Umzinyathi District Municipality
OVERVIEW OF THE NODE
The Umzinyathi District Municipality
is located in the north central areas of KwaZulu Natal and includes four Local
Municipalities, viz. Endumeni, Nquthu, Msinga and Umvoti. The District includes
some of the poorest and most underdeveloped rural areas of KwaZulu Natal, most
notable the Msinga and Nquthu Municipalities. More developed urban areas include
Dundee located at Ndumeni the Local Municipality and Greytown which is at Umvoti
Local Municipality.Umzinyathi District has a total area of 8 079 square kilometers.
The largest municipality is Umvoti (2 508.92 sq km)
Dundee and Glencoe forms part of the so called Coal Rim of KwaZulu Natal which have over the past decade been negatively affected by a substantial decline in the coal mining sector which previously formed the economic base of the areas. Greytown can be viewed as a strong regional centre with substantial commercial and agricultural activity.
The District has a population of 427 052 and has 77 540 households. The population of the District is spread throughout the Municipalities. The highest population is Endumeni with approximately 178 500 people, and the Municipality with the lowest population is Umvoti with approximately 117 000 people.
Education levels in the District are low with a third (33.38%) of the population having no education. The areas with the highest illiteracy rates are Msinga at 45%, followed by Umvoti (31%), then Nquthu at 27%. Endumeni has the least people (15%) with no education in the District.
Income and employment in the District is low, 56% of the total population is unemployed and 78.3% has household earning below R1 500 per month.
Land use in the District can be divided into two broad categories, viz. commercial farming and traditional settlement areas. This split is primarily along Local Municipality boundaries, with the majority of land in Endumeni and Umvoti being a commercial farming nature, and Nquthu and Msinga primarily traditional settlement areas.
The administrative seat of Umzinyathi
District Municipality is in Dundee, and the District has 17 Tribal Authorities.
is the only B-Municipality that does not have any tribal land. The LEFTE (Less Formal Township Establishment) Act can be
used for the development. The majority of the land (60%) is under the control of the Ingonyama Trust situated mainly in
Nquthu and Msinga.
Physical and spatial perspective
The District lies between the main
N3 corridor between Durban and Gauteng and the Coastal Corridor, running along
the east coast. But it suffers economically from its inability to take advantage of passing trade. The Dundee area (Endumeni)
in the north is centrally placed to be the administrative and service centre. In the south, Greytown (Umvoti) is well placed
to function as a regional service centre.
There is a higher population concentration
in the two main towns of Dundee and Greytown. In Nquthu, and Msinga there
is a dominance of the three peri-urban settlements of Tugela Ferry, Pomeroy and Keate’s Drift. The population densities of
these three areas are higher than those of the rest of the area. In Umvoti, the population densities vary significantly with highest population densities occurring in the Traditional Authority areas and in the main centre of Greytown.
Land uses varies and is influenced
by local economies and topography. The key characteristic land uses of the constituent
municipalities are as follows:
This area has good commercial farming
activities in livestock and cropping (wheat and maize). There is potential for
intensive farming. Endumeni provides higher order services and has the highest levels of economic development, municipal and other services. Endumeni is well located with regard to road and rail transportation and has potential to develop further as a major district service and tourist centre.
Msinga and Nquthu
In the north-east a number of land reform projects occur linked to small-scale farming. Both these areas are underdeveloped, in terms of structures and facilities. Msinga falls within the so called ‘rain shadow’, which results in poor potential for agriculture, despite this being a major economic activity in the area. However, the areas around the Tugela and Buffalo Rivers have good potential for irrigated farming. The area has natural beauty with toursim potential.
In the south there are commercial farming activities. The centre is Greytown, which provides a relatively high level of administrative and other services.
Housing and land
Each municipal area has differing
housing types and shortages and must identify its own housing programmes that
aligned at District level to discourage intra-District migration. Land tenure is an important issue. In Endumeni, in the
Umzinyathi District, restitution projects include Kuckvlei, Dumain, Irondale and Klipspruit.
Land ownership and land administration
Information regarding ownership is limited. However, there are three categories of land ownership: private; state and Ingonyama Trust. A large portion of the District is under tribal administration.
Key development objectives
• Increase the level of employment by 15% by 2006 and encourage investment in the area
• Increase the literacy level by 20% by 2006 and provide basic education facilities
• Establish a poverty alleviation programme
• Establish an HIV/Aids awareness programme, improve health care facilities and reduce the HIV infection rate
• Decrease the number of youth leaving the area by 15% by 2006 and provide youth-orientated amenities and a youth
• Increase the development and participation of youth in Council programmes by 10% by 2006
• Increase the economic growth rate and development by 5% by 2006 and broaden rural livelihoods through targeted
• Promote small, medium and micro enterprises development
• Facilitate the establishment of 15 new businesses per annum and provide business support
• Establish tourism, especially eco-tourism, as a lead sector for job creation and income generation
• Increase agricultural production by 5% by 2006 and provide support and infrastructure
• Increase income for small-scale farmers
• Develop rating and service charges affordable to all households by 2006
• Implement appropriate levels of service for different
• Develop an organisation that promotes and supports leadership by women
• Reduce land degradation
• Conserve and protect all ecologically sensitive areas and establish integrated environmental management systems
• Improve the financial status of the District Municipality
Municipal Demarcation Board
Location of head office: Dundee is 69 km south-west of Vryheid
Municipal area (km2): 8 079.68
No of councillors: Females: 4 Males: 19
Total 427 052
African 403 743
Coloured 2 148
Indian 7 713
White 9 988
Other 3 460
No of households: 77 540
Employment by main industries: Farming 6 943; Mining 345; Manufacturing 2 705; Utilities 258; Construction 1 486;
Trade 3 906; Transport 1 528; Business Services 1 420; Social Services 7 136, Diplomatic 4
KEY NODAL CHALLENGES
The following are the key nodal challenges facing Umzinyathi node:
Unemployment levels are high in all other Municipalities in Umzinyathi District. Msinga has the highest unemployment rate with 42% unemployment. This is further exacerbated by the large young population of full time students. Therefore programmes to address unemployment will need to consider the use of support centres, training, community projects and local economic development.
Lack of basic services
The key services of concern are water and sanitation. The urban areas of Endumeni are relatively well provided, however the remainder of the District requires the provision of affordable basic services. The present Umzinyathi Water Services Development Plan being undertaken should be utilized to address this issue.
Based on the statistics from tests at a Hospital in the District, the infection rate of pregnant women is 68%. From this figure, the infection rate for the whole population can be estimated at 15%.
Preservation of existing cultural & historical heritage
The strong traditional culture prevalent particularly in Msinga and Nquthu is a valuable asset that must be preserved and valued. These traditional areas provide support mechanisms for the communities, as well as living custodians of the culture.
The Battlefields areas in the District should continue to be developed and should receive on going support. The revenue from tourism related to the Battlefields is contributing to the District economy, particularly at Endumeni.
Poor environmental practices including overgrazing, inappropriate disposal of waste, lack of sanitation facilities and alien plant invasion, have lead to serious environmental degradation.
The closure of mining industries in the District and the lack of sustainable economy particularly at Umsinga and Nquthu have seriously affected the economy of the District. The high dependency rate, attractiveness of larger centres outside the District and the lack of diversification of the economy, present serious challenges for the stimulation of the District economy.
Over half of the population of the District (54%) is under the age of 19 years. The development of youth as productive members of the society and as contributors to the development of the District is a priority. The development of the youth will need to be addressed comprehensively to provide both material support, in the form of social infrastructure and personal growth in the form of education and sporting facilities.
Agriculture plays a major role in the economies of the District, particularly Umvoti where there is 30% of economic activity. At Umsinga, farming accounts for 18% of economic activity, in Endumeni, farming is important and comprise 10% of the economic activities. In Nquthu, farming does not contribute significantly to the local economy (3%).
In all these areas, primary agricultural products are produced with very little product beneficiation. In rural areas, particularly at Umsinga and Nquthu, animals are not kept as farming commodities and are seldom slaughtered or sold. There is a need for farmer support programmes to improve stock management.
Despite the prevalence of women in
the District, there is a clear lack of women in positions of leadership and
authority. Attitudes towards women need to be changed to allow equal access
to positions of influence.
Profile on Umzinyathi Municipalities
The original Umzinyathi Regional Council was split creating Umzinyathi District
Municipality and Amajuba
District Municipality. All municipalities, including two newly established local municipalities have organisational structures and systems in place. The Capacity Support Programme has been successfully launched in the new municipalities to assist them.
The District, along with the two least capacitated local municipalities established Strategic Development Planning units.
All have adequate administrative facilities to manage their affairs.
Finance and grants:
In general the financial situation is good. A Management Assistance Programme
(MAP) is currently being implemented in the District Municipality to address
specific problem areas. All municipalities in this District have completed financial
statements for 2002/2003. Two municipalities have no debt and two have an increasing
Two local municipalities have a grant dependency of less than 30%. The District Municipality and two new ones have a
dependency of more than 30% on grant funding, with Msinga Local Municipality having a dependency of almost 100%.
Integrated Development Planning
(IDP): All municipalities prepared, completed and submitted their 2002
IDP’s to the
MEC for assessment. All have completed the 2003 Review and submitted their plans as a ‘family’ of municipalities to the MEC to facilitate alignment between the municipalities. All have started the 2005/2006 IDP Review to further refine aspects such as Institutional Development, Environmental Management and Performance Management Systems.
This District has a low population density at approximately 80 people per square
kilometre however, the two new municipalities are densely populated with the
highest concentration of people in Nquthu Local Municipality. The overall backlog
for water service in the District is 55%. As a district-allocated function,
R85 million was made available
for the provision of this service. A budget provision of R16 million was made to address the sanitation backlog of 70%. The
total electricity backlog in the District is 75%. Only 20% of the District population has access to refuse removal. Four local
municipalities have budgeted R8 million for this service. The implementation of free basic electricity has not been scheduled
but R2 million has been provided by the municipalities for this purpose. There is some progress with provision of basic sanitation as the basic charges on water-borne sewerage have been lifted by the District. It has also provided 20% of the identified number of beneficiaries with free basic water.
Local Economic Development
(LED): There is severe poverty in this District. As a whole the District
has an unemployment rate of 25%. More than 80% of households earn less than
R1 600 a month. The largest proportion of poor households is located within
the rural municipalities. Priority issues to receive further attention: Provision
in two of the municipalities needs to be strengthened as well as disaster management. Financial dependency on Provincial and National grant funding must be reduced and there must be focus on debt recovery. The alignment of the Integrated Development Planning Process with the respective spheres of government requires attention. The District has to reduce the water and sanitation backlogs and attention must be given to the provision of free basic water. The District has to reduce unemployment and eradicate poverty.