"The City of uMhlathuze is poised for economic growth" is the Municipality's official slogan. uMhlathuze has a vision of changing the lives of its citizens through economic development and transformation.
Apart from its daunting task of changing the economic face of the City of uMhlathuze, it is imperative to ensure that all citizens continue to receive the best services that the municipality has to offer. The extent of these services has now grown as the Local Government Municipal Demarcation Act 27 of 1998 the Municipal Demarcation Board has re-determined the municipal boundaries of Ntambanana Municipality (kz283) and uMhlathuze Municipality (KZ282) by excluding wards 5, 7, 8 and portion of ward 6 from the municipal area of Ntambanana local municipality and by including them into the municipal area of uMhlathuze Municipality.
Together with communities, this City will:
Build on achievements made in delivering basic services to the people
Improve access to municipal services and reduce outsourcing
Further improve public participation and accountability of councillors.
Enhance the capacity of the City to deliver on its mandate
Develop and strengthen local economies, in particular township and rural economies, create jobs and promote job placements, especially for the youth
Intensify the fight against fraud and corruption and social fabric crimes in communities
Promote education as the apex priority in local communities
Improve health in urban and rural communities.
Build spatially integrated communities
Promote nation-building and socially cohesive and inclusive communities
A blueprint with clear annual targets was finally adopted by Council in June 2016.This strategic roadmap paves a way for the City to focus its full attention on growing and transforming the local economy. In this regard, the City, undertakes to:
Establish a One Stop Shop to provide support to businesses including SMMEs such as access to capital, access to markets, business and enterprise development, skills development, sector specific incubation and ease of doing business in uMhlathuze
Support and invest in agriculture, agri-processing and rural economy
Promote and invest tourism related projects
Support the Maritime Sector and Blue Economy as part of the Oceans Economy initiatives
Support, revitalise and modernise the Township Economy as part of the main stream economy
Support mining exploration and beneficiation
Promote involvement of previous disadvantaged people and SMMEs in the wholesale, retail, trade and services sector
Promote and invest in ICT and Innovation
The City of uMhlathuze's economic development and job creation initiatives need a major acceleration and investment in strategic economic projects. The following projects have been identified to stimulate growth and create jobs:
Richards Bay Waterfront Development
International Convention Centre (ICC) and Office Park
New Airport City
The Ridge Estate Development
Empangeni CBD Revitalization
Richards Bay CBD South Extension
Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone
John Ross Eco Park
New Airport City
The process to appoint a team of specialists to undertake feasibility study will commence in August 2016, and a capital injection from the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, to the tune of R1 million in support of this project has been received.
The process to appoint a team of specialists to undertake urban design will be finalised in July 2016. Once developed, this estate will become the jewel and paradise of coastal living in the City of uMhlathuze.
ICC Complex and Office Park
The development of the ICC and Office Park is important for the City in its quest to leverage on the growing Events Tourism Sector, whereas the Office Park will ensure that the City retains and develops its knowledge economy in support of the industrialisation and oceans economy agenda.
Rural Settlement Plans
The process of developing rural settlement plans is currently underway. This will allow the City to partner with Traditional Authorities in ensuring sustainable land uses and human settlements as well as planned infrastructure provision.
The Waterfront Development
The City will be undertaking phased development of various Waterfront Precincts as part of enhancing Coastal and Marine Tourism. It is envisaged that the incremental development of the Waterfront will be approximately R6 billion. The process of developing urban designs and invitation of interested investors to invest will start soon. The full development of the Waterfront will take approximately 15-20yrs.
Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RIBDZ)
The RBIDZ continues to attract strategic investments to various IDZ estates. The following are some of the investors to be located in the IDZ:
Nyanza Light Metals with a project value of R 4.5 billion
Elegant Afro Line with a project value of R 500 million
EMv Nanomaterials with a project value of R 250 million
SPS Manufacturing Pty Ltd with a project value of R 300 million
Pro Star Export Paint with a project value of R 16 million
RB Energy Services with a project value of R 20 million
These catalytic projects will be the hallmark of the City's growth and will steer it into a direction that will be beneficial for entire municipality as it looks beyond the secondary city status.
Oceans Economy Project
The City is one of the beneficiaries of the Oceans Economy Project driven by the Presidency through Operation Phakisa. The projects include the expansion of the Richards Bay Port, possibility of establishing ship repair and maintenance facility, oil and gas hub, development of a container handling capacity as well as the establishment of the Maritime School which the City has already allocated strategic land parcel for this purpose. Full benefits of the oceans economy will be realised in the next few years.
The City of uMhlathuze has recently been awarded the best performing Secondary City / Metro in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, a category that included eThekwini Metro and uMsunduzi Municipality.
Location: At the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, 180km northeast of Durban, 660km south east of major domestic consumer markets in the Province.
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.
Mayor: M G Mhlongo
Other Members of Council: M G Mhlongo (Mayor and Chairperson: Financial Services Committee), S G Mkhize (Deputy Mayor and Chairperson: Corporate Services Committee), M Mthenjana (Speaker), Manie Lourens (Chief Whip), M Sookroo (Chairperson: City Development Committee)
Municipal Manager: Dr N J Sibeko
Chief Financial Officer: Mr M Kunene (Deputy Municipal Manager: Financial Services)
Communications Officer: Mr Mdu Ncalane (Manager: Communications)
LED Officer: Ms B N Nzimande
Other Senior Management: N I Mthethwa (Chief Operations Officer), N Ndonga (Deputy Municipal Manager: City Development), S S Masondo (Deputy Municipal Manager: Corporate Services), T Gopane (Deputy Municipal Manager: Infrastructure and Technical Services), M T Oliphant (Deputy Municipal Manager: Community Services)