Previously know as éNdondakusuka Local Municipality, the Mandeni Municipality covers the area from the Amatikulu River and to a line just south of Mtunzini in the north, to a line south of the uThukela River, just north of Darnall. The uThukela River is the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal, and was the historical border between Zululand and Natal.
Mandeni Local Municipality is strategically located midway between Durban and Richards Bay, and lies on the development corridor on the NorthCoast between these two major port cities in KwaZulu-Natal. It is located on the major railway and road transportation routes which link these two economic hubs in KwaZulu-Natal.
This strategic location is also acknowledged in the Provincial Spatial Framework which has identified Mandeni as the growth node in the north coast corridor. The construction of the new Dube Trade Port and King Shaka International Airport has much economic, social and employment implications for the municipality because of its location.
Mandeni is the only urban settlement of substance and functions as the service centre for a substantial hinterland. Mandeni consists of fragmented pockets of intensive urban settlement separated by areas of little or no development. Four rural settlements, Hlomendlini, Macambini, Mathonsi and Ndulinde, are each under an Inkosi. All are underdeveloped and have major backlogs in service provision. The municipality has no capacity to supply the whole area with electricity. Transport infrastructure is well developed, with a high standard of road and rail services into the area.
Manufacturing, elementary work and plant and machine work are the highest non-farming categories of labour. The Mandeni/Isithebe urban node and surrounding economic emphasis is on commerce and manufacturing industry, as well as social and business services. Isithebe Industrial Estate is very much a viable location, positioned as it is between Durban and Richards Bay and with a highly competitive rental structure. The industrial estate continues to be an effective manufacturing hub, offering cost-effective production space to prospective investors midway between the important import and export facilities offered by Durban and Richards Bay.
Isithebe is well-run and provides a solid operating environment. Isithebe is owned and operated by Ithala Development Finance Corporation.
Isithebe is well placed to participate in the momentum around a multi-modal logistics platform for the Durban-Richards Bay corridor. The rail links between the King Shaka Airport and Richards Bay harbour are an important component of this advantage.
Isithebe has been identified as the likely base for an industrial development zone(IDZ), and planning is under way to bring this about. IDZ's come with their own concessions and incentives, designed to accelerate industrial investment in the new globalised environment.
Mandeni includes substantial areas of commercial agriculture, with the bulk of these areas under sugar-cane. Agriculture is the main employment sector in the area.
The municipality plans to provide support for small-scale farmers and subsistence farmers as a means of ensuring the economic sustainability of this sector.
Local Economic Development objectives include ensuring that all services offered by the national government are represented in the municipality, and that an agricultural economist should be consulted on possible subsistence/diversification options for the agricultural sector.
The municipality undertakes tourism development with the Ilembe District Municipality and plans to form a tourism association Section 21 company. Mandeni's coastal location and proximity to the uThukela River provide opportunities to develop its rich cultural heritage.
Among the natural attractions the municipality has to offer, are wetland and forest areas, grasslands and a pristine coastal strip.
Mandeni Municipality is also the home of the Matikulu, Harold Johnson and Ngwenya Nature Reserves. The last of these offers picnic sites and camping trails, and there are approximately 196 recorded species of birds, 132 species of trees and a variety of animals.
Historical & Other Places Of Interest
The municipal area has a very rich historical past.The historical events which occurred in this area include: the Battle of Tugela, which was fought on the slopes of Ndondakusuka in 1838 between a group of settlers from Port Natal under John Cane and Robert Biggar, and an impi of Dingaan's forces, and the battle of Ndondakusuka in 1856, fought between King Mpande's sons Cetshwayo and Mbuyazwe; to contest the right of succession to the Zulu throne; and the ultimatum given to King Cetshwayo's izinduna by the colonial authorities on 11 December 1878 at the Ultimatum Tree on the banks of the Tugela in the Mandeni Municipal area. This led to the invasion of the Kingdom of KwaZulu on 22 January 1879, and the start of the Anglo - Zulu War.
Other sites of cultural and historical interest are Cetshwayo's Stone in eNdulinde, Nandi's Kraal, the Swedish Mission south of Tugela, and Mpaphala, where the first registered sangoma lived.
The éNdondakusuka Military Kraal has been established to set out, in particular, the Zulu social and military system. The project includes site clearing at the Ultimatum Tree, Fort Pearson and at war graves, as well as the construction of interpretive, and arts and crafts centres.
We, the Community, Councillors and Staff of Mandeni Local Municipality hereby resolve that our Municipality will strive for excellence in the effective and efficient management of its financial, human, capital and developmental resources. We shall strive to maximize opportunities for growth and development for all our citizens, our Councillors and Staff, as well as the natural resources within our Municipal area.
We recognize that our economy is industrial and agricultural in its nature, and shall, therefore, strive to maximize opportunities for growth in the industrial and agricultural economies.
We are proud of the history and heritage of our Municipal area and commit ourselves to the growth of our historical resources in the tourism economy.
In all our endeavours and efforts Mandeni shall be the best run urban-rural municipality in the province.
Our mission is to maximise social development, economic growth and human resources management through collective and selfless dedication to our calls and responsibilities, regardless of race, colour, sex, and gender or political affiliation.
Municipal Demarcation Board Code: KZ291
Municipal Motto: Peace Unity Progress
Location of Head Office: Mandeni is 44 km south of Eshowe and 125 km north of KwaDukuza (Stanger).
Municipal Area (km2): 576.53 km2
Population (estimated): 128 669
Contributes to: Ilembe District Municipality
Main Towns: Mandeni, Newark, Ntunzini, Nyoni, Sithebe, Sundumbili, Tugela, Tugela Mouth.
Municipal Manager: Mr LH Mapholoba
Mayor: Cllr S Zulu