City of uMhlathuze Local Municipality (KZN282)
Geography, History & Economy
MDB code: KZN282
Description: The City of uMhlathuze Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated within the King Cetshwayo District on the north-east coast of KwaZulu-Natal. It is the largest among the five municipalities that make up the district. It is comprised of 34 wards, having the largest number of wards in the district, and is the third economic hub in the province after eThekwini and Msunduzi Municipalities respectively.
The City of uMhlathuze is the best secondary city in KwaZulu-Natal and seventh in the country. It boasts the deepest water port, in Richards Bay, and is home to the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ), which drives the inwards investment of the City through foreign direct investments. It is the fastest-growing municipality in KwaZulu-Natal and has been touted as the best performing municipality in the province, with a good governance record of four consecutive Clean Audits.
The City of uMhlathuze is a strategically placed, aspirant metropol due to its rapid economic growth and ability to generate sustainable revenue. Richards Bay is considered to be the industrial and tourism hub, eMpangeni the commercial hub, eSikhaleni the largest suburb, and Ntambanana is the home of safari tourism as it hosts the renowned Thula Thula Private Game Reserve.
The John Ross Parkway (R43) is the major access road to the City from the inland provinces. This is the road which carries the economy of the City of uMhlathuze since it links the harbour with the N2 towards Mpumalanga Province, Swaziland and Mozambique on the north; Durban and Pietermaritzburg on the south; and Gauteng and other inland provinces on the western side. The road boasts the country’s longest road bridge and has been designed to meet the growing transport needs of the City in line with the development plans for the CBD and harbour.
Apart from being an industrial and economic hub, the City enjoys a diverse natural environment. Importantly, the City of uMhlathuze is a progressive municipality that appreciates the need to achieve a successful balance and synergy between industry, its rich environmental assets, and the community.
Area: 1 233km²
Cities/Towns: Empangeni, Richards Bay
Main Economic Sectors: Manufacturing (45.9%), mining and quarrying (11.6%), financial, real estate and business (10.7%), community, social and personal services (10.4%), transport and communication (9.1%), trade (6.3%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (3.2%)The information in this directory is compiled from various sources and is subject to continual change. If you notice any errors or omissions, contact us so that we may correct them.