UMzimkhulu is a local municipality in KwaZulu Natal. It is one of the family of five (5) local municipalities (i.e. UBuhlebezwe, Ingwe, KwaSani and Kokstad) of the Harry Gwala District Municipal. The district is neighboring Ugu District in the east, Msunduzi in the north, Lesotho in the east and Eastern Cape in the south.
UMzimkhulu is the most populated of the Harry Gwala municipalities, accounting for 39% of the district’s population. The population of UMzimkhulu is about 180 302 people.
There are 82.9 males in every 100 females, which translate to 45.3% male and 54.7% female. People at the ages of 15 - 64 years are the most dominant (53.7%) followed by the <15 years age groups at 40.8% in the municipal area. Approximately 46.6% of the population is unemployed out of which about 56.8% are youth. 6.4% of the population has not gone to school. Approximately 2.1% has higher education and 15.2% has matric. Primary education enrollment for the 6-13 years is standing at an impressive 93.9%. The total number of deaths in uMzimkhulu increased from 4,129 to 4,900 between 2007 and 2011 out of which 19.2% and 19.5% were crude death respectively. The leading cause of death in uMzimkhulu is HIV /AIDS.
WARDS AND TRADITIONAL AUTHORITY
The municipal area consists of 20 wards, and traditional areas comprise of 46% of the region. The population of UMzimkhulu is in an area that covers 2,435.4 km². Of the population, about 90.8% reside in rural areas, while the remaining 9.2% are urban based. The population density is 71.6 persons/km². The map following depicts the wards and the Tribal Authority of the municipal area.
The following is a summary of the economic profile of the municipality:
- Unemployment reduced from 68% in 2001 to 47% in 2011;
- Unemployment amongst the youth declined from 78.8% to 56.8% between 2007 and 2011;
- Government is the main source of employment as it employs approximately 21% of the municipal’s population;
- Approximately 75,589 (i.e. 42%) of the population has no source of income and about 56,944 (i.e. 32%) earn less than R400 per month which translate to almost 76% of the population leave below the poverty line;
- Gross Value of the municipality steadily improved from 2007 to 2011;
- Agriculture sector experienced a decline in the municipality as people employed by this sector reduced from 14% in 2001 to 6% in 2011
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