KwaZulu-Natal’s countless assets, including its successful alumni,  contribute to the region's growth and the many accolades it receives.  

One of nine South African provinces, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has historically been a key component of the South African economy and is the second largest contributor to South Africa’s GDP after Gauteng. The province has an advantageous location, abundant resources, effective infrastructure, stable governance, a thriving economy and an excellent lifestyle.

Of major significance is that the ports of Durban and Richards Bay, around which KwaZulu-Natal is established, are two of Africa’s gateways to the sea-lanes of the world. Durban and Richards Bay ports are southern Africa’s busiest in terms of handling cargo by value and bulk respectively.

eThekwini Metropolitan (Durban and surrounding towns) is the economic powerhouse of the province. The GDP generated ranks eThekwini as the second largest economic centre behind Johannesburg. To meet the growing demands of a competitive global world, recent flagship projects in the province include the  King Shaka International Airport and Dube TradePort, which have been constructed north of the city. Current strategy proposes that an aerotropolis is developed at the site. This airport city will provide a cost-effective solution by creating a vast logistics platform, offering a significant means to expand the capacity of KwaZulu-Natal to import and export goods as well as enhancing international competitiveness and promoting job creation.

The City has recognised that innovation is the key to ensuring economic growth and job creation in the region.   In order for eThekwini Municipality to become a Smart City and to drive innovation, the Municipality has partnered with various stakeholders provide solutions to challenges faced by the City. The initiative aims to position eThekwini as a leading innovative city in Africa so that it can develop solutions for the challenges of service delivery as well as for problems faced by rapid urbanisation.  

It is no surprise that the 2016 annual global Quality of Living Index by HR consulting firm Mercer has upheld Durban’s place as the South African city which offers the best quality of life. Durban was ranked 85th out of 230 cities ahead of Cape Town and Johannesburg.

 Of note in 2014 the City of Durban was voted an Official New 7Wonder City of the World, together with other leading cities like Doha, Havana, and Kuala Lumpur. Durban has also been named as one of the top destinations to visit by the New York Times “52 Places to Go in 2015” list where it was rated in the Top 10 at seventh position.

Richards Bay anchors the country’s largest harbour, the world’s largest coal export terminal and numerous giant industries and operations. The town is strategically positioned relative to inland markets and tourist attractions such as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The city is easily accessible via a dual carriageway from Durban to Pongola.

Pietermaritzburg is the capital city of the province. The “City of Choice” combines both style and vitality. Apart from a hub of governance, the city is a regional centre for impressive sports events, outdoor festivals, shows, education, and the arts such as the Comrades Marathon, the Duzi Marathon, the Royal Show, Art in the Park and Cars in the Park and international cycling events.

KwaZulu-Natal is well placed for moving vigorously into the future  and invites alumni to participate in the region’s growth and contribute to making the province “better than before”. The province's successful alumni are considered exceptional people that may be crucial to our success story.