The Tongati river is named after the Zulu word for the Strychnos Mackenii trees which flourish on its banks.
Europeans have corrupted this name to Tongaat and applied it to a straggling sugar town.
The town is the centre for the Tongaat Sugar Estates, with their plantations and mill.
The Moreland Molasses Company also has its home in this area.
The town Tongaat was oficially renamed oThongathi on 1 October 2010.
The department of Arts and Culture published a correction of spelling of Tongaat to oThongathi in their government notice No. 848 of Gazette No. 33584 on the 1st of October 2010.
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