Municipality: Sisonke District Municipality


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Phone: 039-834-8700
Fax: 039-834-1750


The Sisonke District Municipality is located at the extreme south of KwaZulu Natal Province and comprised of the following municipalities:

  • Umzimkhulu Municipality
  • Ubuhlebezwe Municipality
  • Greater Kokstad Municipality
  • Ingwe Municipality
  • KwaSani Municipality

The Sisonke District Municipality is predominantly rural with an area of 11,128 square km and a total population of 508,009 inhabitants (2006 estimate).

Source: Sisonke DM IDP 2006/07


Critical infrastructure

In urban areas of Ixopo, Underberg and Kokstad, fair to adequate road infrastructure is generally in place. However funding for maintenance of these roads is not always readily accessible.

The current spatial pattern and low population density make it difficult and costly to service the areas. Although a lot has been done by the District and Local Municipalities to service the rural areas, a significant number of settlements have no adequate access to basic services.

Source: Adapted from Sisonke DM IDP 2006/07


Agriculture in the form of commercial farms and to large extent commercial plantations forms the bedrock of the economy of the district. The abundance of high quality soils, high altitude, abundant water, climatic extremes makes the area suitable for dairy farming and as a result a significant portion of dairy produce consumed in KZN is produced within the district. A huge section of the commercial farmers is also engaged in crop farming and the most famous being potatoes and cabbages. In addition there
are also huge tracts of commercial plantations and the wood harvested provides raw materials for paper.

Sisonke DM has a great variety of natural tourism assets and is reasonably endowed with accommodation establishments such a guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments and hotels. The majority of these are located at KwaSani Local Municipality the gateway to Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park.

Source: Sisonke DM IDP 2006/07


According to official statistical data and other resources, Sisonke DM is one of the most economically depressed regions of KZN with both employment and literacy levels falling way below the Provincial averages. This coupled with a lower Human Development Index (HDI) for SDM in comparison with KZN implies that SDM experiences lower levels of income and as such the residents have a limited ability to access productive resources and hence no meaningful economic participation. The District is experiencing a drain of qualified and skilled human capital of the larger centres of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Source: Adapted from Sisonke DM IDP 2006/07