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About uMhlathuze

uMhlathuze, located in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, was founded in 1879 by Commodore Frederick William Richards from County Wexford, Ireland. He was the Commander of the West Coast of Africa, arriving to the Cape after the Zulus defeated the British at Isandhlwana. Under his command, one of the ships, HMS Forrester, investigated the coastline as well as the Mhlathuze lagoon to then recognize it as Richards Bay.

About the City

Land area (km2)

796 km2


349,576 (2012)

Population growth rate

1.45% (Census 2011)

% of the city's territory which is urban

39.5% (Census 2011)

Population density (hab / km2)

517 hab / km2

Rate of population density change over last decade

From 344 (2000) to 517 (2010) persons per km2


Tropical wet-dry

Main economic activity

Secondary sector

Community type


About the Local Government

Official name

uMhlathuze Local Municipality, City of uMhlathuze, KwaZulu-Natal

Official name in English

uMhlathuze Local Municipality, City of uMhlathuze, KwaZulu-Natal

Number of municipal employees

30 councillors (2012)

Annual income in USD

206,643,353.03 USD (2012)

Annual expenditure in USD

203,739,295.24 USD (2012)

Mayor or senior elected representative

Mayor Elphas Mbatha 

City vision and mission statement

The City of uMhlathuze, as a port city, will offer improved quality of life for all its citizens through sustainable development.  It will be a renowned centre for: Trade, Tourism and Nature-lovers, Coastal Recreation, Commerce, Industry, Forestry, and Agriculture. Mission: To develop uMhlathuze as the industrial, commercial and administrative centre within the natural beauty of the region, providing a range of efficient municipal services thereby ensuring economic development, dynamic investment growth and an improvement in the quality of life for all. VISION INTO ACTION!



Urban systems, infrastructures and services managed by the Local Government

Waste management, Wastewater drainage, Wastewater treatment

ICLEI Membership


Member of regional/national/global initiatives


Sustainability journey to date

Coming soon!

At a glance

% access to electricity

84.9 % of all households use electricity for cooking (2011).

% served by municipal water system

93 % of all households have piped water

Water consumption per inhabitant

123.05 m3/hab/year

% served by municipal wastewater drainage system

59.93 % have a flush or chemical toilet.

% served by municipal solid waste collection system

58 % of the population has access to waste removal services (47.6 % of waste collected is domestic waste & 12.3 % is garden waste).

Public transportation modes available

Bus, Train (commuter, intercity)

Energy profile

Coming soon!

For more information on the city's GHG emission reporting, visit their profile on the carbonn Climate Registry.

Empangeni Libary Solar PV system

A local library was selected for a full lighting retrofit and installation of solar PV; to be unveiled 13th October.


  • Lights:  A total of 337 lights were retrofitted with LED lights, which increased the lux level at a reduced consumption.
  • Solar PV System:  A 7kWp solar PV system, with inverters & battery bank, was installed. A first for the municipality
  • Simple solutions: A Mobiya mobile solar PV with LED light from Schneider Electric, a Wonderbag insulation cooker and counter top compost container form part of a permanent exhibition at the library with a focus on energy efficiency.

For more information on the city's mitigation actions, visit their profile on the carbonn Climate Registry.

GCC tracking for uMhlathuze
Step I
Step II
Step III

GreenClimateCities Methodology - Legend

GreenClimateCities Methodology - uMhlathuze