THE HEART OF THE ZULU KINGDOM
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 both 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 kingdom of Swaziland, which is land locked and 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, with a well developed physical, social and institutional infrastructure. Ulundi is ideally situated for office, industrial, commercial and tourism development. A plus point is that it serves as a market for amillion people in the region.
Ulundi's advantages are:
A large and stable labour force
Steady political environment
Low crime rate
Competitive land prices and service charges
Accessibility to export markets via Richards Bay
Accessibility to the rest of South Africa
Good local infrastructure
Excellent educational facilities
Recreation and sports amenities
Good hotels and conference areas
The municipality has embarked on a strategy to revitalise the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport and re-introduce regular scheduled flights between Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi and between Ulundi and Gauteng.
Agriculture provides the economic base of the area and agricultural 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 sorghumas 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. Tonnes 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.
The Department of Land Affairs has introduced the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development Programme. Some labour tenants could be assisted through this programme to develop into medium scale farmers.
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 Valpre 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.
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/OphateHeritage Park,where the Spirit of eMakhosini memorial has been erected in honour of the Zulu Kings whose graves lie here. One may continue to recapture the atmosphere of the past by visiting the site of the Battle of Blood River and various other battlefields on the Battlefields route.
The prestigious multi-media centre atMgungundlovu, is a joint public private sector project that aims to preserve the culture and history of the Zulu people.
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the largest of KwaZulu-Natal's reserves, is famous for its rhino conservation programme and big five sightings. The popular 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 is a perfect example of what can be done when treated sewage water is channelled and dammed into degraded grassland. The resulting reed and rush-bed provides a safe refuge for a number of rare wild water birds.
Sport activities at Pongolapoort dam include tiger fishing and hot air ballooning. Zululand is also the venue for motor rallies and an annual running marathon. 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.
Her Worship the Mayor:
Mr. J.H. de Klerk
Municipal Demarcation Board Code: DC26 Location of Head Office: Ulundi is 127 km north-west of Richards Bay and 123 kmsouth-east of Vryheid. Municipal Area (kms): 15 307 kms Population (estimated): 957 701 Local Municipalities: eDumbe, uPhongolo, AbaQulusi, Nongoma, and Ulundi
We, the people of Zululand are proud communities that are committed to the development of Zululand through
hardwork, integrity and a common purpose.We stand for Excellence in Delivery to remain the best DM in the Province.
MEMBERS OF COUNCIL Her Worship the Mayor: Cllr V.Z. KaMagwaza-Msibi