S municipality A HISTORY OF HEROES eThekwini, formerly Durban, has been at the frontline since time immemorial. While the earliest remnants of humanity were found in nearby Drakensberg, it has been established that prior to the arrival of the Nguni people, the Khoi/San populated the area. 1497. Explorer Vasco da Gama discovered Durban Bay 1860. The town now consisted of three main streets, and named it Rio de Natal. The bay became a popular each wide enough for a 16-oxen wagon (hence the stop-off point for explorers and traders as it offered one size of the city centre roads today). A railway linked of the few protected anchorages in the area. the harbour and the small town. Within 30 years, 1823. The first European settlement was led by Lieutenant the railway reached Johannesburg. Durban started King who recognised the bay’s significant position expanding from the swampland to the cooler Berea and rushed back to England to garner support for hills. The port started flourishing with the discovery of an English settlement.His plea was rejected, and he gold, and later coal found in Dundee, which attracted returned to Port Natal (renamed by the Europeans). more ships to the port. Shaka Zulu (the Zulu chief who founded the Zulu empire) 1935. Durban, grown into a town with satellite suburbs, bequeathed a piece of land to Lieutenant King, and then was granted City status. Apartheid defined Durban’s shipped the lieutenant along with two of his Zulu chiefs history, and the struggle for equality ensued. Today, back to England. Lieutenant King died of dysentery this legacy is the construction of extensive shack before even reaching Port Elizabeth. Shaka then ceded settlements throughout the region. land to the settlers, where they erected the Old Fort (now 1994. Democracy changed the tone and flavour of a museum). Durban, which, including areas north, south and west 1835. The town was proclaimed and named after Cape of the city, became the Durban Metropolitan Region. Governor, Sir Benjamin D’Urban. The Boers and British 2000. Durban Unicity became eThekwini. started clashing over the control of Durban. 1844. A portion of Natal was annexed to the Cape Colony. BELOW: The Port of Durban attracts major foreign A decade later, indentured labourers from British India direct investment. It is the premier multi-purpose were imported to work in the sugarcane fields by the port of the country, handling over 60% of total British who claimed the Zulus were uncooperative. container traffic to and from South Africa. ___ __ ___ __ ___ __ ___ __ ___ FACTS FIRST • First African City to host the Commonwealth Games • Historically rich with heritage sites for Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi • Home to Comrades race (the largest ultramarathon in the world) • The world’s tallest bungee swing (at Moses Mabhida Stadium) • The Durban Aliwal Shoal is a world-renowned diving site • The Durban harbour is the largest in the world and has the busiest container port in Africa • Africa’s first aerotropolis (trade port with direct links globally) • The top surfing destination in South Africa • uShaka Marine World is the biggest aquarium in Africa 24 | Service magazine
. t based. municipality S a specific geographical area (such as towns and suburbs). Precinct plans aim to ensure the implementation of broader strategic spatial objectives at local level. They contain detailed urban design directives, and include implementation proposals to optimise the use of existing resources (including land and infrastructure) to encourage densification, intensification, protect heritage and promote the diversification of land uses within a specific area. eThekwini Municipality has proposed an ambitious plan that seeks to prioritise black businesses in the allocation of surplus land. The strategy has preconditions, including that land should be allocated to companies owned by black people, black youth, black women, black people with disabilities and black people who are military veterans. This land allocation plan would help the municipality achieve its development objectives and stimulate economic activity while contributing to black economic empowerment. INNER CITY RESTORATION Durban’s apartheid past shaped the current challenges experienced by the city, such as the ongoing spatial marginalisation of many communities (from transport access to places of work). Informal development (settlements) is spreading as people move closer to the city and economic opportunities. The inner city of Durban is a varied and complex ABOVE: eThekwini spatial regions. SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT The eThekwini Municipal area is divided into five functional municipal planning regions (MPRs), namely the north, central, south and outer west MPRs. The functional boundaries of these regions are defined by the Umgeni River, Umlazi River and the Kloof Ridge and are catchment-based. The Northern MPR represents 26% of the eThekwini area and stretches from the northern banks of the Umgeni River in the south up to and including part of the metro, rich in culture and opportunities. It is characterised by its strategic location both as a major CBD and its port linkage, significant transportation exchange and networks, accessible metropolitan and local, sporting and recreation facilities, concentrated and diverse population and activities, as well as complex formal and informal systems. The need to revitalise the value of the inner city, and the opportunity for new investment, has been identified as a significant requirement of the underway Tongaat in the north, from the coastline in the east to uMzinyathi, Inanda and border with the iLembe District e from northern northern banks of banks Municipality the Umgeni of in the west Umgeni River and north. in River the South in the up NATURAL South to RESOURCE and up to BASE and This region provides logistical support, has Natural resources are the primary platform for Durban’s significant residential, commercial and services sustainable growth and development. This includes the he iLembe District Municipality functions, specialises in the in coastal West tourism and recreation, North. This provision region of poverty alleviation opportunities for the is a trade and industrial investment centre and has most vulnerable households, and a means to buffer major agricultural support functions. negative impacts associated with climate change. lises in coastal tourism The and eThekwini recreation, Municipality is has a trade developed and a eThekwini industrial is committed to long-term sustainability of comprehensive land use management system for the the natural resource base through concerted efforts in entire municipal area to give effect to the requirements Regeneration Plan. thern PR represents MPR represents approximately approximately 26% of 26% the eThekwini of the eThekwini area and area and t Tongaat in the North, in the from North, the from coastline the coastline the east in the to uMzinyathi, east to uMzinyathi, Inanda Inanda er with the iLembe District Municipality in the West and North. This region al logistical support, support, has significant has significant residential, residential, commercial commercial and services and services , specialises in coastal tourism and recreation, is a trade and industrial nt and centre has and significant has significant agricultural agricultural support support functions. functions. several key areas. This includes protecting important of Section 26 of the Municipal Systems Act (2000) and terrestrial and aquatic natural environments to secure entral MPR extend from SPLUMA the (No Umgeni 13 of 2016). River, in the North, a along sustained the supply of ecosystem services for Durban’s The Spatial Development Plan consolidates, reviews residents and visitors. This sustainable development daries Central MPR extend from the Umgeni River, in the North, along the the ugh Umlaas to the Umlaas Canal in Canal the South in the and South extend and to extend the escarpment to the escarpment in the in the and updates information for specific spatial planning approach gives effect to eThekwini Municipality’s n is is region the urban is the core urban of regions. core the metro The of Local the Area with metro Plan major is a with detailed economic major physical plan economic of sectors constitutional sectors and other and legislated obligations. h ustrial as industrial logistics, logistics, warehousing, warehousing, business, business, commercial, commercial, retail, financial retail, financial ism. nd tourism. It the It largest is the employment largest employment generator, generator, has significant has significant coastal Service coastal magazine | 25 rvice and nodes service and nodes offers and a offers range a of range lifestyle of lifestyle options. options.