iLembe is located immediately to the north of the metropolitan area of eThekwini and to the south of the uThungulu District Municipality. It is strategically placed between the two major harbours of South Africa in eThekwini (Durban Harbour) and uMhlathuze Municipality (Richards Bay Harbour), which is the highest priority development corridor in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. iLembe Municipality is dissected by the N2 national highway running from Durban up through Richards Bay to Swaziland and Mozambique. The district is also located within 10 kilometres of the newly developed King Shaka Airport and Dube Trade Port that will connect the province directly to international markets.
The economic sectors that constitute the pillars of iLembe’s economy are the following:
This sector is characterised by two main distinct types:
- Commercial agriculture, such as sugar cane farming along the coastal strip
- Subsistence agriculture in the rural hinterland and inland areas
This sector is mainly characterised by the following types of industries:
- Primary sector comprises of heavy industries, such as sugar and paper mill production in the Isithebe Industrial Estate near Mandeni
- Secondary sector activities include light industries that are prevalent throughout the district and with a focus on the rural areas of the district.
This sector has consistently grown in iLembe and offers a variety of tourism facilities that can be categorised as follows:
- Cultural and heritage tourism
- Beach tourism
- Nature-based tourism
Commerce and services
This sector includes the following sub sectors and is found in all the main urban centres throughout the district with specific reference to the towns of KwaDukuza and Ballito:
Wholesale / retail trade Real estate
Transport / storage Business / Community / social / personal
Financial / insurance Government services
The district and local municipalities are characterised with relatively high population figures, however distributed at relatively lower densities. The population in these areas are predominantly represented by African Blacks, Indians and Asians. The municipal population is characterised by a relatively large segment of children and youth. A total of 33.7% of the iLembe population is under the age of 15 years, while 45.3% of the population is represented by youth under the age of 19 years old. A small percentage (4.4%) of the population is older than 65 years of age reflecting high levels of dependency. In terms of the gender distribution it is found that 47.7% of the district population represent males and 52.3% females. The various local municipalities reflected similar distribution trends.
The North Coast enjoys a warm sub-tropical climate for most part of the year. Summer (Oct – April) temperatures are hot,
from 24 – 32 degrees Celsius and Winter temperatures average at 20 degrees Celsius. Sea temperatures vary from 25 – 18 degrees Celsius in winter. The average rainfall for the year is in the order of 900mm.
Banking hours are Mon – Fri 09h00 – 15h30 and Sat 08h30 – 11h00. Automated teller machines (ATMs) operate 24/7 and can be found at most shopping centres in and around the North Coast.
The currency in South Africa is the Rand. Bank notes available are R200, R100, R50, R20, R10 and coins of R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c. The are 100c in R1.
Most departmental stores, shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants accept major international credit cards i.e.
American Express, VISA, Diners Club and Mastercard.
Municipalities Contact Information
iLembe District Municipality
iLembe House, KwaDukuza
Tel: +27 (0) 4379300
Fax: +27 (0) 4379585
KwaDukuza Local Municipality
Tel: + 27 (0) 32 437 5000
Fax: +27 (0) 32 437 5098
Mandeni Local Municipality
Tel: +27 (0) 456 8200
Fax: +27 (0) 32 456 2504
Maphumulo Local Municipality
Tel: +27 (0) 32 2047
Fax: +27 (0) 32 481 2053
Ndwedwe Local Municipality
Tel: +27 (0) 32 532 1089
Fax: +27 (0) 32 532 1071