KwaZulu-Natal

Map KwaZulu NatalKwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is one of the nine provinces in South Africa. The province is situated on the East Coast of the country, bordering Mozambique and Swaziland in the north, Lesotho in the south and neighbouring three other provinces - Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Free State.

It is affectionately called the “Garden of South Africa”. Tropical and subtropical regions fall within the boundaries of this beautiful province which has for years been a favourite amongst the travellers of South Africa. KZN is a subtropical region of lush and well-watered valleys, washed by the warm Indian Ocean.

The capital of KZN is Pietermaritzburg. The province is divided into eleven districts, further subdivided into 62 local municipalities. One of these, eThekwini (Durban and surrounding area), is a metropolitan municipality and the other ten are district municipalities. The local seat of each district municipality is given in parentheses.

  • Amajuba (Newcastle)
  • Zululand (Ulundi)
  • UMkhanyakude (Mkuze)
  • uThungulu (Richards Bay)
  • UMzinyathi (Dundee)
  • UThukela (Ladysmith)
  • UMgungundlovu (Pietermaritzburg)
  • iLembe (kwaDukuza, formerly Stanger)
  • eThekwini
  • Ugu (Port Shepstone)
  • Sisonke (Ixopo)

KZN has the second largest provincial economy in South Africa after Gauteng. With a total area of 94 361 square kilometres, KZN is the country's third smallest province, taking up 7,7% of the country's land area. It is home to the largest percentage (20,6%) of the population - an estimated 9,9 million people. It contributes R206,8 billion (16,5%) towards the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

KZN's manufacturing sector is the second largest in the country, after Gauteng. It is a key sector in the provincial economy, growing at a stable and steady rate, generating 20% of provincial employment. Positioned as Africa’s global trade gateway, KZN is poised to become an international player in the global economy as a leading trade and investment destination.

The country’s two largest and busiest ports in Africa, Durban and Richards Bay, are located on the KZN coastline and these cities are also the major focal points of industrial investment. Durban has 5 000 commercial vessels passing through its port every year where 26 million tons of cargo with a value of R50 billion are handled. Richards Bay, on the other hand, has 57% of South African port cargo by volume and 14% by value.

KZN's GDP is made up from diverse economic sources which together comprise 13% of the country’s GDP. Its economy is predominantly driven by its gateway status into and out of Southern Africa. This has encouraged a strong concentration of manufacturing investment - 21,5% of the GDP is made up of manufacturing compared with 19% of the GDP for the country.

KZN’s transport and communications sector, at 15%, is larger than at national level where the sector contributes 10%. The province has modern and well-developed logistics and financial sectors with one of the fastest growing provincial economies at an average yearly growth rate of 4,3%.

KZN Statistics

Geographical area: 92 417km/square (7,7% of total area of South Africa)
Population: 9,92 million
Population growth rate: 2,2%
Density: 94,5 persons per square km
Capital: Pietermaritzburg
Premier: Willies Mchunu
Functional urbanisation: 77,9%
Literacy rate: 84,3% 
Labour force: 2,42 million
Life expectancy: 62,6 years 
Contribution to national GDP: 16,7%
Manufacturing contribution to GDP: 29%