Images of Southern Africa - Durban


Durban is one of South Africa's oldest cities, tracing its history back to a visit by Vasco da Gama in 1492. It was named after the British Governor of the Cape in the 1830s, Sir Benjamin d'Urban. Currently South Africa's third largest city, Durban has a population estimated to be around 2.6 million (2001). Around one-third of these are under the age of 18 and approximately 1 million are of Indian origin.

This photograph shows recent developments along the so called 'Golden Mile' - the Indian Ocean beach front developed to meet the needs of a growing tourist industry.

Over 6.5 million tourists visited South Africa in 2002 and of these, approximately 1 million visited KwaZulu-Natal. Access to spaces such as beaches was strictly controlled under the apartheid regime until 1994. Prior to this date opportunities for the non-white South African population to engage in sport and leisure were severely limited.

Ideas for further exploration:

  • Durban is rapidly becoming one of South Africa's major tourist locations. Can you outline three major advantages that help to explain this aspect of the city's development? (Hint: Think of it in terms of its local as well as international market and also its climate and what it has to offer visitors.)
  • Nearly half of Durban's population is of Indian origin. Can you find out why the large numbers of Indians migrated to KwaZulu-Natal in the nineteenth century?
  • As well as beaches, what other geographical spaces were 'forbidden' to blacks under the apartheid laws?
  • When did the first black Africans play either rugby or cricket for South Africa and who were they?


Photo courtesy of Flickr user Brian Negin


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