The Alfred Duma Local Municipality was formed after the redetermination of boundaries in terms of section 21 of the Local Government, the Municipal Demarcation Act 1998 (Act No.27 of 1998) which resulted in municipalities being disestablished and their former areas of jurisdiction merged under new municipalities to be established. The Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality and Indaka Local Municipality are part of the municipalities that have merged to form a new municipality known as the Alfred Duma Local Municipality.
This municipality is one of the three municipalities in the Uthukela District. The Municipality is strategically located along the N3 corridor which links Durban and Gauteng as well as the N11 which links it with Mpumalanga and Free State Provinces.
The Alfred Duma Local Municipality is well located in relation to at least two of the major tourism destinations in KwaZuluNatal. In fact, it serves as a base for the exploration of the Battlefields to the north and Ukhahlamba-Drakensburg Park to the south. The latter is a World Heritage Site and a world acclaimed tourist destination.
The municipality is located in the uThukela Water Management Area (WMA) with the Klip River and Sunday’s River and their tributaries traversing the municipality. These rivers drain into the Tugela River (also known as uThukela), which is the largest river system in KwaZulu-Natal. The Tugela River forms part of the Tugela River Catchment, which is approximately 30 000 km2 in extent. This is one of the important river catchments in South Africa, which drains from the Drakensberg escarpment into the Indian Ocean. There is substantial runoff from the Tugela catchment as a result of high rainfall. This presents the municipality with great opportunity in relation to agriculture.
The municipality takes pride in prioritising the green environment the recently constructed waste recycling plant which will be fully function by end of 2016 which will in turn contribute towards creating jobs in the area especially for people in the rural areas. Another project that the municipality will embark on this financial year is planting of trees in and around the town to address the emition of gas in the atmosphere around the municipality.
The Alfred Duma Local Municipality spans over an area of 4 010,13km2 of which 90% is rural land with limited basic services and infrastructure. The municipality is laid on the banks of the UThukela River within the region of Northern KwaZulu Natal.
It’s boarded by the Greater Drakensberg Mountain to the extreme West. In terms of the socio-economic macro context, the municipality is midway between the National Primary Nodes of Johannesburg and Durban. To the west of the municipality lies the Free State Province and to the north the Mpumalanga province. Bisecting the municipality is the presidential prioritised railway corridor which links the areas of Durban and Johannesburg.
The Alfred Duma Local Municipality forms part of the UThukela District Municipality which comprises of other 2 Local Municipalities, namely; Okhahlamba LM and Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality. The municipality currently functions as the main economic hub of the District Municipality with most of the regional offices and industries located in it. In terms of the District Management Area (DMA) of uThukela, the municipality covers approximately 11500km2. It is located on the western boundary of KwaZulu Natal.
The Alfred Duma Local Municipality comprises of 36 wards with 22 of those being rural wards and some of them administered by the Traditional Authorities namely Inkosi Khumalo in Driefontein Block and Inkosi Shabalala in Matiwane, Inkosi Sthole, Inkosi Zwane, Inkosi Mthembu and Inkosi Mabaso Mhlumayo area and Inkosi Nxumalo, Inkosi Kunene, Inkosi Mbhense and Inkosi Mchunu in the Limehill area. The 36 wards within the Municipal jurisdiction will be represented by 73 councillors.
The Alfred Duma Local Municipality comprises of the following areas
Ladysmith is the main/primary urban area/town in the municipality. The Township was proclaimed in June 1850 and officially named Ladysmith later that year. It is accessed via the N11 that connects the town with the N3 and traverse the town while making its way to the north. The R103 from Colenso and Roosboom in the south intersects the N11 in the southeast. Residential suburbs include Egerton, Observation Hill, Reservoir Hill, Hospital Park, Rose Hill, Residential settlements include Steadville and Leonards Ville, with a border of commercial activity on its westernmost edge closest to the river and the CBD.
Industrial areas include the Danskrall Industrial area to the north-east and further southeast is the industrial area of Nambiti. The south-westerly periphery of the CBD over the Klip River is characterised by public open space and recreational areas, including Settlers Park, the Indoor Sports Complex and the Aerodrome. The remaining settlements are rural in nature with the exception of Colenso and Ezakheni, and other minor township such as Steadville and Ekuvukeni.
The Alfred Duma Local Municipality forms part of the UThukela District Municipality, which is one of the ten district municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal. The UThukela District is located along the western boundary of the KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN), and adjoins the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Free State Province. It also forms the northern segment of UThukela District and is bordered by the Free State province to the west, Dannhauser municipality to the north and Endumeni a municipality to the northeast and east, Umtshezi municipality to the southeast and Okhahlamba municipality to the southwest. It covers an area of approximately 3020km2 in extent and has a population of about 340 116 people (2011). Approximately 20% of the municipality is urban whilst 80% is rural, which presents obstacles in terms of service delivery.
The Alfred Duma Local Municipaliy is anchoured around the town of Ladysmith which serves as a service centre and administrative centre for the whole of Uthukela District, and a commercial hub for the north-western part of KwaZulu-Natal.
The municipality is strategically located at the intersection of two major national development corridors and trade routes, that is: The N11 which runs in a north south direction linking KwaZulu-Natal with Mpumalanga Province; and the N3 which runs in an east west direction linking Durban and Johannesburg Metropolitan areas.
Railway line linking KwaZulu-Natal and provinces such as Gauteng and Mpumalanga also runs through the area creating opportunities for the Alfred Duma Local Municipality to benefit from the recently announced rail infrastructure development programme. To realise this benefit the municipality has established a medium term project called Intermodal Feeder Port with the aim of resuscitating railway lines in Ladysmith and create economic growth as stipulated in the Provincial Growth Development Strategy.
This municipality is highly accessible at both regional and national level. This is recognised in the recently introduced Provincial Growth and Development Strategy for KwaZulu-Natal which classifies Ladysmith as a tertiary node with regional significance. This means that the area is earmarked for the location of infrastructure that serves the whole of Uthukela District and beyond, and connects the region with major urban centres such as Durban and Johannesburg.
The cultural attractions include the certain parts of the Battlefields and Memorial, Museums, Monuments, Rock Art, Crafts, Recreation (Horse Riding) and tourism routes.
The municipality is located in a region with a rich heritage and military history ranging from the uMfecane period (early 1800s) to the turn of the century when the Boers tried to stem the tide of British imperialism. It includes Shaka’s predatory campaigns, the arrival of the Voortrekkers, the AngloZulu War and the Anglo-Boer Wars. The Battlefields Route provides a structured journey around the sites of various battles, skirmishes and sieges which are situated in a broad belt running through the central core of the region, from Esctourt in the south, through Ladysmith, Dundee and Newcastle, to Charlestown in the north.
This presents the area with a unique ‘tourism triangle’ character, consisting of three of the five B’s branding of provincial tourism – Berg, Bush and Battlefields. In addition to its three main destinations, there is a diversity of related attractions and accommodation facilities. This rich diversity allows tourists to experience a wide range of activities and scenes within a relatively small area, and is used as an important marketing element in the regional tourism industry.