The town of KwaDukuza (Stanger) takes its name from its early history, when it was the site of Dukuza, a settlement of King Shaka.
KwaDukuza Municipality was established in December 2000 and is one of the four municipalities of the Ilembe District Municipality the others being, Mandeni, Maphumulo and Ndwedwe.
The KwaDukuza Municipality area of jurisdiction covers 623 sq km, and stretches along 50 km of coast from the uThongathi River in the south to the Zinkwazi River in the north and is 14km in width. A variety of clustered and ad hoc settlements as well as small towns exist, which are linked with a well-developed network of roads and rail infrastructure. The KwaDukuza population is estimated at 250 000 and to about 300 000 during the peak season. The key feature of KwaDukuza is the N2 Development Corridor. The planned Dube Trade Port and International Airport will also impact on the future growth of the region. KwaDukuza is strategically located between the two major ports, via, Durban and Richards Bay Ports. This alone gives KwaDukuza an advantage of strategically realigning the district into a competitive and attractive investment destination.
Extremes of affluence and poverty are to be found in the municipality, with small developed nodes existing on the coast and large areas of extreme underdevelopment in the hinterland. The population dynamics of KwaDukuza Municipality is highly diverse due its multi-racial composition and rich settlement history. KwaDukuza has a distinct eastern flavour and is linked to the earlier settlement of Indian families who were imported to work on the sugar cane farms of the big sugar barons such as Sir Liege Hulett.
The KwaDukuza Municipality's Dolphin Coast has a number of well established and popular tourism and residential developments. Ballito caters primarily for the higher-income earners. Other settlements providing limited commercial facilities include Darnall, Zinkwazi and Shaka's Kraal. However, KwaDukuza is the commercial centre of the area.
The municipal area is characterised by regions where major service backlogs exist. This is in comparison with areas where the full range of services exists. One of the challenges that KwaDukuza faces is that while property development is promoted along the coast of KwaDukuza, it must be ensured that basic services are adequately provided for the poor communities. One of the proposals that the municipality has worked ensures that agreements entered into with property developers along the coast include a clause on social responsibilities. This ensures that while the up market development is going on, the poor communities will also benefit.
The following broad objectives have been identified by the Municipality as having the highest priority: Providing basic infrastructure; Improving service delivery; Developing the local economy; Combating crime; Ensuring a healthy environment; Improving relationships; and Controlling credit.
Ballito is no longer just a holiday town but it is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners as a permanent residence, and with a new industrial park and office component under way, will see a growing demand for homes. Shopping Centres have recently being established, which cater for a wide variety of needs. The planned Dube Trade Port and International Airport will also impacting positively on the demand for housing and office space.
KwaDukuza's vision for its economic development is therefore that of developing a holistic economic development and growth plan which is aimed at: 'Building a vibrant local economy through strengthening and diversifying economic sectors thereby delivering sustainable and affordable services in a safe and healthy environment.'
The dominant land-use outside of the urban areas of the KwaDukuza Municipality is sugar cane plantations interspersed along the coast and in some inland areas with forestry plantations. A high proportion of the agricultural land is owned by the corporate sector, whose activities are focused on sugar production, which limits the amount of land available for the diversification of agricultural crops. The primary rural landform is agriculture with farmhouses, compounds and smaller rural settlements dispersed throughout the area. The only major traditional settlement within the area is located in the north-west portion of the Municipal Area. Agro-processing and bio-diesel have the potential to provide opportunities for economic growth.
Historical and Other Places of Interest
The town of KwaDukuza (formerly Stanger), 7 km from the coast, was established in 1872 on the site of the former Dukuza, a settlement of King Shaka, and the site of his assassination in 1828. KwaDukuza is the centre of an extensive sugar-cane growing area, and lies adjacent to the Sappi Fine Papers mill. Ballito dates back to 1953, when a group of entrepreneurs began investigating land to develop. Shaka's Rock lies north of Ballito, and it is famous in cultural history as the place from which Shaka ordered his warriors to leap from a cliff, to prove their courage. The farming village of Umhlali was established by English and Scottish settlers in 1850. It was the original site for Fort William. Close to Umhlali is Shaka's Kraal, which was the site of Shaka's royal military homestead. New Guilderland is an area which was originally settled by a group of immigrants from Holland. The name KwaDukuza epitomizes the historical background of the area being the home to King Shaka Gravesite and Memorial. The KwaDukuza museum is situated opposite the site of King Shaka Memorial and is dedicated to the sugar industry and colonialism, the cultural heritage of the early settlers of the town Stanger.
The King Shaka Cultural Heritage Tourism Trail is in process of being implemented in KwaDukuza in honour of the heritage that King Shaka left behind. This project is also known as the "Gateway to the Zulu Kingdom" of KwaZulu-Natal.
KwaDukuza also boasts to be the home of the first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli. KwaDukuza tourism has also been boosted by the declaration of Chief Albert Luthuli's House as a National Monument. Coupled with this was the restoration of Chief Luthuli's Grave as well as the renovation of Church in which Chief Albert Luthuli's body laid in state.
Other places of note are the Morewood Memorial Gardens, various temples and mosques, Gledhow Sugar Mill, Sappi Fine Papers, Mavivane Execution Cliff.
Investment opportunities range from the tourism sector, light industry, communications and IT, transport and specifically agriculture in the form of sub-tropical fruits, vegetables, sugarcane and flowers. The main economic sectors are tourism, sugar, forestry, agro-industrial manufacturing, furniture manufacturing, clothing, plastic products and paper manufacturing and paper products. Holiday letting and exclusive elite residential and golf estates property development is one of the high prized unique selling propositions of the area.
Development pressures in the south of the municipality, in particular the Ballito region, ranging from business and commercial development to residential and increased tourism related activities; this has increased due to the development of the King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) and the Dube Tradeport (DTP).
Industrial manufacturing investments in KwaDukuza include the Stanger Sappi Paper Mill and Sugar Mills in Darnall and Gledhow. The Isithebe Industrial Estate in the Mandeni area is of significance in the north and the UThongathi/ Maidstone industrial areas in eThekwini in the south. Smaller scale light industrial activities exist north of Ballito and in the Groutville area;
KwaDukuza has a significant number of gazetted land claims that occur in band from Blythedale Beach to KwaDukuza Town and westwards, which may influence the potential phasing of development;
Prospects for commercial investment look promising. Major developments include: Blythedale Coastal Resort, Zimbali Golf and Leisure Estate extension, the Zimbali Lakes and Golf Estate development on the Tongaat River, Simbithi Eco-Estate, Ballito Business Park, Seaward Estate Phases I and II, Dunkirk Estate, Sheffield Manor, Brettonwood and Zululami Estate.
By 2015 KwaDukuza will, through unity and good governance be an economic powerhouse, delivering services in an affordable and sustainable manner within a safe and healthy environment Long term vision statement
By 2030, KwaDukuza shall be a vibrant city competing in the global village economically, socially, politically and in a sustainable manner.
To promote democratic and accountable local government;
To ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner;
To promote social and economic development;
To promote a safe and healthy environment; and
To encourage the involvement of communities
The mission of the KwaDukuza Municipality is to achieve highest economic status through:
Driving local economic development;
Delivering a high standard of essential services;
Encouraging public participation;
Overcoming debt and achieving cost recovery on services provided.
In line with the recent Climate Change COP17 conference held in Durban in 2011, KwaDukuza Municipality undertook to make its commitment in fighting the impacts of climate change bearing in mind that as a growing municipality under immense development pressure; KwaDukuza must aim at creating a climate-resilient and low-carbon economy and society by building resilience to the effects of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gases.
The Municipality has faced serious challenges with regard to its electricity and road networks. What is also clear is that we have an infrastructure that is ageing and is unable to carry the demands of the current development. This is one critical area that is the focus of the 2012/2013 budget which will fund the IDP.
Forms part of the Ilembe District Municipality
Towns within the municipal boundaries: Ballito, Blythedale Beach, Darnall, Gledhow, Groutville, KwaDukuza (Stanger), Melville, Salt Rock, Shakas Rock, Shakaskraal, Sheffield Beach, Tinley Manor, Umhlali, Zinkwazi Beach.
Municipal Demarcation Board Code: KZ292
Location of Head Office: KwaDukuza (Stanger) is 76 km north of Durban (N2).
Municipal Area (km2): 623.07 km2