uMgungundlovu District Municipality will evolve into a viable and dynamic metropolitan area incorporating the Capital of KwaZulu-Natal with a vibrant economy, intergrated service delivery and improved quality of life for all its people.
UMGUNGUNDLOVU DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY
The name uMgungundlovu is a Zulu name meaning place of the elephant. The name was originally given to the military base of the legendary Zulu chief Dingane who was known as the elephant.
The uMgungundlovu Municipal District covers 8500 -square kilometers with the population of about one million live in dwellings ranging fromtraditional farmland communities, informal rural settlements to upmarket urban areas. The region has a rich and complex natural environment with numerous resources accounting for 13.5% of KwaZulu-Natal's Gross Geographical Product and 14.5% of the province's formal employment.
The efficient network of roads and railways link the rural areas with urban centres. A key feature is the N3 national road, which traverses the entire length of uMgungundlovu and offers substantial opportunity for a development corridor of national significance.
uMgungundlovu is close to King Shaka International Airport and is served by the regional Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg which has recently been upgraded. Fixed line operator Telkom's network is accessible throughout the region. Three cell-phone operators also cover the region, while access to e-mail and the internet connects all the district's local municipalities with the global marketplace.
An abundant system of six significant rivers and five major dams supply the urban centres and rural areas with water. uMgungundlovu has embarked on an aggressive rural water delivery programme that will improve both quality of life and development potential. Similarly, the electricity supply grid is being expanded.
The district consists of the following seven local municipalities.
MSUNDUZI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Situated in Msunduzi, Pietermaritzburg, is not only the district's primary urban centre and seat of the uMgungundlovu District Municipality's administration, but is the thriving, modern capital of KwaZulu-Natal.
Pietermaritzburg is a dynamic commercial and industrial centre. The area is ideally positioned as a base for manufacturing, particularly aluminium, chemicals, food, furniture, timber and leather products.
Many companies have established themselves in the vicinity, drawn by a quality of life not easily obtained in South Africa's larger cities.
Pietermaritzburg is a centre of academic excellence, which is spearheaded by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as consists of two technikons, four technical colleges and six other tertiary institutions.
The city is a tourism gateway to the many attractions of the surrounding areas. It is an events city, hosting international sporting highlights such as the Comrades Marathon and the Duzi Canoe Marathon. Other attractions include both the annual Art and Cars in the Park and the Royal Agricultural Show, which is without parallel on Africa's east coast.
Cattle farming; courtesy of Graham Williams (MediaClubSouthAfrica.com)
UMSHWATHI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
uMshwathi Municipality, based in Wartburg, is the largest of the seven local municipalities. Good rainfall, fertile soils and a temperate climate results in the area contributing 40%of the total sugar cane and maize production of the district. The Albert Falls Dam is renowned for its bass fishing, and offers investment opportunities in tourism, leisure and agriculture. Nagle Dam is an idyllic venue for canoeing, fishing and game-viewing.
There is one sugar mill in the region, nurseries supporting the timber industry and supplying seedlings to market gardeners and two timber processing plants.
The development of the Ntingwe Tea Estate (rated as one of the five best teas in the world) has unlocked the potential of the region, and started a development process, which will continue to gain momentum as the expansion of the estate continues.
UMNGENI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
With its municipal seat at Howick, uMngeni Municipality features an impressive mix of manufacturing enterprises and leisure facilities. Major tourism attractions are Howick Falls, Karkloof Falls and Midmar Dam, which hosts the annual Midmar Mile- the world's largest open water swim. The area encompasses much of the Midlands Meander, a self drive route of artists' havens, cottage industries, antiques and eateries. In addition, the area accommodates the Cedara Agricultural College, and lends itself to beef and dairy farming, timber production and the cultivation of vegetables.
MOOI-MPOFANA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
The administrative centre of Mooi River in Mpofana Municipality has a focus on the manufacture of quality fabrics by small, medium and micro enterprises. Due to the low population to area ratio, the viability of agricultural crops such as maize, wheat, beans, peas and potatoes is high. Cattle and sheep are farmed extensively, and the area boasts some of South Africa's best racehorse stud farms.
IMPENDLE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
In Impendle, the World Heritage Site of the Drakensberg-Ukhahlamba Mountain Park accentuates the immense potential in the area for tourism, community based craft endeavours and micro enterprises. An abundance of water allows for a mixed agricultural economy, while the cold winters in the region indicate opportunities for a deciduous fruit industry.
MKHAMBATHINI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Mkhambathini, centred in Camperdown, features the second highest concentration of poultry producers in the world, supported by a network of service suppliers, as well as pig and beef farming. Agricultural production includes vegetables, maize and sugar cane.
RICHMOND LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
The Richmond District is synonymous with timber and the manufacture of wood products but also include dairy, citrus, vegetable and sugar cane production. Tea is cultivated at the Sapekoe Estate and coffee at Shongweni and Assagay. The historic court building and prison in Richmond is a popular visitor attraction, while adventure tourists are drawn to the Umkomaas River, regarded as one of the two best white water venues in Africa.
Municipal Demarcation Board Code: DC22 Municipal Area (km): 8 941.72 km Population (estimated): Total 872 717 Local Municipalities: Msunduzi; Impendle; Mkhambathini; Mpofana; Richmond; uMngeni; uMshwathi.
The uMgungundlovu District Municipality will through sound governance and community participation ensure the provision of equitable and sustainable services and economic growth.
uMgungundlovu District Municipality will evolve into a viable and dynamicmetropolitan area incorporating the Capital of KwaZulu-Natal with a vibrant economy, integrated service delivery and improved quality of life for all its people.
MEMBER OF COUNCIL His Worship the Mayor: Cllr Yusuf Bhamjee
CHIEF ACCOUNTING OFFICER Municipal Manager: Sibusiso Khuzwayo