The uMgungundlovu Municipal District covers 8500 square kilometres with a population of about one million living in dwellings ranging from traditional farmland communities and informal rural settlements to upmarket urban areas. The region has a rich and complex natural environment and produces 13.5% of KwaZulu-Natal's Gross Geographical Product and 14.5% of the province's formal employment.
Opportunities For Potential Investors
uMgungundlovu District Municipality recognises the importance of investment to achieve their vision and the environment of proven financial and political stability and success will contribute to the development of investment. The municipality has achieved five unqualified audits in a row and has been recognised for excellent service delivery, having received the Award for the Best District/Metro Municipality in the province.
Following a successful Growth and Development Summit hosted in March 2013, the municipality is currently developing a District Growth and Development Plan, in line with the national and provincial development plans.
In partnership with local municipalities and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the municipality is also engaging with business formations and potential investors on future growth, considering investment incentives such as bulk tariffs, packaging of industrial estates and the establishment of special economic zones for specific sectors in which the municipality enjoys competitive advantages.
An efficient network of roads and railways links the rural areas with urban centres with the N3 national road offering substantial opportunity for development. First world telecommunications and internet access and the regional Oribi Airport in Pietermaritzburg and King Shaka International Airport only 45 minutes away, connect the district globally.
An abundant system of six rivers and five major dams supply the uMgungundlovu with water. The district municipality has embarked on an aggressive rural water delivery expansion programme and an electricity supply grid expansion programme that will improve both quality of life and development potential of the area.
The district consists of the following seven local municipalities.
Msunduzi Local Municipality
Centred on the city of Pietermaritzburg, the provincial capital and seat of uMgungundlovu District Municipality, the city is serviced by sophisticated infrastructure road, rail and air networks and first world communications while the beauty of the area is reflected in the charming Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
The area is ideally positioned for manufacturing, particularly aluminium, timber and leather products and is acknowledged as a centre of academic excellence, including the University of KwaZulu-Natal and several of South Africa's top government and private schools.
Msunduzi is also host to international sporting highlights such as the Comrades Marathon, Midmar Mile and Duzi Canoe Marathon and visitor attractions include the Royal Agricultural Show.
Umshwathi Local Municipality
Based in Wartburg/New Hanover, the uMshwathi Municipality is the largest of the seven municipalities, comprising almost 2 000 square kilometres. The area has a strong Germanic influence and good rainfall, fertile soils and a temperate climate results in the area contributing 40% of the total sugar cane and maize production of uMgungundlovu District Municipality.
The Albert Falls and Nagle Dams offer tourism and agriculture opportunities, with leisure activities including bass fishing, canoeing, kayaking and rowing an attraction for locals and visitors.
There are two sugar mills in the region, a cluster of nurseries servicing the timber industry and supplying seedlings to market gardeners, two timber processing plants and tea cultivation in the north at Ntingwe.
Umngeni Local Municipality
With its municipal seat at Howick, uMngeni Municipality presents a mix of manufacturing enterprises, leisure facilities and a burgeoning agricultural sector, and offers a superlative lifestyle, including two country golf courses.
Howick Falls, Karkloof Falls and Midmar Dam (a well-developed resort incorporating a game reserve) are all tourism attractions, and the Midlands Meander is arguably the most successful tourism initiative in South Africa. The area boasts the Cedara Agricultural College, and lends itself to beef and dairy farming, timber production and the cultivation of vegetables.
Mpofana Local Municipality
Set against the majestic Drakensberg mountains, the administrative centre is the bustling town of Mooi River, which takes its name from the Mooirivier (pretty river) and Little Mooi tributary.
Once the base of a vibrant textile industry, the future focus is on the manufacture of quality fabrics by small, medium and micro enterprises. The population/area ratio is the lowest in uMgungundlovu District Municipality, emphasising the viability of agricultural crops such as maize, wheat, beans, peas and potatoes. Cattle and sheep are farmed extensively, and the area boasts some of South Africa's best racehorse stud farms.
Impendle Local Municipality
The imposing Impendle Mountain overlooks a large stretch of this area, which borders on the majestic Drakensberg mountain range. The recently proclaimed World Heritage Site of the spectacular Drakensberg-Ukhahlamba Mountain Park highlights the potential for ecologically sustainable tourism enterprises, particularly those focused on indigenous rock art, prolific bird life and fly-fishing.
There is minimal manufacturing activity, and community based craft endeavours and emerging micro enterprises point to the future. 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
Based in Camperdown, the Mkhambathini and in the south-east of uMgungundlovu District Municipality is only 30 minutes from Durban's international airport and Africa's busiest harbour.
Agricultural production centres on vegetables, maize and sugar cane, and the area features the second highest concentration of poultry producers in the world, as well as pig and beef farming.
Tourism is centred on African experiences, with attractions such as the Tala Game Reserve, Nagle Dam and Umgeni Valley.
Richmond Local Municipality
Named after the largest town in the area, Richmond Local Municipality is synonymous with timber and of wood products. Investment opportunities for manufacturing are linked to timber and agricultural opportunities centred on dairy, citrus, vegetable, tea and coffee and sugar-cane production.
The historic court building and prison in Richmond are popular visitor attractions, 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 (km2): 8 941.72 km2
Population (estimated): Total ± 989 837
Local Municipalities: Msunduzi; Impendle; Mkhambathini; Mpofana; Richmond;
uMgungundlovu means "place of the elephant", a name originally given to the
military base of the legendary Zulu chief Dingane, who was known as the elephant.
uMgungundlovu District Municipality will evolve into a dynamic metropolitan municipality, spreading its vibrant
economic benefits to all its citizens and places and will, through concerted integrated development and service
delivery, realise improvements in the overall quality of life.
The uMgungundlovu District Municipality will through sound governance and community participation ensure
the provision of equitable and sustainable services and economic growth
His Worship the Mayor: Cllr Yusuf Bhamjee
Municipal Manager: Sibusiso Khuzwayo