The Town of Richards Bay is situated on the north coast of Kwazulu Natal.
The City of uMhlathuze is made up of Richards Bay, Empangeni, eSikhaleni, Port Durnford, Vulindlela, Felixton, eNseleni and Ngwelezane, as well as the rural areas under Inkosi uDube, Inkosi uMkhwanazi, Inkosi uKhoza and Inkosi uZungu. uMhlathuze assumed city status on 21 August 2001. The name uMhlathuze is derived from the uMhlathuze River that meanders through the municipal area and unifies these towns, suburbs and traditional areas symbolically.
With a population of approximately 350 000, uMhlathuze is situated 180km North East of Durban on the coast. The City of uMhlathuze is rich in diversity and is the ideal holiday destination where nature lovers can explore the internationally acclaimed game reserves and visit the spectacular wetlands. Outdoor and sporting enthusiasts can take advantage of the subtropical climate and endless beaches and cultural heritage seekers can visit Zulu Cultural Villages, museums and markets.
Richards Bay is considered to be the industrial and tourism centre of the area and occupies 37% of the total 796sq/km municipal area. Richards Bay began its existence as a small fishing town and flourished with the development of the Port of Richards Bay, the country’s deepest and largest port, in 1976. It has been earmarked by the Government as one of the country’s growth and development points, and through the Industrial Development Zone initiative (IDZ) will attract a great deal of investment. Richards Bay is already home to some of the country’s most productive and lucrative industries.