UmvotiMunicipality is located along the eastern border of UmzinyathiDistrictMunicipality about 65 km from Dundee and approximately 70km from Pietermaritzburg. It is well served by provincial and regional roads given its location at the intersection of the roads to Pietermaritzburg, the coast, the Drakensberg and the battlefields route. Umvoti is about 2509 km2 in extent and comprises five traditional authority areas, all of which are located beyond a 40 km radius from Greytown, which is the main centre within the municipal area. The central part of the area is generally covered with high potential commercial farmland and is characterized by low population density.
Despite Umvoti having the second highest level of social infrastructure (health facilities, schools, etc.) per person in the District, social infrastructure needs to be improved, both in terms of quantity and quality. For example, the physical condition of many schools is very poor and there are no technical education facilities. Of particular concern are the increasing demands that will be placed on the health and care facilities as a result of the HIV/Aids pandemic. Also of concern is the high level of the population who are functionally illiterate.
Economy Greytown, a small but vibrant town, is the main provider of higher income jobs in senior management, professional, technical, clerks, service related and skilled, providing 26.8% of all jobs in the Umvoti area. The manufacturing sector makes the second largest contribution to the local economy. There is limited economic activity taking place within the traditional authority areas.
Agriculture Agriculture, particularly, forestry is the dominant economic activity. Commercial farms provide for 86% of the skilled jobs and these are primarily provided in the processing plants. The agricultural potential within the area can be summarised as follows:
Good agricultural potential is found in the Greytown area and along UmvotiRiver arising from a combination of high rainfalls, moderate temperatures, good soils and moderate slopes.
Moderate agricultural potential is concentrated in the area between Greytown and Kranskop, but large patches are scattered throughout the area, where productivity is adversely affected by difficult topography, acidic soils, high hail tendencies and population pressure. The carrying capacity of the veld is high in summer, but poor during the winter months. Soil erosion is a recurring problem where there are steep slopes and poor land use practices.
Restricted agricultural potential exists along the MooiRiver and north of KranskopTown.
Tourism There is good potential for the development of the tourism sector of the economy. Umvoti has an exceptional and distinctive opportunity to develop as a tourist area due to the easy access to the battlefields, Zulu Heritage and culture, and eco-tourism zones from the region.
The following can serve as the basis for the realization of this potential:
Itshe likaNtunjambili in Kranskop.
Kwashushu Hot Springs.
Lilani Hot Springs.
Indigenous Arts and Craft.
Ngome Game Reserve.
Louis Botha's birthplace on the farm Honeyfontein;
The 120 year old giant fig tree in GreytownMuseum grounds;
Remnants of Forts Cherry, Ahrens, Buckingham, Wolftrap, Mispah and Bengough, of which most were erected during the Zulu War of 1879 and reused during the Bhambatha Rebellion;
GreytownTown Hall, opened in 1904;
The MethodistChurch built in 1877 is the oldest church in Greytown;
The Dutch Reformed Church Bell from 1861; Scenic drives can be taken in the area; LakeMerthly is a popular attraction for visitors and tourists.
GreytownMuseum and Community Tourism Information Centre is situated in a historical monument (old magistrates residency and former home of General Louis Botha's sister). It is crammed with memorabilia from Anglo Zulu and South African Wars, Bhambatha Rebellion, World War I, World War II and the Liberation struggle.
Hermannsburg Museum An old mission house that reflects early missionary life and Zulu culture, as well as a blacksmith's forge.
Vision Your place for peace and prosperity, where the people come first Mission In the service of others, we commit ourselves to:
Provide democratic, transparent and accountable local government;
Encourage community participation on local government affairs;
Ensure equity and integrated transformation;
Ensure sound inter-governmental relations for integrated development planning;
Facilitate economic and social development;
Promote a safe and healthy environment; and
Render and expand affordable and sustainable services in a transparent and accountable manner and promote a culture of payment for services.
Municipal Demarcation Board Code: KZ245
Location of Head Office: Greytown is 75 km north of Pietermaritzburg
Municipal Area (km2): 2 307.6
Umvoti Local Municipality contributes to the Umzinyathi District Municipality.
Towns within the municipal boundaries: Ahrens, Fort Mtombeni, Greytown,
Umvoti is the Zulu name for the Municipality and river. It means the one who flows quietly.
Mayor: Cllr P. M. S. Ngubane
Municipal Manager: Mr Bongani A. Xulu