Durban Infos

Durban

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Durban
8:50 pm, July 13, 2024
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Durban, a coastal city in eastern South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, is known for its African, Indian and colonial influences. The Golden Mile beachfront is a popular destination for surfers, joggers, sunbathers and water-sports enthusiasts. Refurbished for soccer’s 2010 World Cup, the seafront promenade starts at uShaka Marine World, a huge theme park with an aquarium, and ends by the futuristic Moses Mabhida stadium. Area: 2,292 km² Province: Kwa-Zulu Natal Population: : 669,242 (1996)

Government 

Free State Provincial Government building Bloemfontein forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, which was upgraded from a Local Municipality in 2011.

The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality elects a municipal council for five-year periods, through a mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) system in which wards elect individual councillors alongside those named from party lists. Voters get two votes: one for a representative to become a ward councillor and the other for a political party. The latter vote is used to distribute seats in the municipal council amongst parties while the former distributes seats through the individual representatives. The current Executive Mayor of Mangaung, Olly Mlamleli, was elected in August 2016.

Geography and climate

Bloemfontein is located in central South Africa on the southern edge of the Highveld at an elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft), bordering on the semi-arid region of the Karoo. The area is generally flat with occasional hills (koppies in Afrikaans) and the general vegetation is Highveld grassland. Bloemfontein experiences a subtropical monsoon (Köppen cwa), with hot and wet summer days and cooler, dry winters, often with frosts. Snow is rare but as recently as August 2006 it snowed in the city, with snowfalls occurring again at the airport on 26 July 2007.

 

Suburbs

A dust storm envelops Bloemfontein
 
Replica Eiffel Tower in an industrial area next to Batho

Bloemfontein suburbs include Heidedal to the east and southeast, Bain’s Vlei, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Brandwag, Ehrlich Park, Fauna, Fichardt Park, Fleurdal, Gardenia Park, Generaal De Wet, Hospitaalpark, Kiepersol, Lourier Park, Park West, Pellissier, Uitsig, Universitas, Westdene, Wilgehof and Willows to the south of the city. To the west of Bloemfontein, you will find Langenhoven Park. To the north you will find Arboretum, Baysvalley, Bayswater, Dan Pienaar, Helicon Heights, Heuwelsig, Hillsboro, Hillside, Hilton, Naval Hill, Navalsig, Noordhoek, Pentagon Park, Panorama Park, and Waverley. To the north east you will find Roodewal and Vallombrosa. The predominantly black suburbs are Kagisanong, Phahameng, Phelindaba, Bloemanda, Bochabela, JB Mafora and the most historic Batho where the Maphikela House (where the African National Congress started) is situated. To the east of Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba ‘Nchu townships are situated.

Sports

Stadium

The Free State Stadium and the surrounding sports complex is the main sports venue in the city and province. The venue was the hosting stadium of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa matches played in Bloemfontein. There are several other sports venues in the city, however, including facilities belonging to the university, schools and sports clubs. Other stadiums in the city are Mangaung Oval, Dr. Petrus Molemela Stadium and Clive Solomons Stadium.

Football

Bloemfontein is joint home (together with nearby Botshabelo) to Premier Soccer League team Bloemfontein Celtic. Some of the matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup were played at the Free State Stadium, including the historic 4–1 defeat of England by Germany in the round of 16

Rugby

Bloemfontein’s Free State Stadium is home to two rugby union teams; the Cheetahs who compete in the Pro 14 and the Free State Cheetahs who play in the domestic Currie Cup. The Free State Cheetahs won the Currie Cup in 2005 against the Blue Bulls, they drew the final with the Blue Bulls in 2006 and retained the Currie Cup title in 2007 by beating the Golden Lions resulting in the Cheetahs remaining Currie Cup champions until 2008 when the failed to make the final for the first time since 2004. 2009 saw the Cheetahs return to the Currie Cup final but they were unable to beat the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld. In 2016 the Cheetahs won the Currie Cup after a perfect season, beating the Blue Bulls at home in Bloemfontein.

Cricket

The Knights cricket team representing the Free State and Northern Cape in various series is located at Mangaung Oval, part of the Free State Stadium complex. Bloemfontein features as a regular venue for touring international and local cricket teams.

Soaring 

The town has one of the most active soaring communities in South Africa and the world, using the New Tempe Airport, north of Bloemfontein.

Motor sports

Bloemfontein has a motocross track (tempe) run by the Bloemfontein Off Road Club, as well as a go-kart circuit (M&F Raceway), which was closed down in early 2015

Currency

  • Currency of Durban. The currency used in South Africa is the rand (R), with 100 cents making up one rand. Notes are available in R10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 while coins come in denominations of 1, 2, and 5 rand as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents. The best exchange rates are available from banks.
  • All major Mastercards, VISA, and American Express cards are accepted.

 

 Weather

KwaZulu-Natal’s climate is widely described as year-round and tourist-friendly. This South African holiday destination is enveloped by the warm Indian Ocean on the east and to the west are the grand Drakensberg Mountains. KwaZulu-Natal has a warm, sub-tropical climate with very hot and humid summers during the months of November, December and January. Winters are reasonably warm during June and July. Winter sunshine lasts for almost seven hours a day.

Language

Zulu (primarily spoken by South African Blacks) is widely spoken in KwaZulu-Natal, but is also spoken by the Indian, White and Coloured population. English is the administrative language and is spoken and understood by the majority people as well. Xhosa and Afrikaans are also commonly spoken languages in Durban.

Health

  • Medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class, offering specialist services by highly skilled professionals. Doctors are well trained and must be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
  • You will find that in rural areas the clinics and hospitals deal with primary health needs, and may not offer the range of medical care that the large metropolitan hospitals do. Trained medical caregivers are deployed round the country, so help is never far away.
  • Pharmacies are well stocked, and equivalents to most international medicines are available. Pharmacists may not dispense Schedule 3 drugs and up without a prescription, so visitors on chronic medication should carry their own prescription.
  • It is a good idea to take out comprehensive medical insurance before travelling to South Africa as private medical care can be expensive.

Security

  • The city and nearby suburbs are over run with ‘Whoonga’ smoking kids and youths, ‘a mixture of cheap heroin and rat poison amongst other things.
  • They will feel nothing to rob and kill you, avoid them and don’t give to any beggars no matter how ‘deformed’ they make themselves appear, they don’t want food either, they just toss it away, they want money for ‘Whoonga’.

DON’T

  • Do not give money to beggars. You may feel guilt ridden that people have so little when you have so much, but giving money exacerbates the problem rather than solving it and simply encourages beggars to be more demanding and aggressive. Many of the beggars you’ll see are not genuine: for instance, there is rock solid evidence of rings that rent out drugged-up babies by the day to women who then pose as ‘destitute mothers’ at robots/traffic lights.
  • Don’t leave your windows completely open when the car is stationary and don’t leave valuables in full view as this simply makes you a target for a ‘smash and grab’.
  • Don’t have sex with locals, regardless of their colour, gender or sexual persuasion. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that South Africa has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world (and Kwa Zulu Natal has the highest infection rate in the country).

DO

  • Travel with your mobile/cell phone so that you can raise the alarm or call for help should you need it. But of course this strategy only works if you know who to call for help in the first place!
  • Respect people’s dignity and ask people’s permission before photographing them.

Rail

  • Durban featured the first operating steam railway in South Africa when the National Railway Company started operating a line between the Point and the city of Durban in 1860.
  • Durban is well-served by railways due to its role as the largest trans-shipment point for goods from the interior of South Africa. Shosholoza Meyl, the passenger rail service of Spoornet, operates two long-distance passenger rail services from Durban: a daily service to and from Johannesburg via Pietermaritzbutg and Newcastle, and a weekly service to and from Cape town via Kimberley and Bloemfontein. These trains terminate at Durban Railway station.
  • Metro-rail operates a commuter rail service in Durban and the surrounding area. The Metro-rail network runs from Durban Station outwards as far as Stanger on the north coast, Kelso on the south coast, and Cato ridge.

Culture

  • The Black population has several ethnic groups that form the distinct African culture that envelops the province. They speak many different languages and their impressive dance and musical abilities contribute to the strong cultural stance that KZN holds.
  • KwaZulu-Natal also has a high Indian population in comparison to any other South African Province. Durban in particular, is occupied by a vast majority of Indian people. Their notorious spicy cooking and hot foods contribute a touch of colour to the city. All in all, the culture of KwaZulu-Natal is mixed with character, dance, music, history and nations with an interesting story to tell.