|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008)|
|• Total||47.46 km2 (18.32 sq mi)|
|• Density||8,500/km2 (22,000/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||99.4%|
|First languages (2011)|
|• S. Ndebele||1.2%|
|Postal code (street)||4066|
Umlazi is a township on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, located south-west of Durban. It is the third largest township in South Africa, after Soweto and Tembisa. The township is the only township in the country that has its own registration plate, which is NUZ. Umlazi is divided into 26 sections, A through to Z, with the exception of I,O and X, but with an addition of AA, BB and CC.
According to legend, the name Umlazi comes from "umlaza", the Zulu word for the sour acid produced from fermented or sour milk. It is believed that when King Shaka was passing through the area, he refused to drink from a local river claiming it had the taste of "umlaza". The area was called Umlazi after this incident.
Umlazi, like many townships in the urban areas of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, and Johannesburg, is witnessing increased private and government investments, as seen in the construction of new shopping complexes, primary and secondary schools, universities of technology and libraries.
The new educational infrastructure is particularly important, as an affordable, easily accessible quality secondary education is valuable for many children in Umlazi, particularly with regards to their search for employment following school (most do not attend tertiary institutions due to their families financial resources).
Mangosuthu Highway is the most popular road in Umlazi and it links the residents to the many sections. There are now three shopping malls in Umlazi, the Philani Mega Mall and the Umlazi Mega City Mall which is located just off the freeway that exits to Umlazi and the recently built KwaMnyandu Shopping Centre that opened its doors on the 5th of June 2014.
The township has two FET Colleges, Umlazi Coastal College V and BB Campuses, which are an equivalent of an American Community Colleges, and a university, Mangosuthu University of Technology.
There are schools that produce 100% Matric (Grade 12) pass rate, including Umlazi Comprehensive Technical High School (Umlazi ComTech), Menzi High School, Velabahleke High School and Zwelibanzi High School. About 30% of homes in Umlazi are informal settlements (tin and wooden shacks). Most of these informal settlements have been demolished and replaced with brand new homes and roads that are part of the Residential Development Project (RDP).
- "Main Place Umlazi". Census 2011.
- Umlazi Online
- BBC Radio 5 Live's Umlazi project
- Map showing Umlazi
- A short documentary following Lucas back to his home town in Umlazi Township