By Manzolwandle Hadebe (The Office of the Mayor)

(MEC for Agriculture and Environment, Dr. Meshark Radebe and the Honourable Mayor of Mtshezi Bongani Dlamini)


For the past 17-years, people of Ganahoek have been deceived their rights to enjoy the fruits of freedom or development. In each and every task which the MEC for Agriculture and Environment Dr. Meshark Radebe assigns me, I will make sure that we execute it; these were the words of the uMtshezi Mayor, Honourable Bongani Dlamini. He said this in a ceremony focusing in developing of the deep rural areas held at Ganahoek, a mountainous area in Colenso last week.

A community spokesperson who is a veteran in this area, Mr.Mvelase has recalled about the past brutalities which left them with visible and invisible scars in 1999 when a white farm destroyed their houses and left them to live under the trees. He said he was happy that the MEC Radebe stood on their side and now the land is restored to the people who are now living in peace and harmony. Mvelase has told the MEC that Ganahoek has coal and diesel resources underground which his people should benefit.

In respond, the MEC for Agriculture and Environment Dr. Meshark Radebe has echoed Mvelase words reminding the people that their houses were burnt down and their cattle were confiscated. He said they returned to fight the imbalances of the past.

Radebe said there were government before the ANC but there were no cars with pay point or small children grants. “Those who are dubbed not be educated fought for your freedom”, he referred this to the President of the country, Jacob Zuma.

The MEC says the opposition ask them where the houses and water are; amazingly, they never provide any during their era in government. Radebe said there are people who say they don’t see any different from the government of the ANC and the previous obnoxious Apartheid regime, but they are still in queues to receive grants! He told the people that they should honour Tata Nelson Mandela, as he put it, Madiba is equal to the religious leaders Moses, and he is actually your Moses.

He further said the attendance of the gathering was a sign that people are not employed and need to be given employment in order to survive. Recalling from the past, he said during the heydays of Apartheid system, you could not stay until 9p.m. in Colenso city centre or town as there was a curfew time. If you’re found around town you got arrested.

The MEC reminded the people that where they cast their vote, they must reap what they ploughed. He said during Apartheid and in the past 17-years when power was still with the opposition party people were exploited, forced to contribute money when the Minister visits their areas.

We are going to build more dams in the following areas: Five dams at Nkosi Mchunu area, Ncunjane with the tune of R120, 000, Nkosi Mthembu at Ganahoek at R240, 000, Nkosi Mthembu at Nkaseni at R240, 000. The total will be R600-thousand.

Again will build the dams at Nkosi Mabaso at Msuluze at R120, 000 and Nkosi Mabaso at Chievely at R120, 000 and giving us a total of R240-thousand. There will be job creation amounting to the sum of R2.2-million. Reconstruction of cattle Deeping place at Ward 8; eKuthuleni, Gomba, Sibuyile, eSikhaleni, eVumbu, eNgodini and Milton. This will cost R700-thousand. This is for the current financial year 2012/13.

In the next financial budget 2013/14 the government will focus on the following areas; Ganahoek, eNhlawe, Mkholombe, UMgwamama, eMsobotsheni, Cecilia, Sithathane, Mtungwane, Gwede, Jeke, Dotane, Msuluzi and KwaDankie. This will cost R1.4-million.

There will be the building of cattle Deeping areas at Ward 5; Maweni, Frere and Colenso with the tune of R900-thousand.

The MEC also promised the fencing of the area at Ward 5; Nkaseni R40-thousand, Maweni R400-thousand, Mchunu R916-thousand, LRAD Farm R400-thousand, Chievely R400-thousand and Middel Plaats at R60-thousand.









(The Mayor of uMtshezi Municipality, Honourable Bongani Dlamini, his Councillors and the Administration)

From the office of the Mayor (Manzolwandle Hadebe)

More than 100 people attended the soil turning ceremony of a new taxi rank at Weneen on the 30th of April, 2013. The Honourable Mayor of uMtshezi Municipality, Bongani Dlamini has officially indorsed the contractors to start with their work. Adding that this project was part of the municipality initiative in developing communities. Other projects are still in the pipeline of putting Weneen in a better standard.




Estcourt may be said to bear, at least in its origins, some comparison with the ancient city of Rome, for it began at a fort or drift where a modest inn and Trading Store was set up by the first inhabitant Clem Heeley, in 1847.

It grew back into the shadows of its “Seven Hills”, situated in the midlands of the area previously known as Natal, it prospered on the trade between north and south and grew to be a flourishing “half way house” for the travelers, soldiers and statesmen going to their destiny long the inland main road. It became an outpost of frontier defence, against their counterparts, the Bushman (whose threat was portrayed in the towns original Coat-of arms and its legend “Self Reliant”) and whose depredations led to the posting of a detachment of the 45th Regiment, which moved in December 1847 into the “Ordinance reserve” in the bend of the river at the Alice Bridge. Then, secondly following the Langalibalele Rebellion, 1873 of the Hlubis, and the Natal Government’s realisation of the growing Zulu danger under Cetshwayo, came the construction in 1875 of Fort Durnford, a fine example of the military engineering of the day, standing high above the town on the hillock on the southern outskirts, just above the Alice Bridge.

Here, Estcourt began.

Being the largest commercial and service center in the Midlands region, uMtshezi is important for the inhabitants of nearby Mooi River, Winterton, Bergville, Colenso and Weenen.

Estcourt/Wembezi was incorporated into a Transitional Local Council in February 1995 with the town of Estcourt and nearby Wembezi coming together to form one town with well established industrial, commercial and residential areas

These two areas linked-up with Weenen to become known as uMtshezi which is administered by a combined Council consisting of 14 Councillors.

This area is also the heart of the large surrounding agricultural area.

Beyond the usual infrastructure like water, electricity, roads and sewerage, Estcourt has engineering works, which are able to undertake all types of general engineering on a large scale. The saving to a potential industry is considerable in that the need to establish their own machine shop is avoided. Estcourt can handle most things that anyone would require. Estcourt has an abundance of water from the Wagendrift dam, which was opened on the 14th March 1964. The dam is unique in that it’s the first of its kind actually constructed in the world.

Estcourt/Wembezi serves a vast area including the Ntabamhlope – Giants Castle area and the Loskop townships. It is estimated that approximately 130 000 people are living in these surrounding areas. The main commercial sector is in Estcourt and is well established with more than 600 businesses.

The town of Estcourt has become the home of some of the well-established industries in the country, namely, Eskort Bacon Factory, Nestle, Masonite, Narrowtex, Clover, Bunjy Toys, Glamosa Glass. These progressive manufacturing industries serve both the South African market as well as being significant exporters in the industry.

Estcourt is ideally situated with easy access to various towns, which also make up the well known tourist attractions, namely the Drakensberg Region, The Midlands Meander, Ladysmith, Weenen, Colenso which also form part of the world renowned Berg, Bush and Battlefields Route. The new Drakensberg Route which was recently launched, incorporates the uMtshezi area.

It is believed that the town of Estcourt was named after Thomas Henry Sotheron Estcourt. However, claims that the town was originally named Bushmans River Post or Bushmans River Drift and that the change of name to Estcourt took place in 1863.It can be stated that town was never named either Bushmans River Post or Bushmans River Drift, but simply, Bushmans River.

Estcourt is also the start of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Battlefields Route and played an important role During the South African war of 1899.

Estcourt town is now the largest commercial and service center in the Midlands region and is also important to the nearby Mooi River, Winterton, Bergville, Colenso and Weenen, due to the fact that Estcourt now has a greater variety of shops.

Estcourt previously comprised of a population of approximately 3 407 whites, 710 coloureds, 5 432 asians and 1 296 blacks as per the census taken in 1991. The latest population estimation as of 2008 is 68314 persons are residing in Umtshezi municipality. The population of nearby Wembezi is approxiametly 25 000. It is estimated that the area immediately surrounding Estcourt/Wembezi is home to approxiametly a quarter million people, mostly living in the rural environment.

There are also other black homelands in the vicinity of Estcourt from which the town draws a great deal of its labour.