Amajuba District Municipality (Newcastle)
Amajuba District Municipality is located in the north-western corner of KwaZulu-Natal and comprises three local municipalities: Newcastle, eMadlangeni and Dannhauser. The main transportation routes linking the district to its surrounds are the N11, which is the alternative route to Johannesburg from Durban, and the rail line, which is the main line from the Durban harbour to Gauteng. The R34 also bisects the district in an east-west direction and provides a linkage from the port city of Richards Bay to the interior.
- Cities/Towns: Charlestown, Dannhauser, Hattingspruit, Newcastle, Utrecht
- Main Economic Sectors: Manufacturing (35%), community services (22.2%), financial and business services (15.2%), trade (8.6%)
Harry Gwala District Municipality (Ixopo)
Harry Gwala District Municipality (previously Sisonke District Municipality) is situated south of KwaZulu-Natal and comprises five local municipalities: Ingwe, Kwa Sani, uMzimkhulu, Greater Kokstad and Ubuhlebezwe, and the District Management Area. The seat of Harry Gwala is Ixopo. The municipality is surrounded by uMgungundlovu to the north-east, Ugu to the south-east, OR Tambo to the south, Alfred Nzo to the south-west, the Kingdom of Lesotho to the north-west and uThukela to the north. It is also bordered by the Drakensberg Mountains, which form a 200km-long World Heritage Site. Economically, the most prominent employment sectors are agriculture, construction and small-scale manufacturing. The district is known for its progressive farming methods. The unspoilt natural environment has high ecotourism and adventure-tourism potential. Harry Gwala has an abundance of high quality soils, high altitude, abundant water, and climatic extremes, which makes the area suitable for dairy farming. A significant portion of dairy consumed in KZN is produced within the district.
- Cities/Towns: Creighton, Himeville, Ixopo, Kokstad, Underberg, uMzimkhulu
- Main Economic Sectors: Community services and agriculture (60%)
ILembe District Municipality (Ballito)
ILembe District Municipality is situated on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal and is the smallest of the province’s district municipalities. The majority of the rural inland areas are tribal authority areas, characterised by subsistence farming. ILembe consists of four local municipalities located between Durban and Richards Bay: Mandeni, KwaDukuza, Maphumulo and Ndwedwe. The town straddles the Tugela River, the traditional border between former Colonial Natal and the Kingdom of Zululand, the site of historical and cultural events. The seat of iLembe is KwaDukuza (previously Stanger). At the border of the district is the Unicity of Durban in the immediate south, which is linked by the coastal highway to Richards Bay in the north, giving it access to both harbours for trade purposes. It is also a leading location for the tourism industry because of its rich Zulu Kingdom heritage, as it was named in recognition of King Shaka.
- Cities/Towns: Dolphin Coast/Ballito, Isithebe, KwaDukuza, Mandeni, Ndwedwe, Nkwazi/Zinkwazi Beach
- Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture
UGu District Municipality (Port Shepstone)
UGu District Municipality has become a destination of note for tourists through its warm ambiance and the expansion of its economy and infrastructure. The UGu District lies south of Durban, surrounded by a coastline of 112km. The district is made up of six local municipalities: Vulamehlo, Umdoni, uMzumbe, Hibiscus Coast, Ezinqoleni and Umuziwabantu, all of which have played a critical role in the cultivation of the district’s economy. The improvement of its infrastructure, education, health and recreational facilities contributes immensely to its adventurous lifestyle. The nurturing of the local economy highly features tourism and agriculture, and includes the district’s very own UGu Jazz Festival. It also includes other renowned annual activities, such as the Africa Bike Week, which have gained momentum worldwide. The Hibiscus Coast Municipality is the ultimate economy booster due to its location. Commercial agriculture in the district produces one-fifth of all bananas consumed in South Africa, with numerous companies successfully exporting these and other products to some of the most exclusive packers in the United Kingdom. The Ugu District also prides itself as one of the leading district municipalities in the KwaZulu-Natal province for winning two major technical excellence awards. The municipality won the 2011 South African Institute of Civil Engineers Pietermaritzburg Branch Award for Technical Excellence in the design and construction of the uMzimkhulu Off-Channel Storage Dam, and came third as the Provincial Best Performer in KwaZulu-Natal in terms of Blue Drop municipal scores, thereby earning four Blue Drop Excellence Awards for the municipality’s Water Treatment Works. The district and its communities are the proud owners of Blue Flag Status beaches, which have marked tourism as a major economic cultivator.
- Cities/Towns: Harding, Hibberdene, Margate, Pennington, Port Edward, Port Shepstone, Scottburgh/Umzinto North, Southbroom
- Main Economic Sectors: Manufacturing (19%), finance, insurance, real estate and business services (17%), wholesale and retail trade, catering and accomodation (17%), transport, storage and communication (11%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (8%), community, social and personal services (7%), construction (4%)
UMgungundlovu District Municipality (Pietermaritzburg)
UMgungundlovu District Municipality is located in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The district is comprised of the following seven local municipalities that are based in the accompanying towns: Impendle – Impendle, Mkhambathini – Camperdown, Mpofana – Mooi River, Msunduzi – Pietermaritzburg, Richmond – Richmond, uMngeni – Howick, and uMshwathi – New Hanover/Wartburg. The main city of the area is Pietermaritzburg, which is both the capital city and the legislative capital of KwaZulu-Natal. UMgungundlovu is a water services authority and also a water service provider that continually strives to maintain its Blue Drop and Green Drop Status. The district offers distinguished education facilities and is a retirement mecca for senior citizens. It also offers excellent sporting, commercial and health facilities. It is an important industrial, timber, dairy and agricultural hub that has a modern, sophisticated infrastructure with easy access to airports, the N3 arterial, and railway stations.
- Cities/Towns: Ashburton, Camperdown, Cool Air, Dalton, Hilton, Howick, Impendle, Mooi River, New Hanover, Pietermaritzburg, Richmond, Wartburg
- Main Economic Sectors:Community services (25-30%), finance (15-20%), manufacturing (10-15%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (10-15%), wholesale and retail trade (10-15%), transport and storage (10%)
UMkhanyakude District Municipality (Josini)
UMkhanyakude District Municipality is a Category C municipality located in the far north of the KwaZulu-Natal province. It is the second-largest district in KwaZulu-Natal. It shares its borders with Swaziland and Mozambique, as well as with the districts of Zululand and uThungulu. The Isimangaliso Wetland Park, formerly Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, encompasses the entire coastline. It consists of the following local municipalities: uMhlabuyalingana, Jozini, The Big Five False Bay, Hlabisa and Mtubatuba. ‘UMkhanyakude’ refers to the Acacia Xanthophloea fever tree and means ‘that shows light from afar’. The name reflects both the uniqueness of its people and their hospitality, as well as the biodiversity and conservation history that the region is very proud of.
- Cities/Towns: Hlabisa, Hluhluwe, Ingwavuma, Jozini, Mbazwana, Mkuze, Mtubatuba, St Lucia.
- Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture (32%), trade (23%)
UMzinyathi District Municipality (Dundee)
UMzinyathi District Municipality is located in the north central areas of the KwaZulu-Natal province. The municipality is bordered in the north by Amajuba Municipality, in the west by uThukela Municipality, in the south-west by uMgungundlovu Municipality, in the south-east by iLembe Municipality, and in the east by uThungulu Municipality. The district consists of four local municipalities: Endumeni, Nquthu, Msinga and Umvoti. The district lies between the main N3 Corridor between Durban and Gauteng and the Coastal Corridor, running along the east coast. The seat of uMzinyathi is Dundee. The more developed urban areas include Dundee and Greytown, which can be viewed as a strong regional centre with substantial commercial and agricultural activity.
- Cities/Towns: Dundee, Glencoe, Greytown, Kranskop, Nquthu, Pomeroy
- Main Economic Sectors: Community, social and personal services (27.4%), agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing (22.6%), wholesale and retail trade (15.9%), manufacturing (14.8%), financial, insurance, real estate and business services (7.3%), electricity, construction (6.3%), transport, storage and communication (3.5%)
UThukela District Municipality (Ladysmith)
UThukela District Municipality is a Category C municipality and is located on the western boundary of the KwaZulu-Natal province. It derives its name from one of the major rivers in KwaZulu-Natal, the UThukela River, which rises from the Drakensberg Mountains and supplies water to a large portion of KZN, as well as Gauteng. The district is bordered by three other district municipalities: Amajuba, uMzinyathi and uMgungundlovu. It consists of five local municipalities: Indaka, Emnambithi/Ladysmith, uMtshezi, Okhahlamba and Imbabazane, and a District Management Area. It is predominately rural, with three of the five local municipalities being rural-based. This municipality is characterised by socio-economic indicators such as low revenue base, poor infrastructure, limited access to services, and low economic base.
- Cities/Towns: Bergville, Cathkin Park, Colenso, Estcourt, Ladysmith, Van Reenen, Weenen, Winterton
- Main Economic Sectors: Manufacturing (21%), wholesale and retail trade, catering and accommodation (17%), finance, insurance, real estate and business services (15%)
UThungulu District Municipality (Richards Bay)
UThungulu District Municipality is a Category C municipality and is located in the north-eastern region of the KwaZulu-Natal province. It covers the area from KwaGingindlovu (previously Gingindlovu) in the south, to the Umfolozi River in the north, and inland to Nkandla. The district is home to six local municipalities: City of uMhlathuze, Ntambanana, uMlalazi, Mthonjaneni, Nkandla and Mfolozi (previously Mbonambi). It has the third-highest population in the province. The N2 highway links the district to other significant economic centres such as Durban and Johannesburg. It also offers a direct route to Maputo in Mozambique. The development of the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone is boosting economic activity and attracting international investors.
- Cities/Towns: Empangeni, Eshowe, Heatonville, KwaGingindlovu, KwaMbonambi, Melmoth, Mtunzini, Nkandla, Ntambanana, Richards Bay
- Main Economic Sectors: Manufacturing (40.9%), mining (15.2%), community services (11.9%), finance (8.7%), transport (8.5%), trade (6.5%), agriculture (5.3%), construction (2.1%)
Zululand District Municipality (Vryheid)
Zululand District Municipality is situated in the north-eastern part of KwaZulu-Natal. It is primarily a rural district. About half the area falls under the jurisdiction of traditional authorities, while the remainder is privately owned commercial farms or protected areas. The district comprises five local municipalities: Ulundi, Nongoma, uPhongolo, eDumbe and AbaQulusi. Vryheid and Ulundi are two urban centres of note in the district, respectively serving as a regional service and a regional and provincial administrative centre. The town of Vryheid is a commercial and business hub, while Ulundi Town is mainly an administrative centre and also the headquarters of the Zululand District Municipality.
- Cities/Towns: Louwsburg, Nongoma, Paulpietersburg, Pongola, Ulundi, Vryheid