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Street in Empangeni
|• Total||154.47 km2 (59.64 sq mi)|
|• Density||710/km2 (1,900/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||91.3%|
|First languages (2011)|
|• S. Ndebele||1.3%|
|Postal code (street)||3880|
Empangeni is a town in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is approximately 157 kilometres north of Durban, situated in hilly countryside, overlooking a flat coastal plain and the major harbour town of Richards Bay only 16 kilometres away. The N2 freeway runs just east from Empangeni intersecting the John Ross Highway (R34) which connects Empangeni and Richards Bay.
The climate is sub-tropical with an average temperature of 28.4 °C in summer and 14.5 °C in Winter. The town is said, by local residents, to not have a real winter, as temperatures are seldom very low.
Empangeni has five high schools, Empangeni High School, St Catherine's Empangeni (a Catholic convent), Old Mill High School, Richem Secondary and Felixton College. The town also has four primary schools, Grantham Park, Heuwelland, Empangeni Preparatory School and Empangeni Christian School, which is overseen and run by Victory Family Church.
Empangeni is home to a number of well-known Christian Churches, such as Christian Family Church, The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Empangeni Methodist Church, AGS Empangeni, Victory Family Church, Full Gospel Church, Lutheran Church, Solid Ground Church, Empangeni Baptist Church, Uniting Reformed Church (Dutch), the Catholic Church, Holy cross and St Thomas in Felixton.
Empangeni's local news media is covered by The Zululand Observer.
In 1851, the Norwegian Missionary Society established a mission station on the banks of the eMpangeni river. The river was named after the profusion of Mpange trees (Trema guineensis) growing along its banks. The mission was later moved to Eshowe, 61 kilometres north-west. In 1894 a magistracy was established. The Zululand Railway reached the town in January 1903 and linked the area to Durban and Eshowe. The government planted eucalyptus trees in 1905 as part of an experimental timber plantation. The plantation was a success and led to a large scale planting along the coastal belt. In 1906 Empangeni became a village. Rapid expansion began when a sugar mill was erected at Felixton. The establishment of the Empangeni Sugar Mill set the area on the road to rapid development. Empangeni was officially proclaimed as a township on 15 January 1931 and declared a borough on 13 October 1960.
For nearly a year in 1983 and 1984, the town was terrorized by 35-year-old Simon Mpungose, who was called the "Hammer Man" because he would break into homes in the dead of night and kill the occupants with a hammer before robbing them of their money and jewels.
- "Main Place Empangeni". Census 2011.
- "UNIZULU – Main Campus | The University of Zululand". www.unizulu.ac.za. Retrieved 2016-03-18.
- "Ian Vermaak Profile". International Tennis Federation. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "The Zululand Observer Team in Empangeni | Zululand Observer". zululandobserver.co.za. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
- "Empangeni history - Empangeni information - Empangeni tourist attractions - Empangeni tourist destinations - Empangeniaccommodation - Kwa Zulu-Natal - KZN - Zululand". www.kznnorthhappenings.co.za. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
- "November 29th Simon Mpungose – South Africa 29/11/1985". truecrimelibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
- "Residents feel 'ripped off' by KZN municipality", eNCA, 10 August 2013
- "Ngwelezane Hospital", KZN Department of Health, 04 August, 2015
Media related to Empangeni at Wikimedia Commons