KwaZulu-Natal (/kwɑːˌzuːluː nəˈtɑːl/; also referred to as KZN
and known as "the garden province") is a province of South Africa
that was created in 1994 when the Zulu bantustan of
KwaZulu ("Place of
the Zulu" in Zulu) and
Natal Province were merged. It is located in
the southeast of the country, enjoying a long shoreline beside the
Indian Ocean and sharing borders with three other provinces and the
countries of Mozambique,
Swaziland and Lesotho. Its capital is
Pietermaritzburg and its largest city is Durban. It is the 2nd most
populous province in South Africa, with slightly fewer residents than
During the 1830s and early 1840s, the northern part of what is now
KwaZulu-Natal was occupied by the
Zulu Kingdom while the southern part
was, briefly, the
Boer republic of Natalia before becoming, in 1843,
the British Colony of Natal.
KwaZulu remained independent until 1879.
KwaZulu-Natal is the birthplace of many notable figures in South
Africa's history, such as Albert Luthuli, the first non-white and the
first person from outside Europe and the Americas to be awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize (1960); Pixley ka Isaka Seme, the founder of the
African National Congress
African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa's first black lawyer;
John Langalibalele Dube, the ANC's founding president; Harry Gwala,
ANC member and anti-apartheid activist; Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the
founder of the
Inkatha Freedom Party
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP); Anton Lembede, the
founding president of the ANC Youth League; Jacob Zuma, the former
President of South Africa; and Bhambatha, a 19th-century Zulu chief
who became an anti-apartheid icon.
Two areas in
KwaZulu-Natal have been declared
UNESCO World Heritage
Sites: the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg
1.3 Administrative divisions
1.3.1 Metropolitan municipalities
1.3.2 District municipalities
3 Provincial coat of arms
4 Law and government
4.1 Provincial government
4.2 Current composition
4.3 Zulu monarch
6 Civil society and politics
6.1 Evictions and political controversy
9.1 Private schools
10.1 Major sports events
10.2 Provincial sports teams
11 See also
13 External links
A view of the
Mngeni River valley near Howick Falls.
At around 92,100 km2 in area,
KwaZulu-Natal is roughly the size
of Portugal. It has three different geographic areas. The lowland
region along the
Indian Ocean coast is extremely narrow in the south,
widening in the northern part of the province, while the central Natal
Midlands consists of an undulating hilly plateau rising toward the
west. Two mountainous areas, the western
Drakensberg Mountains and
Lebombo Mountains form, respectively, a solid basalt wall
rising over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) beside
Lesotho border and low
parallel ranges of ancient granite running southward from Swaziland.
The area's largest river, the Tugela, flows west to east across the
center of the province.
The coastal regions typically have subtropical thickets and deeper
ravines; steep slopes host some Afromontane Forest. The midlands have
moist grasslands and isolated pockets of Afromontane Forest. The north
has a primarily moist savanna habitat, whilst the
hosts mostly alpine grassland.
The province contains rich areas of biodiversity of a range of flora
and fauna. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba
Drakensberg Park have been declared
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The
iSimangaliso Wetland Park, along with uKhahlamba
Drakensberg Park and
Ndumo, are wetlands of international importance for migratory species,
and are designated as Ramsar sites.
South Africa signed the 1971
Ramsar Convention to try to conserve and protect important wetlands
because of their importance to habitats and numerous species.
Eastern Cape enclave of the town of
Umzimkulu and its
hinterland have been incorporated into
KwaZulu-Natal following the
12th amendment of the Constitution of South Africa. The amendment also
made other changes to the southern border of the province.
The northwesterly line of equal latitude and longitude traverses the
province from the coast at
30°34′35″E / 30.57639°S 30.57639°E / -30.57639;
30.57639) to northeast Lesotho.
Upland savannah near Pietermaritzburg.
KwaZulu-Natal has a varied yet verdant climate thanks to diverse,
complex topography. Generally, the coast is subtropical with inland
regions becoming progressively colder.
Durban on the south coast has
an annual rainfall of 1009 mm, with daytime maxima peaking from
January to March at 28 °C (82 °F) with a minimum of
21 °C (70 °F), dropping to daytime highs from June to
August of 23 °C (73 °F) with a minimum of 11 °C
(52 °F). Temperature drops towards the hinterland, with
Pietermaritzburg being similar in the summer, but much cooler in the
winter. Ladysmith in the
Tugela River Valley reaches 30 °C
(86 °F) in the summer, but may drop below freezing point on
winter evenings. The
Drakensberg can experience heavy winter snow,
with light snow occasionally experienced on the highest peaks in
summer. The Zululand north coast has the warmest climate and highest
humidity, supporting many sugar cane farms around Pongola.
KwaZulu-Natal borders the following areas of Mozambique,
Mozambique (far northeast)
Swaziland (northeast, east of Shiselweni)
Swaziland (northeast, west of Lubombo)
Lesotho (southwest, north of Thaba-Tseka)
Lesotho (southwest, between Mokhotlong and
Qacha's Nek District,
Lesotho (southwest, south of Thaba-Tseka)
Domestically, it borders the following provinces:
Free State (west)
Eastern Cape (southwest)
A map of
South Africa showing the districts of
Population density in KwaZulu-Natal.
Dominant languages in KwaZulu-Natal.
No language dominant
See also: Parks of KwaZulu-Natal, List of cities and towns in
KwaZulu-Natal, and List of municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal
Natal Province is divided into one metropolitan
municipality and ten district municipalities. The district
municipalities are in turn divided into 48 local municipalities. The
local seat of each district municipality is given in parentheses:
In 2012, the
Ingonyama Trust owns 32% of the land in KwaZulu-Natal, in
many municipalities. This amounts to about three million hectares,
occupied by over 4 million people. The Zulu king is the chairman of
eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (Durban)
Amajuba District (Newcastle)
Zululand District (Ulundi)
uMkhanyakude District (Mkuze)
The Big 5 False Bay
King Cetshwayo District (Richards Bay) [formerly uThungulu]
uMzinyathi District (Dundee)
Uthukela District (Ladysmith)
uMgungundlovu District (Pietermaritzburg)
iLembe District (kwaDukuza)
Ugu District (Port Shepstone)
Harry Gwala District (Ixopo)
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
A beach on the North Coast.
The coastline is dotted with small towns, many of which serve as
seasonal recreational hubs. The climate of the coastal areas is humid
and subtropical, comparable to southern Florida in the United States,
but not quite as hot and rainy in the summer. As one moves further
north up the coast towards the border of Mozambique, the climate
becomes almost purely tropical. North of
Durban is locally referred to
as "The North Coast", while south is "The South Coast". The
Kwazulu-Natal Tourist board includes towns such as Margate, Port
Scottburgh and Port Edward in its definition of the South
Coast, while Ballito, Umhlanga and
Salt Rock are North Coast resort
San Lameer Resort.
Beaches of world-class quality are to be found along virtually every
part of South Africa's eastern seaboard, with some of the
least-developed gems found in the far southern and far northern ends
of the province. Marina Beach (and its adjoining resort San Lameer)
was recognised in 2002 as a Blue Flag beach.
Some visitors come for the annual late autumn or early winter
phenomenon on the
KwaZulu-Natal coast of the "sardine run". Referred
to as "the greatest shoal on earth", the sardine run occurs when
millions of sardines migrate from their spawning grounds south of the
southern tip of Africa northward along the
Eastern Cape coastline
toward KwaZulu-Natal. They follow a route close inshore, often
resulting in many fish washing up on beaches. The huge shoal of tiny
fish can stretch for many kilometres; it is preyed upon by thousands
of predators, including game fish, sharks, dolphins and seabirds.
Usually the shoals break up and the fish disappear into deeper water
around Durban. Scientists have been unable to answer many questions
surrounding this exceptional seasonal event.
The interior of the province consists largely of rolling hills from
Valley of a Thousand Hills
Valley of a Thousand Hills to the Midlands. Their beauty has
inspired literature. Alan Paton, in the novel Cry, the Beloved
There is a lovely road that runs from
Ixopo into the hills. These
hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any
singing of it. The road climbs seven miles (11 km) into them, to
Carisbrooke; and from there, if there is no mist, you look down on one
of the fairest valleys of Africa. About you there is grass and bracken
and you may hear the forlorn crying of the titihoya, one of the birds
of the veld. Below you is the valley of the Umzimkulu, on its journey
Drakensberg to the sea; and beyond and behind the river,
great hill after great hill; and beyond and behind them, the mountains
of Ingeli and Griqualand East.
Further information: Zulu Kingdom, Natalia Republic, Colony of Natal,
Natal Province, and KwaZulu
The Portuguese explorer
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama saw the coast of Natal on
Christmas Day 1497. Natal is the Portuguese word for Christmas which
gave rise to the European name for the region. The area was occupied
centuries ago by the Nguni branch of the Bantu.
The first European settlers, mostly British, established Port Natal, a
trading post. They made almost no attempt to develop the interior,
whose inhabitants had been decimated by the Zulu king, Shaka. The
Voortrekkers entered the area via the
Drakensberg passes in
1837. These Afrikaners defeated the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River
in 1838 and thereafter established the Republic of Natal. Thus, the
territory was once part of a short-lived
Boer republic between 1839
and 1843 until its annexation by Britain. Many
left for the interior after the annexation and were replaced by
immigrants, mainly from Britain. From 1860 onward, increasing numbers
of Indians were brought in by the British mainly to work in the sugar
plantations on the coast. The colony acquired Zululand (the area north
of the Tugela River) after the Zulu War of 1879. The lands north of
the Buffalo River were added in 1902.
Boer forces entered the area
during the South African War (1899 to 1902) – also known as the
Boer War – and laid siege to Ladysmith. They failed to
build on their initial advantage and for three months the line between
the opposing forces followed the course of the Tugela River. In 1910,
the colony became a province of the Union of
South Africa and in 1961
of the Republic of South Africa.
When the homeland of KwaZulu, which means "Place of the Zulu" was
re-incorporated into the Natal province after the end of apartheid in
1994, the province of Natal, which had existed between 1910 and 1994,
was renamed KwaZulu-Natal. The province is home to the Zulu monarchy;
the majority population and language of the province is Zulu. It is
the only province in
South Africa that has the name of its dominant
ethnic group as part of its name.
Provincial coat of arms
The lion and wildebeest supporters are symbols of, respectively,
KwaZulu and Natal, the regions joined to create KwaZulu-Natal. The
zig-zag stripe represents the
Drakensberg and the star the Zulu myth
Zulu people are "star people" ("people of heaven"). The
strelitzia flower on the shield symbolizes the province's beauty,
while the assegai and knobkierrie behind the shield represent
protection and peace. The base of the crown element is a type of
headdress traditionally worn by Zulu elders that represents wisdom and
maturity; the element itself is a Zulu-style grass hut. The motto is
Masisukume Sakhe, Zulu for "Let us stand up and build".
Law and government
KwaZulu-Natal's provincial government sits in Pietermaritzburg. The
foundation stone of the new legislative building was laid on 21 June
1887, to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The building was
completed two years later. On 25 April 1889, the Governor of Natal,
Sir Arthur Havelock, opened the first Legislative Council session in
the new building.
This was the former site of St Mary's Church, built in the 1860s. The
congregation built a new church in 1884 at the corner of Burger Street
and Commercial Road. The old building was demolished in 1887 to
provide space for the legislative complex.
When governance was granted to Natal in 1893, the new Legislative
Assembly took over the chamber used by the Legislative Council since
1889. Further extensions to the parliamentary building were made. The
building was unoccupied until 1902, when it was used without being
officially opened, due to the country's being engulfed in the
Boer war. The war forced the Legislative Assembly to move the
venue of its sittings, as its chamber was used as a military hospital.
KwaZulu-Natal parliament building, located in Pietermaritzburg.
The Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council buildings have
both been protected as provincial landmarks. They formed a colonial
Parliament of two houses: a Council of 11 nominated members and an
Assembly of 37 elected members. The Natal Parliament was disbanded in
1910 when the Union of
South Africa was formed, and the Assembly
became the meeting place of the Natal Provincial Council. The Council
was disbanded in 1986.
The Provincial Legislature consists of 80 members.
Breakup of the 80-seat legislature from the 2014 elections.
African National Congress (52)
Democratic Alliance (10)
Inkhata Freedom Party (9)
National Freedom Party (6)
Economic Freedom Fighters(2)
African National Congress
African National Congress (ANC) hold power in the provincial
legislature, winning the province with a convincing overall majority
in South Africa's 2014 elections. After the election, the Democratic
Alliance replaced the
Inkatha Freedom Party
Inkatha Freedom Party as the official opposition
in the province.
KwaZulu-Natal is the home to the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill
Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. Although not holding any direct political
power, the Zulu king is provided a stipend by the government. He holds
considerable influence among the more traditionalist
Zulu people in
To date, the Zulu king has six wives; traditionally, each year a
ceremony is performed in which the king receives another wife. This
was formerly a way of creating connections among the various peoples.
The current King practices the ceremony, called the "Reed Dance", but
has not chosen new wives recently. Instead, he has used the occasion
to promote abstinence until marriage as a way of preserving Zulu
culture and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Durban is a rapidly growing urban area and is by most measures the
busiest port in Africa. A good railway network links the city to
other areas of Southern Africa. Sugar refining is Durban's main
industry. Sheep, cattle, dairy, citrus fruits, corn, sorghum, cotton,
bananas, and pineapples are also raised. There is an embryonic
KwaZulu-Natal wine industry. Other industries (located mainly in and
around Durban) include textile, clothing, chemicals, rubber,
fertiliser, paper, vehicle assembly and food-processing plants,
tanneries, and oil refineries. There are large aluminium-smelting
plants at Richards Bay, on the north coast.
To the north, Newcastle is the province's industrial powerhouse, with
South Africa (previously ISPAT/ISCOR) and the Karbochem
synthetic rubber plant dominating the economy. In 2002, Newcastle
became the largest producer of chrome chemicals in Africa with the
completion of a chrome-chemical plant, a joint-venture project between
Karbochem and German manufacturing giant Bayer. Other large operations
include a diamond-cutting works, various heavy engineering concerns,
the Natal Portland Cement (NPC) slagment cement factory, and the
Newcastle Cogeneration Plant (old Ingagane Power Station). This was
recommissioned as Africa's first gas-fired power station by
Independent Power Southern Africa (IPSA), and it supplies the
Karbochem Plant with electricity. The textile industry is a major
employer in the Newcastle area, with over 100 factories belonging to
ethnic Taiwanese and Chinese industrialists. Maize, livestock and
dairy farmers operate on the outskirts of the city. Coal is also mined
in the Newcastle area. The province as a whole produces considerable
amounts of coal (especially coke) and timber.
Offshore mining of heavy mineral sands including minerals with a
concentration of significant economic importance at several locations,
such as rutile, ilmenite and zircon are threatening the marine ecology
of KwaZulu-Natal's coast, including the Tugela Banks; the fishing
economy of the prawn and nurse fisheries are also threatened.
About 86% of the population is Black African. During apartheid, a
large percentage of native blacks was forced to live in Bantu
homelands (Bantustans), which had a subsistence economy based on
cattle raising and corn growing.
Ecology tourism is increasingly important to the economy of
KwaZulu-Natal. The area's rich biodiversity and efforts at
conservation have been recognised. Tourists have come to see the
iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba
UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These two major parks and that
of Ndumo have wetlands of international importance listed as Ramsar
sites for conservation. Tourists pay up to $10,000 for safaris on
which they might see lions, elephants and giraffes. Others come to
hike in the mountains or explore the wetlands with guides.[citation
Ingonyama Trust owns 32% of all the land in KwaZulu-Natal.
Civil society and politics
Prominent civil society organisations based in the province of
Abahlali baseMjondolo (shackdwellers')
movement, the Diakonia Council of Churches, the Right2Know
campaign, and the Unemployed People's Movement.
Evictions and political controversy
The government in
KwaZulu Natal has been under sustained controversy
for their eviction of shackdwellers and mistreatment by provincial
police structures that has resulted in more than 200 arrests of
Abahlali members in the first last three years of its existence and
repeated police brutality in people's homes, in the streets and in
See also: Attack on Kennedy Road
The attack on
Kennedy Road informal settlement
Kennedy Road informal settlement by an armed mob in 2009
in [Durban] put local and provincial government under sustained
scrutiny. It was reported by members of the Abahlali baseMjondolo
movement that the attackers were affiliated with the local branch of
African National Congress
African National Congress and it was claimed that the attack was
carefully planned and sanctioned by the provincial police
department. Academic research seems to confirm that the
attackers self-identified as ANC members and that ANC leaders at
Municipal and Provincial level later provided public sanction for the
See also: Marikana Land Occupation (Durban)
Despite a court interdict, the eThekwini municipality, with the
support of the provincial SAPS, repeatedly evicted shackdwellers in
Durban's Cato Crest. The General Council of the Bar has also
expressed concern over the evictions.
The scaly yellowfish (Labeobarbus natalensis) is a fish found in the
Tugela River system as well as in the Umzimkulu, Umfolozi and the
Mgeni. It is a common endemic species in KwaZulu-
Natal Province and it
lives in different habitats between the
Drakensberg foothills and the
Carissa macrocarpa (Natal plum) is a shrub native to South Africa,
where it is commonly called the "large num-num". In Zulu, as well as
in the Bantu tribes of Uganda, it is known as the amatungulu. In
Afrikaans, the fruit is called noem-noem.
One of the most urgent crises facing the province is the unparalleled
prevalence of HIV infection among its citizens.
South Africa as a
whole has more HIV-positive citizens than any other nation. Among
South Africa's provinces,
KwaZulu-Natal has the highest rate of HIV
infection: 39 percent, according to
UNAIDS in 2009.
Without the proper nutrition, health care and medicine that is
available in developed countries, large numbers of people suffer and
die from AIDS-related complications. In some heavily infected areas,
the epidemic has disrupted society, with fatalities high among adults
in their prime, and leaving many orphans to be cared for by elderly
HIV/AIDS has retarded economic growth by destroying
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October
At the 2001 census, 22.9% of KwaZulu-Natal's population aged 20 years
or older had received no education; only 4.8% had received some form
of higher education.
Main page: Category:Private schools in KwaZulu-Natal
University of KwaZulu-Natal
University of KwaZulu-Natal (merger of the
University of Natal
University of Natal and the
University of Durban-Westville)
University of Zululand
Durban University of Technology (merger of
ML Sultan Technikon and
Mangosuthu University of Technology
Major sports events
Comrades Marathon, an annual marathon run between
Midmar Mile, a mile-long swimming race held annually at Midmar Dam.
Dusi Canoe Marathon, an annual canoe marathon starting in
Pietermaritzburg and ending in Durban.
Durban July, South Africa's premier annual horse racing event at
Greyville Racecourse, Durban.
Mr Price Pro, a premier international surfing event at
winter (previously known as the "Gunston 500").
Provincial sports teams
The South African
Premier Soccer League
Premier Soccer League (PSL) currently features the
following teams from the province:
Golden Arrows (Durban)
Thanda Royal Zulu (Richards Bay)
Maritzburg United (Pietermaritzburg)
Dolphins (successor to the
KwaZulu-Natal cricket team)
^ "KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize resigns". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved
12 September 2013.
^ a b c d Census 2011: Census in brief (PDF). Pretoria: Statistics
South Africa. 2012. ISBN 9780621413885.
^ Mid-year population estimates, 2017 (PDF) (Report). Statistics South
Africa. 31 July 2017. p. 3. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
^ My country South Africa – celebrating our national symbols
and heritage, Department of Education (South Africa),
Richards Bay Minerals: History, www.rbm.co.za Archived 31 May 2014
at the Wayback Machine.
^ South African Coastal Information Centre: The Zululand coastal
Ingonyama Trust ruling scrutinised -
KwaZulu-Natal IOL News
^ Churches want justice
^ Churches Ask Parties to Preach Tolerance
^ 200 march against Information Bill
^ No mercy, no grants, says Mkhize
^ Shack Dwellers on the Move in Durban, Richard Pithouse, Radical
^ "'Attackers associated with ANC'". News24. Archived from the
original on 5 January 2010.
^ "Joint Statement on the attacks on the Kennedy Road Informal
Settlement in Durban". Professor John Dugard SC, et al. Archived from
the original on 18 October 2013.
^ The Work of violence:a timeline of armed attacks at Kennedy Road
Archived 17 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine., Kerry Chance School
of Development Studies Research Report, 83, July 2010.]
^ The Work of Violence: Armed Attacks at the Kennedy Road Shack
Settlement[permanent dead link], Kerry Chance, UKZN, March 2011.
^ eThekwini interdicted from evictiong cato crest residents
^ Shack dwellers take the fight to eThekwini – and the ANC takes
^ General bar council expresses concern over cato crest evictions
^ Technical Report on the State of Yellowfishes in
South Africa 2007
^ Dugger, Celia W. (30 September 2009). "U.N. Cites Global Rise in
Detection and Treatment of AIDS". The New York Times. p. A12.
Retrieved 14 June 2011.
^ Dugger, Celia W. (19 July 2009). "
South Africa Is Seen to Lag in
H.I.V. Fight". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
^ Bell C, Devarajan S, Gersbach H (2003). "The long-run economic costs
of AIDS: theory and an application to South Africa" (PDF). World Bank
Policy Research Working Paper No. 3152. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for KwaZulu-Natal.
Kwazulu-Natal Tourism Authority
Coordinates: 29°S 31°E / 29°S 31°E / -29; 31
Province of KwaZulu-Natal
Largest city Durban
Population 10,819,130 (2011)
Area 94,361 km2
Colony of Natal
Administrative divisions of South Africa
Cape Town (legislative)
List of municipalities in South Africa
Countries and regions in the Somali Plate