Zululand is named after the inhabitants of the area, the Zulus. 'Zulu' means 'heaven' in the Zulu language. Zululand, part of the province of KwaZulu-Natal is peaceful, with green hills of rich soil, waving grasslands, abundant forests, and an unhurried lifestyle.
The major towns of Vryheid and Ulundi are well located in relation to the national road and rail networks. Route P700 between Ulundi and Richards Bay is a major development corridor that will facilitate eco-tourism, agricultural activities and business opportunities. Zululand borders on the landlocked kingdom of Swaziland, which is a trading partner with South Africa.
The coal-line corridor running from Richards Bay, through Ulundi, Vryheid and Paulpietersburg and on to the mining areas of Mpumalanga, is an important route in the national rail network.
Vryheid is an active role-player as Zululand's main commercial, industrial and business centre. Ulundi is ideally situated for office, industrial, commercial and tourism development. A plus point is that the town serves as a market for a million people in the region.
The municipality has revitalised the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport and daily flights between Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi are now scheduled.
Agriculture provides the economic base of the area and opportunities range from commercial sugar cane and wattle farming, to livestock farming and small scale agricultural production. Products farmed are maize, groundnuts, soya beans, sunflowers, and sorghum as well as sub-tropical fruit.
In many places, game farming is replacing beef and private game farms, hunting lodges and photographic safaris operate here. The traditional medicine market is huge in Zululand. Tons of wildlife products, mainly plants, bark and tubers are sold at the Mona traditional market, which is held the third week of every month outside Nongoma. The products are transported to markets in Durban, Johannesburg, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and Swaziland.
Manufacturing includes food and beverages, clothing and textiles, leather, paper and paper products, printing and publishing, metal products, machinery and equipment. The beneficiation of primary products offers many possibilities.
The legendary Valprè Spring Water farm is situated in an unpolluted area of Zululand. No pesticides or chemicals are allowed to be used on the farm and every precaution is taken to ensure that the natural water is untouched by man during the bottling process.
Nongoma is the Royal City of Zululand, which is the home of King Goodwill Zwelithini, the hereditary leader of the Zulu nation. Some of the royal palaces are among the main tourist attractions in the area.
Zululand boasts a wide range of markets, craft shops and galleries, where one can purchase the finest Zulu crafts. The KwaZulu Cultural Museum houses interesting displays relating to Zulu history and archaeology. The prestigious multi- edia centre at Mgungundlovu aims to preserve the culture and history of the Zulu people.
Early every September, thousands of people visit one of King Zwelithini's royal residences at Nongoma. Here young Zulu maidens take part in a colourful cultural festival, the Zulu Royal Reed Dance.
The mystical Valley of the Kings - eMakhosini - was the home of several Zulu clans and the birth place of Shaka. The valley is now part of the eMakhosini/Ophate Heritage Park, where the Spirit of eMakhosini memorial has been erected in honour of the Zulu Kings whose graves lie here. The site of the Battle of Blood River and various other battlefields on the Battlefields route are popular tourist attractions.
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the largest of KwaZulu-Natal's reserves, is famous for its rhino conservation programme and big five sightings. The Ithala Game Reserve offers an extraordinary experience of geological diversity as the rock formations found here date back 3 000 million years. The Pongola Game Reserve, the second oldest reserve in the world, is a co- operative conservation project between private landowners, tribal communities and government conservation services. Allied to this project, the "Space for Elephant" Foundation has been formed to realise the goal of a biosphere large enough to sustain 1000 elephants and allow the reestablishment of the ancient elephant migration routes. A number of smaller private reserves provide unforgettable bush experiences.
The Zululand Birding Route offers forest, grassland, wetland, bushveld, mountains, estuarine, coastline and open ocean habitats, making this southern Africa's most diverse area for birding. The Klipfontein Bird Sanctuary reed and rush-beds provides a safe refuge for a number of rare wild water birds.
Sport activities at Pongolapoort dam include tiger fishing and hot air ballooning. The waters below the Bivane dam are ideal for rafting and canoeing and make an exciting start to the annual Ithala canoe challenge. In contrast the invigorating and healing qualities of hot mineral waters are found both at the Natal Spa Hot Springs Resort and Conference Centre and the Thangami Spa.
The main focus of the Zululand District is to create job opportunities to attract industrial and commercial business to the district and to further exploit the vast majority of tourism and agricultural opportunities that exist further.
Location of Head Office: Ulundi is 127 km north-west of Richards Bay and 123 km south-east of Vryheid.
Municipal Area (km²): 15 307 km²
Population (estimated): ± 957 701
Local Municipalities: eDumbe, uPhongolo, AbaQulusi, Nongoma, and Ulundi
Service Delivery through Integrity
The ZDM Council adopted the following long-term development vision:"We, the people of Zululand are proud communities that are committed to the development of Zululand through hard work, integrity and a common purpose."
We stand for Excellence in Delivery to remain the best DM in the Province.