal area is generally characterized by good potential agricultural land that needs to be preserved and used solely for food production purposes. Mixed agriculture is practiced in the area i.e. Cattle, maize and vegetables.
There is considerable potential for tourism and potential for this sector to become a leading economic activity. Ladysmith, Ezakheni and Colenso are on main access routes. The primary attractions that currently draw tourists to the region, or to pass it by, are the Battlefields, Drakensberg and flow through tourists travelling to the coast (or interior). There are areas of historical importance such as Platrand and Lombardskop and potential in high quality recreation areas like Qedusizi and Windsor dams.
Tourist attractions include:
Battle sites on the town’s outskirts and at Colenso, Vaalkrans, TugelaHeights, Spioenkop, Elandslaagte.
Site of the Battle of Platrand/Wagon Hill.
Walkabout tours introduce visitors to the town’s historic attractions.
All Saints Church: built in 1902, this little architectural gem, built of cut flagstone from quarries on town land, is renowned for its beautiful tablets in the transept, bearing the names of more than 3 000 British soldiers who gave their lives in either the Siege or Relief of Ladysmith.
Emnambithi/Ladysmith Cultural Centre: at 25 Keate Street, the centre houses the Ladysmith Black Mambazo Hall, with a stunning display on this world-renowned group. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is South Africa's foremost proponent of the Iscathamiya style of singing, and has grown to be one of the country's premier cultural exports. Formed by leader Joseph Shabalala, Ladysmith Black Mambazo made their first recording in the early 1970's, and had recorded over forty albums by the turn of the millennium.
Dominating Ladysmith is the ‘small mountain’, Umbulwane, from whose summit Boer forces could see almost all that was happening in the town.
There are self-guided trails to the mountain, which also has San historical significance, and to the township at its base, where traditional Zulu beer may be sampled.
Spioenkop Dam and Nature Reserve Ladysmith is also famous for the architecture of its electricity substations.
Museums and ArtGalleries
Town Hall and Town Hall Museum: the history of the town, since it was originally built in 1893, is depicted
MothMuseum: relics and memorabilia, uniforms, medals, flags and weaponry from various wars
SiegeMuseum (Murchison Street, next to Town Hall)
Vision “By 2021, Emnambithi/ Ladysmith will be KZN’s vibrant, industrial, commercial trade and tourism inter-link, where all residents enjoy a prosperous, caring, safe, and secure environment which promotes cultural diversity”.
Mayor, Cllr MV Madlala
Municipal Demarcation Board Code: KZ232
Location of Head Office: Ladysmith is 74 km north of Estcourt and 98 km south-east of Harrismith