Ndwedwe local Municipality lies parallel with, and approximately 20 km inland from, the KwaZulu-Natal coast.
The Municipality extends over 1 076 sq km and consists mainly of poor black communities whose livelihood depends on subsistence farming. Overall settlement densities are consequently approximately 145 people per square kilometre. Located in relatively close proximity to major urban and economic developments, the area has remained substantially underdeveloped, disadvantaged and poor. External access and internal linkage are substantially limited to east-west roads, while north-south links are few and of poor quality.
Much of NdwedweMunicipality's detailed planning for the future depends on strategies yet to be developed for the IlembeDistrictMunicipality. However, the key short-term objectives that have been identified for Ndwedwe are strongly focused on the provision of basic infrastructure and services to a population that is at present severely lacking in these facilities.
Primary kaolin deposits occur in the Inanda-Ndwedwe district (KwaZulu-Natal). Good quality material is found near Coqweni, Nozandla and Appelsbosch. Small-scale mining is practiced in the Ndwedwe region, although the kaolin's high iron oxide content has proved problematic in several applications. Women from Ndwedwe have for many years mined white kaolin clay for use as a sunscreen, stomach medicine, body decoration or to paint onto their traditional huts. A small ceramic factory has been built where the women can beneficiate their clay into pottery that would be saleable to the Western taste market segment.
Activities in the Municipality are limited to commercial agriculture in the north-east and east of the area, and subsistence farming in the remainder of Ndwedwe. Smaller areas of afforestation and local commercial activities are also to be found. The commercial farming expertise gained by incorporating the north-eastern part into the municipality should be made available to the remainder of Ndwedwe, while the commercial agricultural opportunities in the tribal/rural areas need to be developed. There are some community gardens in the municipality, where vegetables and ground nuts are cultivated.
Successful pilot projects have emphasised the need for an integrated agri-processing facility. In a development driven by the IlembeDistrictMunicipality, emerging farmers from Maphumulo, Ndwedwe and Mandeni are growing chilli crops and paprika plants. These are processed, turned into products and have found their way onto supermarket shelves all over the country.
To boost tourism, NdwedweMunicipality in partnership with the surrounding communities is developing Nhlangakazi Project where the NazarethBaptistChurch members assemble on pilgrimage in January yearly. This is a significant event for the many tourists who come to witness this spectacular occasion. NdwedweMunicipality is engaging consultants to do a feasibility study around the provision of public accommodation
Local Economic Development
Plans for growth include Ndwedwe's tourism potential and the unexploited agricultural land in the area. Initiatives to encourage economic development in Ndwedwe are programmes to support small-scale farmers; to develop a tourism sector; and to promote the establishment of small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (which might include the commercial development of local crafts).
"Ndwedwe, a Municipality of Hope, Dignity and Prosperity"
"Our mission is to promote a quality and sustainable delivery of municipal services by:
Involving communities in the development process;
Forging strategic alliances and partnerships between the municipality and government departments, NGOs, CBOs, Private Sector to ensure speedy and coordinated delivery"