Uthukela District Municipality is 11 326.12 sq km in extent and has a population of 723 844. The area is characterized by a low revenue base, poor infrastructure, limited access to services, high levels of poverty and unemployment, skills shortage, lack of resources, low level of education, underdeveloped land and settlement patterns that make it difficult to plan for effective service delivery. The attraction of investors, tourists and skilled human resources is a challenge due to Uthukela’s location away from the two major cities, namely Durban and Johannesburg.
The district is rich in history, with a wealth of historical buildings, battle sites and memorials. Uthukela District Municipality derives its name from one of the major rivers in KwaZulu-Natal, the uThukela River that rises from the Drakensberg and supplies water to a large portion of KwaZulu-Natal as well as Gauteng. The district municipality includes five local municipalities, namely Emnambithi, Indaka, Umtshezi, Okhahlamba and Imbabazane.