Postal: Private Bag X1004, Richards Bay, 3900
Physical: 5 Mark Strasse, Central Business District, Richards Bay
Tel: 035 907 5000
Fax: 035 907 5444/5/6/7
Description: City of uMhlathuze Local Municipality was established on 5 December 2000 after the demarcation process and the local government elections of that date. The name uMhlathuze is derived from the uMhlathuze River, which meanders through the municipal area and symbolically unifies the towns, suburbs and traditional areas. It is the third-largest municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. Located on the north-east coast of the province, it is a strategically placed, aspirant metropol due to its close proximity to Durban. Likewise, it is home to the country’s largest deep-water port and an industrial development zone that enjoys the associated economic spin-offs. Richards Bay is considered to be the industrial and tourism hub, Empangeni the commercial hub and eSikhaleni the largest suburb.
The John Ross Parkway, the major access road to the City from the inland provinces, is in the process of being upgraded and rehabilitated. 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. Its vision is: ‘The City of uMhlathuze, as a port city, will offer improved quality of life for all its citizens through sustainable development. It will be a renowned centre for trade, tourism and nature-lovers, coastal recreation, commerce, industry, forestry and agriculture.'
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%)