Newcastle Local Municipality (KZN252)

Geography, History & Economy

Newcastle Local Municipality is part of Amajuba District Municipality.

MDB code: KZN252

Description: The Newcastle Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated within the Amajuba District. It is located in the inland region on the north-west corner of KwaZulu-Natal, a few kilometres south of the Free State, Mpumalanga and Gauteng Province borders, in the foothills of the Drakensberg. It is one of three municipalities in the district, making up a quarter of its geographical area.
 Newcastle is the third-largest urban centre in KwaZulu-Natal and is categorised as a secondary city. The town was strategically placed, in 1854, by the Surveyor General of the Natal Colony, Dr PC Sutherland. The town was later known as the Waterfall River Township because of the Ncandu River. In 1864, the town of Newcastle was founded on the site, becoming the fourth town to be established in Natal. The town was named after the British Colonial Secretary, the Duke of Newcastle.
 Newcastle functioned as a major transport junction and popular stopover for wagons and post-chaises during the late 1800s. In 1890, the first train arrived in Newcastle. In 1891, Newcastle was declared a borough. The discovery of coal brought a new era of prosperity to the town and several ambitious building projects were planned for Newcastle in the late 1900s.

Area: 1 856km²

Cities/Towns: Charlestown, Newcastle

Main Economic Sectors: Trade (24.9%), community services (22.1%), finance (14.71%), manufacturing (13.7%), construction (6.9%), transport (6.7%), agriculture (3.8%)

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