Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal

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Newcastle
Capital of Northern KwaZulu-Natal
Downtown Newcastle City Skyline from Fort Amiel Museum.jpg
Sculpture by Mohau Modisakeng at Entrance 03 of the Newcastle Mall.jpg Newcastle City Hall 2015.jpg
Newcastle from Hilldrop.jpg
Arcelor Mittal from Madadeni.jpg
From the top: Downtown Newcastle City Skyline from Fort Amiel Museum, Sculpture by Mohau Modisakeng at Entrance 03 of the Newcastle Mall, Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle from Hilldrop and Arcelor Mittal Newcastle Works.
Newcastle is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Newcastle
Newcastle
Newcastle is located in South Africa
Newcastle
Newcastle
Newcastle is located in Africa
Newcastle
Newcastle
 Newcastle shown within KwaZulu-Natal
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]
Government
 • Mayor Afzul Rehman (African National Congress[2])
Area[3]
 • 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
Website www.newcastle.gov.za

Newcastle is the third-largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with a population of 363,236 citizens as of the 2011 census. 56,144 of these citizens reside in Newcastle West, whilst the balance of the population reside in the main townships of Madadeni and Osizweni, which form Newcastle East.

Set at the picturesque foothills of the northern KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg Mountains, Newcastle is located in the north west corner of the province along the Ncandu River and is one of the country's main industrial centers.

Newcastle's municipal area is 188 square kilometres (73 square miles), consists of 31 wards and a population growth rate of 0.87%, ranking Newcastle as South Africa's tenth-largest city.

The N11 and R34 are the principal roads linking the city to the rest of South Africa.

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

Contents

History[edit]

Name controversy[edit]

Newcastle has a long illustrious history having changed names on numerous occasions during the country's historic rule. It was initially named Post Halt Number 2 on military maps during the 1840s, as postal coaches stopped here to obtain fresh horses on the journey between Durban (then Port Natal in Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek)[4] and Johannesburg. It was later known as the Waterfall River Township because of the Ncandu River. Newcastle received her name after the British Colonial Secretary, the fifth Duke of Newcastle, a British aristocrat, and not the city in England as some believe. During the Anglo-Boer War, Newcastle was invaded by Boer forces on 14 October 1899, and the entire district was incorporated into the Transvaal Republic. Newcastle's name lasted for a period of seven months when it was renamed to Viljoensdorp after the commander of the Johannesburg Commando, General Ben Viljoen. However, after relief of Ladysmith under the command of General Redver Buller, the British forces reclaimed the name back to Newcastle.

Establishment[edit]

Newcastle (then Post Halt Number 2) was strategically placed in 1854 by the Surveyor General of the Natal Colony, Dr PC Sutherland on the banks of the flooded Ncandu River. In 1864, Newcastle was founded on the site, becoming the fourth settlement to be established in Natal after Durban, Weenen and Pietermaritzburg.

War and British rule[edit]

In 1876, Fort Amiel was constructed to ward off the Zulus during the war. 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]

The Industrial Era[edit]

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. In 1920, the Union Steel Corporation built the provinces first steel plant, which later became the ISCOR South Works and subsequently decommissioned the plant after the ISCOR North Works was built, now Arcelor Mittal Newcastle Works today.

Newcastle today[edit]

Modern day Newcastle from the suburb of Signal Hill
Riverside Industrial
Arcelor Mittal Newcastle Works
Newcastle Chemical Park

Today, Newcastle is the main commercial and industrial center in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and is the provinces third largest city. Continuous development has seen this city being a leader in its class and the municipality is striving to make the city sustainable by 2030. The city is the gateway to the Zulu Kingdom from the Free State and Mpumalanga.

Newcastle is a far cry from its humble beginnings, from postal community, to a warring town, to a thriving city and one of South Africa's main urban and industrial centers.

Geography and climate[edit]

Newcastle surrounded by the Northern Drakensberg Mountains

Located at approximately 1,194 metres (3,917 feet) above sea level, Newcastle is found in the North West corner of the province of KwaZulu-Natal at the foothills of the northern Drakensberg mountains. The city has a temperate climate and is classified under the country's 'Cold Interior'. Temperatures in Newcastle often drop below freezing during the winter months, with snowfall often experienced at least twice a decade. Newcastle's summer temperatures have in the recent past exceeded 40 degrees Celsius, due to the 2015 El Niño weather phenomenon, with the region experiencing drought conditions after 28 years.

Climate data for Newcastle
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38
(100)
36
(97)
37
(99)
32
(90)
30
(86)
27
(81)
25
(77)
28
(82)
39
(102)
40
(104)
43
(109)
38
(100)
43
(109)
Average high °C (°F) 28
(82)
28
(82)
27
(81)
25
(77)
23
(73)
20
(68)
20
(68)
23
(73)
26
(79)
27
(81)
28
(82)
29
(84)
25
(77)
Average low °C (°F) 15
(59)
15
(59)
16
(61)
9
(48)
4
(39)
2
(36)
2
(36)
5
(41)
8
(46)
12
(54)
13
(55)
14
(57)
10
(50)
Record low °C (°F) 9
(48)
10
(50)
5
(41)
2
(36)
−1
(30)
−6
(21)
−5
(23)
−3
(27)
−1
(30)
3
(37)
5
(41)
6
(43)
−6
(21)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 137
(5.39)
111
(4.37)
83
(3.27)
41
(1.61)
13
(0.51)
10
(0.39)
10
(0.39)
24
(0.94)
38
(1.5)
91
(3.58)
105
(4.13)
121
(4.76)
784
(30.87)
Average precipitation days 19 12 10 6 2 2 5 10 6 9 16 18 115
Source: South African Weather Service[7]

Demographics[edit]

Newcastle is ethnically diverse, with a cultural richness of mixed beliefs and traditions. Zulus form the largest single ethnic group. Due to its past, Newcastle has a large number of people of British descent, Afrikaners and Indians, with several places of worship and spiritual organizations around the city's suburbs.

The city has since the mid 1980s seen an influx of Chinese nationals. While making up a small percentage of Newcastle's population, they have contributed extensively to the economy. With approximately 200 Chinese-owned businesses, they have left their mark on Newcastle making it a leader in the textile and plastic manufacturing industry. The abolishing of Apartheid has seen the establishment of the Buddhist Light Association's Mediation Center and Chinese School on Victoria Road.

Indian nationals, Pakistan nationals as well as African foreign nationals have since 1995 flocked to the city in search of a better life, now calling Newcastle their home.

Flourishing as one for the benefit of the city, none of the diverse groups have lost their sense of culture. Festivities such as Eid, Diwali, and Christmas to name but a few, speak to how Newcastillians have learned to grow together and respect one another's beliefs.

Economy[edit]

From the 1880s, Newcastle experienced constant economic growth. Today, Newcastle has the largest concentration of commerce & industry in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

This city serves the surrounding towns of Utrecht, Vryheid, Dannhauser, Glencoe and Dundee, maize, livestock and dairy farmers and country at large with an extensive amount of resources, products and goods some of which are also for export.

Arcelor Mittal Head Office Building
The 110 meter tall N5 Blast Furnace at Arcelor Mittal Newcastle
Natal Portland Cement Plant in Riverside Industrial
Newcastle Chemical Park rising above the horizon
Newcastle Co-generation Plant

Industry[edit]

The city has 4 industrial areas, namely Riverside Industrial, Airport Industrial, Madadeni Industrial Estate & Arcelor Mittal Newcastle Works.

The Newcastle economy is strong, being dominated by heavy industry, clothing & textile, services and engineering industry. There is also considerable coal mining in the area.

Although the Arcelor Mittal steelworks, the Natal Portland Cement (NPC) slagment cement plant, the LANXESS Chrome Chemical Plant 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. Heavy Engineering Works such as DCD Venco and Boschpick Engineering supply ancillary services to these large concerns and undertake work throughout the region and country as a whole. Newcastle has welcomed many Chinese and Taiwanese into the region with the addition of over a hundred textile factories located in Riverside Industrial and Madadeni Industrial Estate.

In 2011 Independent Power South Africa (IPSA) converted the old Ngagane Power Station into the Newcastle Cogeneration Plant, an 18 MW gas fired powerstation that provides a dedicated power supply to the Karbochem Plant.

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.

Arcelor Mittal Newcastle produces over 1.5 million tons of long steel products annually, and as part of its commitment to Newcastle undertook a major reline on the N5 Blast Furnace in 2015 to the tune of R1.8 billion.

In mid 2014, a portion of Airport Industrial was renamed to Newcastle Chemical Park, this being the home of African Amines (Pty) Ltd, Karbochem (Pty) Ltd, KC Energy (Pty) Ltd, LANXESS (CISA) (Pty) Ltd, Newcastle Co-generation (IPSA) and South African Calcium Carbide (Pty) Ltd.

Other large operations include firms such as Formosa Plastics and Nova Clothing both of who manufacture goods for the country's leading retailers, a diamond cutting works, various engineering concerns, building industry related services such a brick manufacturing, roofing systems and steel reinforcement.

Entertainment[edit]

Blackrock Casino & Hotel

The Blackrock Casino & Hotel provides much entertainment to Newcastle and surrounding areas, hosting a variety of shows & concerts on a regular basis.

The Victorian Mall, home to Victorian Theatres is popular amongst the city's moviegoers, screening both Hollywood & Bollywood movies.

Retail[edit]

Newcastle Mall

Newcastle has a very strong local trade, which is boosted from the surrounding towns of Utrecht, Vryheid, Dannhauser, Glencoe, Dundee and Ladysmith.

Despite the development of decentralized shopping malls and centers around Newcastle, it's CBD still continues to trade strongly. The city has various major shopping facilities spread throughout, the most notable being the award winning Newcastle Mall adjacent to the Blackrock Casino, Amajuba Mall, Victorian Mall, Village Walk and Theku Plaza.

Buildings and roads[edit]

Newcastle Civic Center
Allen Street Bridge Extension
Street Scene on Scott Street

Current development in Newcastle include the new multi-storey Civic Center; the multi-storey Newcastle Justice Complex; the newly completed expansion of the Victorian Mall; the Meadowlands Estate in Madadeni; the Vulintaba Country Estate in the Drakensberg outside Newcastle, more development at the corner of Allen Street and Memel Roads - Newcastle Corner, and on Newcastle's mixed-use precinct - the Equarand.

Constant roadworks are undertaken to ensure free traffic flow around the city. Recently the D96 was rebuilt, the Allen Street Bridge and widening of Allen Street along Trim Park was completed, Link Road extension Phase 1 completed, and Albert Wessels Drive extension Phase 1 completed. Phase 2 of the latter are currently in planning stages.

Proposed future projects include the Newcastle Technology Hub, the Amajuba Hydroponic Technopark next to the airport, the Heartlands Dry Port next to the train station, expansion of the Newcastle Airport, and the re-alignment of the N11 bypass south of Newcastle by SANRAL.

Tallest structures[edit]

Industrial[edit]

The 140 meter tall stacks and 70 meter tall Coke Ovens at Arcelor Mittal Newcastle
The 120 meter tall stacks and 94 meter tall Cooling Towers of the Newcastle Co-generation Plant
The Signal Hill Tower is 72 meters tall
The DBM Building is the tallest building in downtown Newcastle with its structure topping out at 44 meters and antenna at 54 meters
  • Arcelor Mittal

Arcelor Mittal has a number of tall structures exceeding 50 meters in height. The most notable on Newcastle's skyline are: The 2 Stacks are 140 meters tall. The N5 Blast Furnace is 110 meters tall. The Coke Ovens are 70 meters tall.

  • Newcastle Co-generation Plant

The 2 stacks are 120 meters tall. The 4 cooling towers are 94 meters tall.

  • Natal Portland Cement

The lift structure for the main 4 silos is 78 meters tall.

  • Newcastle Chemical Park

This facility has several tall industrial structures and stacks above 50 meters in height.

Telecommunications[edit]

The Signal Hill Tower is 72 meters tall.

Buildings[edit]

  • Arcelor Mittal Head Office Building: 10 storeys - Structural Height is 50 meters & Top of Antennae is 70 meters.
  • DBM Building: 9 storeys - Structural Height is 44 meters & Top of Antenna is 54 meters.
  • Newcastle Civic Center: 9 storeys - Structural Height is 40 meters.

Tourism[edit]

The clock tower of Newcastle City Hall
Fort Amiel Museum - 4
Majuba Mountain from the N11

As Newcastle is on the alternate route to travellers from Gauteng to Durban, attempts have been made to capture some of the potential tourist spend by enticing travelers to visit the scenic and historic Battlefields Route where war once raged Battlefields Route Website. Apart from a few hotels, there are many Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfast providing luxurious accommodation. Historic Places of Interest in Newcastle on this route include:

  • Newcastle City Hall
  • The Carnegie Art Gallery
  • Haggards Hilldrop House
  • The Armoury
  • Newcastle Cemetery
  • Hindu Shiva Temple
  • Chief Albert Luthuli and the Blaauwbosch Methodist School and Church
  • King Dinuzulu & the Old Prison
  • Maharaj House
  • Fort Amiel Museum
  • O'Neills Cottage
  • Majuba Mountain

Visitor attractions[edit]

Blackrock Casino & Hotel[edit]

Blackrock is the only Casino in the region, and is the place to be. The Casino, owned by Tsogo Sun hosts a variety of shows and concerts on a monthly basis and is flocked by gamblers from the city and region at large Blackrock Casino Website.

Oval Track[edit]

If you feeling adventurous, head out to the Oval Track for a day of family fun. Relaxing with a picnic basket or braai, you will enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of motoring enthusiasts racing around the track Facebook Page

Signal Hill[edit]

If you looking to escape the hustle and bustle, heading up to Signal Hill to see the 'city lights' is ideal. A great way to explore the vastness of Newcastle.

Newcastle Air Show[edit]

Hosted annually, the Newcastle Air Show draws aviation enthusiasts from all over South Africa Official Website.

Hot Air Balloon Championships[edit]

Annually, watch beautiful balloons take to Newcastle's skies. Apart from competitors vying for the grand prize, spectators and visitors alike can enjoy rides over the city and northern Drakensberg mountain range. The event is covered by national media Official website/

Newcastle Paintball Gods[edit]

Friends and family can enjoy an action packed day out at Newcastle Paintball Gods. The reshaped paintball field promises to be fun for everyone Facebook Page.

Vodacom Newcastle Winter Festival[edit]

Previously known as the Newcastle Show, the Vodacom Newcastle Winter Festival is a must for Newcastillians annually. Hosted at the Newcastle Showgrounds by Vodacom, citizens can look forward to rides, food, displays, competitions and live performances by national and inter-national artists Official Website.

Cinemas[edit]

Being the only cinema complex within a 250 km (155 mi) radius, Victorian Theatres draws moviegoers from all over Northern KwaZulu-Natal Facebook Page.

Shopping[edit]

Newcastle Mall from Blackrock Casino

Newcastle is the hub of shopping in the region, with all of the countries main national chains represented around the city. Newcastle Mall is the areas Regional Shopping Center Newcastle Mall Website.

Wining, Dining, Pubs and Nightlife[edit]

Newcastle is well represented with the countries leading restaurants chains and franchises. With an ever increasing choice, there is much to choose from if you feeling peckish.

Newcastle has a number of pubs, bars and night clubs catering for the party-goer, most than any in the region. These are often packed to the brim over a sporting weekend.

Transport[edit]

Road[edit]

Newcastle is well connected to Gauteng & the provinces coastal ports of Durban and Richards Bay on two main routes. The N11 is the principal road running through the city connecting it south to the N3 to Durban and north to the N4 to Gauteng, and through the provinces of Mpumalanga & Limpopo, and eventually to the border at Groblersbrug.

The R34 connects Newcastle to Gauteng via the N3 and the Free State to the West, and Easterly to the port of Richards Bay via Vryheid and Empangeni.

Rail[edit]

Newcastle lies on the main passenger and goods railway line between Johannesburg and Durban. The city has a large rail siding and cargo facility.

Airport[edit]

Newcastle has one Airport which is located approximately 7 km away from the city center. Chartered flights commute daily and a full service with one of the country's airlines is in the pipeline.

Taxis and buses[edit]

Mini bus taxis are the most affordable and quickest form of transport for the majority of the population for those residing in Newcastle East. These are owned by Taxi Associations, and in the recent years inter-operator violence has flared up from time to time, especially as turf wars over lucrative taxi routes resulting in the deaths of many Taxi Bosses.

Apart from the thousands of taxis that traverse the city streets daily, Transnat Coach Lines & Stabus (subsidiaries of Tans Africa Holdings (Pty) Ltd) are the largest bus operators in Newcastle. Their fleets range from Mini-buses to Super Luxury Coaches transporting 1 000's of local commuters daily.

In the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, Transnat Coach Lines provided the bus that transported the South African and German National Teams. Today this bus still boasts the graphics of 2010 as a memento, and is seen in Newcastle on special occasions.

Other[edit]

Ni-Da & Dero Logistics are one of South Africa's largest long haul company's. Both own an extensive fleet of trucks, and are proudly Newcastle based businesses.

Society and culture[edit]

Galleries[edit]

The Carnegie Art Gallery in the city gardens
  • The Carnegie Art Gallery, represents South African artists as well as local artists. This historic building falls within city's Civic Precinct.

Museums, monuments and memorials[edit]

Music[edit]

Newcastle is home to the Northern KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir[9] – a provincial choir of international repute.

The annual Vodacom Winter Festival[10] 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 Hutten Heights. Aspiring bands come from as far as Johannesburg and Durban to entertain the crowded venue.

Organisations for the aged[edit]

Newcastle takes care of its older citizens through the means of care organization. Two of the most notable in the city are Newcastle Organization for the Aged (NOFTA) and New Age of Newcastle (NAON). Both undertake amazing work, keeping the aged occupied through community activity, arranging weekly socials, and tours around the country and world.

Places of worship[edit]

The NG Kerk on York Street
Hindu Shiva Temple

Newcastle has all of the countries religious organizations represented. Churches, Temples and Mosques can be found all around the city. Famous landmarks include the NG Kerk on York Street, and the Hindu Shiva Temple on Kirkland Street. Built in 1903, the temple is reputed to have the largest cella dome of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It is claimed that in 1913, Mahatma Gandhi prayed here while leading the march from Newcastle to Transvaal.

The Darul Uloom on St Thomas Street, an institute of Higher Islamic studies is yet another landmark in Newcastle's diverse community with a modern Mosque on the premises. The Darul Uloom is the oldest in the country

Sport[edit]

Newcastle remains a venue for major sports competitions and conferences because of the facilities the city has to offer. A variety of rugby, cricket, soccer, squash, tennis, swimming and other sport facilities has contributed to its ability to host both national and international events.

Stadia[edit]

Newcastle has numerous multi-purpose stadia around the city, which are mostly used to host local sport competitions, school sports and inter-school sports. These accommodate, Soccer, Cricket and Rugby, Squash Courts, Tennis Courts and Volleyball Courts.

The most notable of these are the Newcastle Swimming Pool, Arbor Park Grounds, Paradise A & B, and the Madadeni Sports Stadium.

Swimming[edit]

The Olympic-sized Newcastle Swimming Pool in Sunnyridge (previously Ferrum Swimming Pool) has in the recent past hosted the All-Africa Development Gala.

Newcastle has 5 public swimming pools.

Sports complex[edit]

Located in Arbor Park, this modern complex has indoor and outdoor facilities, with a bowling green.

Wrestling[edit]

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

Fishing[edit]

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

Rugby[edit]

The local rugby club is the Newcastle Highlanders Rugby.

Soccer[edit]

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

Cricket[edit]

Newcastle has a local cricket league, and matches are hosted at various stadiums around the city.

Golf[edit]

Newcastle has 2 Golf Courses, Newcastle Golf Club with mashie course, and Vulintaba Country Estate.

Horse riding[edit]

Newcastle has a Horse Riding Club and training course.

Parks and recreation[edit]

Ntshingwayo Dam[edit]

Established in 1975, Ntshingwayo Dam (previously Chelmsford Dam) is the third largest in the province. Located approximately 25 km (16 mi) South West of Newcastle on the Ngagane River, Ntshingwayo Dam is Newcastle's main source of water supply. The surrounding reserve covers an area of 6 500 ha. and is managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The 1 500 ha Game Park has a range of highveld game and bird viewing s popular. The Park also features the largest population of the rare Oribi in South Africa. Guided game drives are provided subject to prior arrangement with management.

Sailing, power boating, water-skiing and swimming are all popular past times on the 3 400 ha. dam. The dam is renowned as a fishing destination, both hobby and competition, with carp, barbel and scaly the most popular being caught.

The view of the dam is majestic from the N11, with the Northern Drakensberg mountains creating the perfect backdrop.

Amcor Dam[edit]

This small dam lies on the Ncandu River and is in the suburb of Ncandu Park. Amcor dam has various recreation facilities, from playgrounds, swimming pools to braai areas, and is popular on public holidays and weekends. It is also home to the Newcastle Caravan Park.

Newcastle Golf Course[edit]

The Newcastle Golf Course is located in the suburb of Barry Hertzog Park. The course offers a mashie course, driving range, has 18 holes, a Clubhouse and Restaurant.

Ncandu State Forest[edit]

The Ncandu State Forest Reserve is located 32 km (20 mi) West of Newcastle and is the second biggest indigenous forest in the province, and is filled with grassy plains and Yellowwood gorges. There are many little streams running through the forest that meet the Ncandu River where trout is plentiful. This is the ideal place for a scenic stroll or relaxing horse ride. Many trails run through the reserve, taking you through sandstone cliffs, the majestic waterfalls and allow fabulous birding opportunities. Access to the view points are either by boat or boardwalks where the views are simply stunning.

Parks[edit]

The Gardens on Hospital Street

The city has many parks within its suburbs offering a breakaway from city life, the most notable being Trim Park and The Gardens on Hospital Street.

Trim Park located north of the CBD along the Ncandu River, is a popular spot for relaxing. It is often frequented on weekends and holidays, and is a popular place for hosting picnics and braais.

The Gardens on Hospital Street offers a large grassy garden with large shady trees, and is located in the suburb of Newcastle Central. The park is popular on any day of the week, where Newcastillians walk their pets and play in a free environment. The Gardens are very popular on wedding occasions as they offer beautiful backdrops for photographs to be taken.

Urban play parks[edit]

Crawford Street 'Urban' Play Park

Newcastle is on a drive to create safe playing facilities for the youth, by converting negative public spaces within the city urban fabric into secure, green, soft play zones on an annual basis. Kids can play unsupervised by the parent as they are under the watchful eye of park security. State-of-the-art equipment is used within beautifully landscaped spaces.

Vulintaba Country Estate[edit]

Main approach to Vulintaba Country Estate
The Golf Course at Vulintaba Country Estate
Panoramic of Vulintaba Country Estate

Vulintaba, meaning 'Open the Mountains', is an estate nestled in a picturesque amphitheatre of mountains in northern Drakensberg. Located 18 km (11 mi) West of the city, Vulintaba Country Estate is accessed from the D96. This new suburb of Newcastle offers property for sale in the Drakensberg with serenity, beauty and an expansive tract of unmatched scenery. It also happens to be the closest Berg Lifestyle Estate to Gauteng.

Vulintaba Country Estate boasts a tranquil lifestyle surrounded by nature’s beauty, pristine blue sky and rolling green hills are punctuated by pure, fresh dams.

Vulintaba Country Estate allows residents and visitors alike to explore, relax and experience to awaken our senses. The Estate features a 9-hole Golf Course with clubhouse & driving range, 582 Freehold Stands, abundant wildlife and over 320 indigenous bird species, over 50 km (31 mi) of world-class mountain-biking trails, a variety of walking and running trails, fly fishing in a variety of dams, Hotel with indoor pool, Wedding Chapel, Equestrian area with stables and a variety of community facilities with a magnificent mountain amphitheatre as your backdrop.

As the Estate develops, it will include a Retail Node with Boutique Stores, Sports Fields & Clubhouse, 180 Sectional Title Shared Ownership Units, Spa & Wellness Center and a fully equipped Conference Center.

The Estate is proudly developed and owned by local business giant Ni-Da.

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

The city is home to numerous major Primary and High Schools, both government and private. With private schooling on the increase in South Africa, there has been a recent influx of private schools varying in size.

Newcastle High School[11] and St. Dominic's Academy Newcastle[12] are two of the city's most prestigious schools.

Meridian Newcastle - a leading independent school (part of Curro Schools) has been established in Madadeni, a township of Newcastle to cater for the increased need of quality education to the East of the city.

Newcastle's schools are home to several buildings that have been declared National Monuments, the most famous being 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.[13][14]

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.

Ferrum High School is a culturally diverse parallel medium school. Both the Newcastle Brass Band and the Northern KwaZulu-Natal Youth Choir are home to Ferrum.

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.

Newcastle's main townships of Madadeni and Osizweni are home to schools such as St. Lewis Bertrands High School, Bethamoya High School, Phendukani High School, Siyamukela High School, Thubelihle High School, Ikhwezi High School and Sabela Senior Secondary School being the only high school situated at Madadeni Section 5, which is mostly popular for athletics as the school main sporting code.

Other schools in Newcastle include Newcastle Islamic Collage, Amajuba High School, Tugela High School, St Oswald's Secondary the oldest school of Indian origin which is 104 years old and Lincoln Heights Secondary School. Some junior schools are Hutten Park Primary, Drakensberg Primary, Newcastle Senior Primary, Busy-Bee and Arbor Park Primary, Lennoxton Primary, S.E. Vawda Primary, Suryaville Primary and Chelmsford Primary.

Tertiary Education[edit]

Majuba FET College has 5 separate campuses around Newcastle, and one in the surrounding town of Dundee.

Qualitas Career Academy, a national private college has a campus in 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.

UNISA, Damelin and Boston City Campus & Business College have satellite campuses in Newcastle.

Medical[edit]

Newcastle Provincial Hospital

Newcastle has three hospitals (two government & one private), Newcastle Provincial Hospital (186 bed), Madadeni Hospital (1620 authorized beds; 1154 usable beds)[15] and Mediclinic Newcastle (254 authorized beds; 186 operational beds). There are also several clinics and specialist physicians in almost every field.

In addition, the La Gratitude Home for the Aged provides retirement and care facilities for the elderly folk.

There are also 16 government clinics in Osizweni and Madadeni,[15] improving the health of the broader community.

Media[edit]

Print[edit]

Caxton Community Newspapers is a major printer and publisher of newsprint materials in the region. Major newspapers include the Newcastle Advertiser, Newcastle Sun, Amajuba Eyethu, Agrieco, and the Northern Natal Get It Magazine.

Other popular local publications are Tabloid Media's Newcastle Express.

Broadcasting[edit]

Newcastle Community Radio is an independent local radio station broadcasting to Newcastle from their studio in Madadeni on 103.7fm Newcastle Community Radio Website.

Suburbs[edit]

Newcastle is made up of a number of suburbs, and like any other city, Newcastle has its fair share of rich, middle-class and poor, green leafy suburbs to dry townships. The city is on a drive to improve living standards in the 'previously disadvantaged suburbs', with new tarred roads, lighting, and planting to name but a few.

Former 'white' residential[edit]

  • Amajuba Park
  • Amiel Park
  • Arbor Park
  • Aviary Hill
  • Barry Hertzog Park
  • Hutten Heights
  • Ingagane
  • Kilbarchan
  • Ncandu Park
  • Newcastle Central
  • Pioneer Park
  • Schuinshoogte
  • Signal Hill
  • Sunnyridge

Former 'indian' residential[edit]

  • Fernwood
  • Ghandi Park
  • Lennoxton
  • Paradise
  • Richview
  • Sunset View
  • Suryaville

Former 'coloured' residential[edit]

  • Fairleigh
  • Lenville

Former 'black' townships[edit]

  • Blaauwbosch
  • Cavan
  • Claremont
  • Dicks Halt
  • Eastbourne
  • Fulathela
  • Inverness
  • Jakkalspan
  • Kwamathukuza
  • Lekkerwater
  • Leslie
  • Madadeni - Sections A to P
  • Mndozo
  • Osizweni - Sections A to F

Mixed-use areas[edit]

  • Equarand
  • Newcastle CBD
  • Vlam
  • Vulintaba

Industrial zones[edit]

  • Airport Industrial
  • Arcelor Mittal North Works
  • Madadeni Industrial Estate
  • Riverside Industrial

Notable people[edit]

Music[edit]

Sport[edit]

International relations[edit]

Newcastle has since the Industrial Era been internationally connected, and is today home to many international industries, the most popular being steel giant Arcelor Mittal, chrome chemical companies Bayer & Lanxess, synthetic rubber manufacturer Karbochem, and heavy engineering firm DCD Venco.

Further to this, Newcastle has since the late 1980s built a strong relationship with mainland China and subsequently Taiwan following the influx of Chinese nationals in the mid 1980s. To date, China has invested in approximately 100 factories in Newcastle, employing 1000s of workers.

Twin Towns / Sister Cities[edit]

Newcastle is part of a global community of Newcastles Newcastles of the World Website, being the third largest Newcastle in the world by population. Newcastle is twinned with:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ "The Witness". witness.co.za. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Main Place Newcastle". Census 2011. 
  4. ^ "Newcastle". places.co.za. 
  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. ^ "Climate data for Newcastle". South African Weather Service. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Fort Amiel". South African Heritage Resources Agency. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "NKZN Youth Choir". nkznyouthchoir.co.za. 
  10. ^ "Winterfestival - Newcastle Winterfees / Winter Festival". Winterfees. 
  11. ^ Newcastle High School
  12. ^ "St Dominic’s Academy - a leading independent school (part of Curro Schools) in Newcastle". stdoms.co.za. 
  13. ^ http://www.stdoms.co.za/cat/Info.aspx?G=info&SG=History
  14. ^ "St Dominics Academy Pavilion St Dominics". South African Heritage Resources Agency. Retrieved 20 August 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Madadeni Provisional Hospital". kznhealth.gov.za. 
  16. ^ "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]