Umjindi Local Municipality is part of the Ehlanzeni District in Mpumalanga and covers an area of 1,745.39 km². Barberton is the biggest town in the municipality and has its origin in the 1880s gold rush in the region. It is situated in the De Kaap Valley and is fringed by the Mkhonjwa Mountains. It is 43 km south of Nelspruit and 360 km to the east of Johannesburg.
The economy of Umjindi is dominated by agriculture, forestry, mining and tourism. In the rural areas most people are employed in the agricultural sector. The region is well situated to agricultural development due to its unique geology and associated soil types, as well as rich biodiversity and an ideal climate. Agriculture and forestry , which together make up about a third of the local economy, are the sectors with the highest growth potential.
In the urban area, manufacturing is predominant, encompassing food, beverage and tobacco products; textiles and clothing; leather footwear; wood and wood products; paper, printing and publishing.
The mining and quarrying of metallic minerals, stone quarrying and clay and sand pits are of importance to the local economy. Barberton not only has the oldest gold mine in South Africa, but also the richest in terms of grain gold per volume extracted.