A magistrate was stationed in April 1887 to administer a district named Mthonjaneni, in the mist belt of central Zululand.
The village was named Melmoth, after Melmoth Osborn, the British resident commissioner and chief magistrate of Zululand.
Large plantations of wattle trees were created around Melmoth and in 1926 a wattle bark factory was established here. The village is the centre for an industry in timber and wattle productions.
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