Mthonjaneni is one of the smallest municipalities in South Africa, but it has the distinction of being regarded as one of the healthiest places to live in this country.
Close to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi and the Opathe game reserve, Mthonjaneni is home to about 38 000 people.
Apart from some light industry, the town depends on agriculture for survival, primarily sugar cane, timber and cattle.
Avocados and citrus fruits are also produced for local foreign markets.
The area produces about 300 000 tons of sugar cane and 470 000 tons of timber per year, as well as delicate cut flowers for export.
The municipality incorporates large tracts of commercial farming land with most communities practicing small-scale farming for domestic purposes.
Agriculture employs about 75% of the labour force.
The expansion of the local economy focuses on increasing timber and cane production, expanding the cut flower industry, the production of essential oils and establishment of apiaries.
The town of St Lucia comprises subsistence farming and major nature conservation centres such as iSimangaliso Wetland Park (World Heritage Site), while the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is the gateway to both Mtubatuba and Mtubatuba Towns. (Refer to Map 1)
The eastern boundary excludes the former Mapelane Nature Reserve, reducing the municipality’s coastline to that between the Mfolozi River mouth in the south and the northern boundary of the former St Lucia Lands. It should be noted that the Municipality has no jurisdiction over the coastline as it falls within the proclaimed World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (Park) and is generally managed by Ezemvelo/KZN Wildlife (Ezemvelo).