Nquthu is a small but stable urban area that has established itself as the primary commercial, administrative and service centre for the area as a whole.  The municipality is predominantly rural in nature, with expansive rural settlements being one of the major features.

The name of the town may originate from either of the following features.

Nquthu is an isiZulu name meaning ‘the back of the head’.

The name is derived from isquthu, ‘flat-topped vessel’, descriptive of a nearby hill from which the village takes its name.

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