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Ingwavuma is located in KwaZulu-Natal
 Ingwavuma shown within KwaZulu-Natal
Ingwavuma is located in South Africa
Ingwavuma (South Africa)
Ingwavuma is located in Africa
Ingwavuma (Africa)
Coordinates: 27°8′S 32°0′E / 27.133°S 32.000°E / -27.133; 32.000Coordinates: 27°8′S 32°0′E / 27.133°S 32.000°E / -27.133; 32.000
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
District Umkhanyakude
Municipality Jozini
 • Total 1.74 km2 (0.67 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,303
 • Density 750/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 97.2%
 • Coloured 0.2%
 • Indian/Asian 1.6%
 • White 1.0%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Zulu 87.2%
 • English 2.9%
 • S. Ndebele 1.8%
 • Sign language 1.6%
 • Other 6.6%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
PO box 3968
Area code 035

Ingwavuma is a town in the Umkhanyakude District Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. It is unclear where the name of the town came from; one theory is that it was named after the Ngwavuma River while another is that there was a leader called Vuma, the name then meaning "Vuma's place" in Zulu. Trees found on the river bank are also named Ngwavuma (Elaeodendron transvaalense or Bushveld Saffron) but it is unclear which entity was named after which (person, river, town or trees). It is over 700 metres (2,297 feet) above sea level in the Lebombo Mountains and boasts several highly scenic spots. The town is three kilometres (2 miles) from the country's border with Swaziland and overlooks the plains of Maputaland to the East. It falls within the Mngomezulu Tribal Authority.


Zulu king Dingane was assassinated and buried in the nearby Hlatikhulu Forest in 1840. Ingwavuma was founded by Sir Charles Saunders of Eshowe in 1895 as a magistracy for the Ngwavuma region. During the Second Boer War in 1899 the settlement was razed to the ground by a Boer commando under the command of Joachim Ferrera. The serving magistrate, B. Colenbrander, escaped with his staff to the flats below and eventually found his way to Ubombo. Ingwavuma remained desolate until 1900 when it was re-established and the magistrate returned.

In the 1980s the Apartheid government planned to transfer the town and surrounding magisterial district to Swaziland as part of a land deal to give Swaziland access to the sea. This move was opposed by the then KwaZulu government and the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini established a residence near the town. The transfer was never executed. The surviving historic buildings of the town include the residency (now the municipal buildings), the police station and the Old Gaol Building.

Services and facilities[edit]

  • Mosvold Hospital is located within the centre of the town. The hospital was initially established by The Evangelical Alliance Mission as a mission hospital but has subsequently been taken over by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.
  • There are a number of schools in and around the town including Ingwavuma High School, Nansindlela School, Isicelosethu High School, Magugu Primary, Our Lady Primary, Lundini Primary and Khethani Christian School.
  • Local offices of the government departments of Social Development, Agriculture, Education and Home Affairs. There is also a police station, magistrate's court and prison.
  • Several NGOs also provide services including Ingwavuma Women's Centre and Embathisa, both providing income generation activities for local women, Ingwavuma Orphan Care providing community hospice care and orphan care in the community and Zisize, Ingwavuma Educational Trust.
  • There is a small shopping centre consisting of a Spar, PEP, Ellerines, Ithala Bank and a petrol garage along with some Chinese-owned shops.
  • In 1962, the town was made the seat of the Apostolic Prefecture of Ingwavuma.
  • Ingwavuma has an access road to the border with Swaziland, known as Cecil max pas border post which was closed due to stolen vehicles being smuggled through there. Later it was renamed to Freedom dots border post. The road to this border post to Swaziland lies between a Lebombo mountain hillside and the Ngwavuma river.


Ingwavuma is located on top of a mountain in the Lebombo mountain range with several caves in its vicinity. To the west it overlooks the plains of Swaziland. East the hills drop towards the Maputaland while the Lebombo mountain range continues north towards Mozambique and south towards Jozini.

The Ngwavuma River, one of five major rivers in Swaziland originates in this area.


The Ingwavuma Area has been decimated by HIV/AIDS since the 1990s. In 2002, in Jozini municipality, 57% of people were less than 19 years of age, one third of adults were thought to be HIV positive with uninfected adults having a 3% chance of contracting HIV in any particular year. Several Non-Governmental Organisations are addressing the problems caused by HIV/AIDS, led by Ingwavuma Orphan Care. A mobile voluntary counseling and testing unit (VCT) was started in 2008 by Ingwavuma Orphan Care. It tests around 5000 people a year, with its focus on youth. It found a prevalence rate of 8% among males and 18% among females. While antiretroviral treatment is now available through the government, there are already thousands of orphans who require support. The majority of these are cared for by their extended family with support from churches, NGOs and the government.


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Ingwavuma". Census 2011. 

External links[edit]