What You Need To Know
Area: 72.63 km2
Finance, Nelspruit is the financial and banking capital of Mpumalanga. All four major South African banks have provincial headquarters here. Retail, the city has a strong consumer based retail industry boosted significantly by neighboring Mozambican and Swazi tourists. The city has various major shopping centers and malls the most notable being Riverside and Ilanga malls. The motor retail sector is also very strong as many new vehicles are exported from here to neighboring countries. The city is home to the Manganese Metal Company (MMC) and Delta EMD who together form one of the largest Manganese processing facilities in the world. There are several medium industries which support the agriculture and forestry sectors. There is also a thriving construction industry which despite the 2008 recession has kept growing. There are many citrus farms in the area. It is a key agricultural manufacturing hub for northeastern South Africa. Major industries include the canning, juicing and extract of citrus fruit and other produce. Fertile soils and the subtropical climate provide perfect conditions for the growing of citrus and tropical fruits, mainly mango, banana, avocado, papaya and macadamia nuts. The region produces over 700 tons of macadamia nuts per year. Sugar is also big business in the region. TSB, the producer of Selati sugar is located a few kilometers east of the city. The low-lying areas in the region is dotted with sugarcane farms. The economy is heavily reliant on the forestry sector. SAPPI has a paper mill west of the city which was recently upgraded to produce cellulose fibers for various applications. Nelspruit is the global headquarters of KISHUGU which is the parent company of Working on Fire. KISHUGU is also a major player in the forestry sector. The region has many timber related industries such as lumber and saw mills as well as furniture, crate and carton manufacturing industries.
The city has two airports.
Nelspruit Airfield is located just outside the city and is the city’s original airport owned and operated by the municipality. There are over a hundred aircraft based at the airport. The majority of the aircraft are privately owned but there are several commercial aircraft based here as well. There are several AMO, fire fighting, charter & training companies based at the airport. The airport is limited in its potential operations by runway length which is 875 m (2870 ft). The topography of the area prohibits expansion. The airport had scheduled operations with daily connections to Johannesburg and Durban by SA Airlink using a 29-seat BAe Jetstream 41.
In 2001 Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport—located about 25 km (16 mi) north east of the city—opened with scheduled flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. International destinations include Livingstone in Zambia and Vilankulos in Mozambique. The R360 million complex sports a 3.1 km (10,170.6 ft) runway and is capable of handling aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 747. The airport currently handles about 240 000 passengers per annum.
Nelspruit features a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) with mild winters and hot summers. Due to the altitude, summers are not as hot as one might expect. Summers are hot and somewhat humid, complete with high precipitation. Winters in the city are dry, with relatively warm temperatures during the day and chilly temperatures at night.