Dannhauser is named after an old farming family that lived in the area.
Dannhauser is one of three local municipalities within the Amajuba District Municipality and covers an area of approximately 1516 square kilometres. It is the smallest municipality within the District Municipality.
Main towns are Dannhauser, Hattingspruit, Inverness, Kilegethe, Klipbank, Milford, Normandien, Nyanyadu, Rutland, Tendeka, Witteklip.
The town of Dannhauser is located midway between Durban and Johannesburg on the main railway line, about eight kilometres off the national road between the two cities. It is surrounded by some of the largest coal-producing mines in KwaZulu-Natal. Numerous rivers flow through the municipal area, the most important being the Ngagane and uMzinyathi Rivers and there are scenic landscapes in the western portion of the municipality.
The population of the District is currently estimated to be 104 065 people (Amajuba DC, 2005).Population densities are highest in the Traditional Authority Areas in the north-eastern portion of the municipal area and in the town of Dannhauser itself.
Dannhauser functions as a small rural service centre (providing commercial and service facilities and agricultural industries and services), and is not a large employment generator. Residents of the municipal area rely on the larger urban centres of Dundee and Newcastle for employment opportunities and higher order goods and services.
Investment in commerce has growth prospects.
The major economic sectors within Dannhauser are agriculture and mining. Mining is however, undergoing a movement away from large scale operations to smaller operations. There are some opportunities for the establishment of small scale mining of coal, clays or reworking coal dumps, prospecting for other minerals. Maximizing the infrastructure left by vacating mines would be of value.
The dominant farming activities are livestock and mixed farming. Livestock farming dominates agricultural activity with sheep and cattle being the main livestock bred. In terms of Dannhauser the following projects were identified as being viable viz. Irrigation, Cultivation, Pasturing, Grazing/livestock, Forestation, Intensive farming (feedlots, tunnels, dairies, piggeries, and poultry) and Game farming. The second largest agricultural sub-sector consists of maize, soya and wheat.
The agriculture related business sector is fairly well developed and plays a key service role for the surrounding agricultural communities.
Dannhauser is seen as a nodal agro-industrial producer, with a malt processing factory, grain silos and mill. An opportunity exists to expand the agro-processing industry.
The intensification of agricultural production is a viable opportunity.
The Tourism sector has the potential for growth. Areas of environmental significance, which should be conserved, exist at Flint (indigenous forests) and at Dorinskop farm (Annieville Farm). The only formal conservation area in the municipality is the Chelmsford Nature Reserve surrounding the Ntshingwayo Dam, which is managed by KwaZulu Natal Wildlife.
Chelmsford Nature Reserve is situated on the Ngagane River less than three hours drive from Gauteng. The 1000 ha game park has white rhino, wildebeest, zebra, blesbok, springbok and numerous bird species.
Ntshingwayo Dam (formerly Chelmsford Dam) is the third largest dam in KwaZulu-Natal and is an excellent venue for swimming and relaxing in the sun as well as enjoying various water sports, including water skiing, jet skiing, kite surfing, canoeing and boating and is renowned for carp and bass fishing.
The following are some of the tourism assets that were identified in the 2008/9 Integrated Development Plan:
Arts and Crafts Centre in Durnacol
St Margaret Presbyterian Church
Cut Flower Farm
Traditional Arts and Craft such as Midsize Beadwork, Simiso Art and Crafts, etc.
Bomani Game Lodge
Tweediedale Dam & Caravan Park.
By 2015 council will strive to sustainable area, with a safe, attractive living environment, and a viable economy, based on agriculture, industrial and tourism development, providing sufficient job opportunities.
Council will achieve the municipal vision through providing its residents with good, affordable basic infrastructure, a wide range of public facilities and services and housing opportunities and improving access to land and security tenure. Council will also endeavour to make Dannhauser a strong, financially viable local government which promotes communication, co-operation and opportunities for all. "Dannhauser Municipality will utilize limited and available resources to achieve reasonable financial capacity for eradication of basic services backlogs, through creation of an enabling environment, with special emphasis on agriculture, mining and industrial development."
This IDP must have amongst others, the following core elements for it to conform to the credibility framework in terms of compliance:
Long term development vision of the Municipality
An assessment of the existing level of municipal development with identification of the need for basic municipal services
The municipality's development priorities and goals for its elected term
The municipality's development strategies which must be aligned with national and provincial sectoral plans and planning requirements
A spatial development framework which must focus on provision of clear guidelines for a land-use management system
A financial plan to include budget forecast for at least three years, key performance indicators and performance targets.