Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal

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For the British city, see Newcastle upon Tyne.
Newcastle is located in South Africa
 Newcastle shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 27°44′47″S 29°55′58″E / 27.74639°S 29.93278°E / -27.74639; 29.93278Coordinates: 27°44′47″S 29°55′58″E / 27.74639°S 29.93278°E / -27.74639; 29.93278
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
District Amajuba
Municipality Newcastle
Established 1864[1]
 • Mayor Afzul Rehman (African National Congress[2])
 • Total 75.79 km2 (29.26 sq mi)
Elevation 1,194 m (3,917 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 56,144
 • Density 740/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[3]
 • Black African 51.9%
 • Coloured 3.8%
 • Indian/Asian 19.8%
 • White 23.6%
 • Other 0.9%
First languages (2011)[3]
 • Zulu 37.4%
 • English 35.4%
 • Afrikaans 20.7%
 • Sotho 1.0%
 • Other 5.5%
Postal code (street) 2940
PO box 2940
Area code 034

Newcastle is the third largest city and urban center in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with a population of 56,144 citizens as of the 2011 Census. Newcastle is located in the North West corner of the province along the Ncandu River and is moderately industrial.

The upper part of the Drakensberg mountain range curls along the west side of the city. A large proportion of the population live in the townships of Madadeni and Osizweni, which lie to the east. The N11 is the principal road running through the city with the R34 being the alternate route.

Newcastle is the seat of the local municipality by the same name as well as being the seat to the Amajuba District Municipality.


The city started as Post Halt Two on the journey between Durban (then Port Natal in Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek)[4] and Johannesburg. The city was strategically placed in 1854 by the Surveyor General of the Natal Colony, Dr PC Sutherland. It was later known as the Waterfall River Township because of the Ncandu River. In 1864, the town of Newcastle was founded on the site, becoming the fourth settlement to be established in Natal after Durban, Weenen and Pietermaritzburg. Newcastle was named after the British Colonial Secretary, the Duke of Newcastle. In 1876, Fort Amiel was constructed to ward off the Zulus. In 1873 Newcastle became a separate electoral division.[5] To commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond (60th) Jubilee the construction of a sandstone town hall started in 1897, and was completed two years later. The town was used as a depot by the British during both the First and Second Boer War. Newcastle functioned as a major transport junction and popular stopover for wagons and post chaises during the late 19th century.

British preparation work for the Pretoria Convention of 1881 was done at Newcastle.[6]

In 1890, the first train arrived in Newcastle, and the town was declared a borough in 1891. The discovery of coal brought a new era of prosperity and several ambitious building projects were planned.


This city serves surrounding maize, livestock and dairy farmers as well as workers connected to Karbochem, Mittal Steel South Africa (previously ISPAT/ISCOR), the textile and service industry. There is also considerable coal mining in the area.Arcelor Mittal produces over 1.5 million tons of long steel products annually.

Although the Arcelor Mittal steelworks and the Karbochem synthetic rubber plant (which covers 500,000 square metres (5,381,955 square feet) of manufacturing space) dominate the Newcastle industrial portfolio, there is a wide range of manufacturing undertakings sharing in the success of the region. Newcastle has welcomed many Chinese and Taiwanese into the region with the addition of over a hundred textile factories.[citation needed]

An indication of the industrial future of Newcastle is reflected in the chrome chemical plant, which was completed in Newcastle during 2002. This joint venture project between Karbochem and German speciality chemical manufacturing giant LANXESS has made Newcastle the largest producer of chrome chemicals in Africa. The company announced an investment of €40 million in 2012 towards the construction of an innovative CO2 plant (Cansolv chemical process) at its site. Mittal Steel also recently completed a R400 million project to rebuild one of its coke batteries. Other large operations include a diamond cutting works, various heavy engineering concerns, steel reinforcement and a slagment cement factory.

The Blackrock Casino Entertainment Hotel provides much entertainment to Newcastle and surrounding areas, whilst the newly built R500 million Newcastle Mall by Zenprop adjacent to it serves as a one stop shopping destination for the region.

Current urban development in Newcastle includes the new multi-storey Civic Centre, an R80 million expansion of the Victorian Mall, the Meadowlands Estate in Madadeni (residential estate with an open 30 000 sqm shopping mall); major extension and upgrade of the Madadeni Hospital (set to become a regional hospital), a R100 million upgrade to the Madadeni Police Station, the Vulintaba Country Estate (old Dunblane) in the Drakensberg outside Newcastle, the Drakensberg Eco Estate (an RCI Resort) next to Vulintaba, more development at the corner of Allen Street and Memel Roads - Newcastle Crossing, new Allen Street Bridge and widening of Allen Street along Trim Park, a new Mercedes Benz dealership next to the Newcastle Mall, the billion Rand Amajuba Hydroponic Technopark next to the airport, the development of the Heartlands Dry Port next to the train station and the possible expansion of the Newcastle Airport.

From the 1880s, Newcastle experienced rapid economic growth. Today, Newcastle has the largest concentration of industry in the north western KwaZulu-Natal region.[citation needed]


Newcastle has three hospitals (two government & one private), Newcastle Provincial Hospital (186 bed), Madadeni Hospital (1620 authorised beds; 1154 usable beds) [1] and Medi-Clinic Newcastle (130 bed). There are also several clinics and specialist physicians in almost every field. In addition, there is a large retirement centre with care facilities for the elderly community. There are also 16 government clinics in Osizweni and Madadeni[2], improving the health of the broader community.

Society and culture[edit]


  • Carnegie Art Gallery, where major South African artists as well as local artists are represented. This historic building will soon be replaced with a new state-of-the-art gallery which will be built across it as part of the city's Civic Redevelopment.


Newcastle is home to the Northern KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir[7] – a provincial choir of international repute.

The annual Vodacom Winter Festival[8] aka 'Newcastle Show', provides a platform for South African bands and singers and attracts visitors from the entire region.

Local bands, whether in Newcastle or surrounding areas, have the opportunity to showcase their talents at Melo's Pub and Grill in Huttenheights (suburb). Aspiring bands come from as far as Johannesburg and Durban to entertain the crowded bar.

Museums, monuments and memorials[edit]


Newcastle Wrestling Academy is one of the top wrestling clubs in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Newcastle is home to the Challengers Angling Club. An annual angling competition is held to assist local charities.[citation needed]

The local rugby club is the Newcastle Highlanders Rugby.

On the soccer front Newcastle is home to Stella Football club which over the years has produced players to represent the country.


Primary and Secondary Education[edit]

Ferrum High School is a culturally diverse parallel medium school. Both the Newcastle Brass Band and the Northern KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir are at home at Ferrum. Newcastle High School[10] and St. Dominic's Academy Newcastle[11] are some of the well known schools which are in Newcastle. Newcastle is home to several buildings that have been declared National Monuments, such as The Pavilion at St. Dominic's, which was designed by Brother Nivard Streicher and built in 1912. It was declared a monument in 1977 by Dr. Piet Koornhof.[12][13] Newcastle High School is the oldest school in the area, now in its 126th year. The original school buildings are still in use today as the school's administration block. Zama High School is one of the few schools in Osizweni which are considered to be the best schools in the whole of Amajuba District when it comes to learning and teaching.They are also some famous schools in Madadeni and Osizweni such as St. Lewis Bertrands High School, Bethamoya High School, Phendukani High School, Siyamukela High School, Thubelihle High School and Sabela Senior Secondary School being the only high school situated at Madadeni Section 5 which is mostly popular by Athletics as the school main sporting code . Other schools include: Ferrum High School, Amajuba High School, St. Oswalds, Tugela High School and Lincoln Heights Secondary School. Some junior schools would include: Hutten Park Primary, Drakensberg Primary, Newcastle Seniour Primary, Busy-Bee and Arbour Park Primary, Lennoxton Primary, S.E.Vawda Primary, Suryaville Primary and Chelmsford School. Hipc Entertainment is a Music Academy that is based in the city centre of Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal. It provides, amongst others, digital training in djing and music production.

Tertiary Education[edit]

Majuba FET College has comprises 5 separate campuses.

Qualitas Career Academy, a national private college has a campus the CBD. It caters for full-time and part-time studies for students as well as corporate training and consulting services for businesses and government departments.

Famous people[edit]

  • H. Rider Haggard – Writer
  • Sathyandranath Ragunanan "Mac" Maharaj – ANC member, politician, Presidential Spokesperson and businessman
  • Margaret H. Marshall – former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Siphiwe Nyanda – former Minister of Communications in South Africa
  • Moulana Cassim Mohammed Sema – Muslim educator
  • Brett Shuttleworth – Former Rugby player, Supermodel and actor, now author, international motivational speaker and trainer
  • Judge Jerome Ngwenya- Former Judge in Western Cape Province, SA-Chairperson of Ngonyama Trust
  • Zethembe Michael "DOLCE" Mkhize-founder of Young Lions and Champions Of Oliver Reginald Tambo Political views group.



International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Newcastle is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)". pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "Main Place Newcastle". Census 2011. 
  4. ^ Places Info
  5. ^ Theal, George McCall (1919). History of South Africa, from 1873 to 1884, twelve eventful years, with continuation of the history of Galekaland, Tembuland, Pondoland, and Bethshuanaland until the annexation of those territories to the Cape Colony, and of Zululand until its annexation to Natal. London: Allen. p. 281. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Theal, George McCall (1919). History of South Africa, from 1873 to 1884, twelve eventful years, with continuation of the history of Galekaland, Tembuland, Pondoland, and Bethshuanaland until the annexation of those territories to the Cape Colony, and of Zululand until its annexation to Natal. London: Allen. p. 128. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  7. ^ Northern KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir
  8. ^ Vodacom Winter Festival
  9. ^ "Fort Amiel". South African Heritage Resources Agency. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  10. ^ Newcastle High School
  11. ^ St. Dominic's Academy Newcastle
  12. ^ St. Dominic's Academy – Information
  13. ^ "St Dominics Academy Pavilion St Dominics". South African Heritage Resources Agency. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  14. ^ "Nanchang City and Sister Cities Intercommunion". Nanchang Municipal Party Committee of the CPC and Nanchang Municipal Government. Nanchang Economic Information Center. Archived from the original on 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 

External links[edit]