This article contains the text and some of the maps and pictures from a booklet published jointly by the Durban Corporation, the Durban Publicity Association and the South African Railways and Harbours Administration. The intention was to attract industrialists to set up their factories in Durban. The date of publication is not given but I assume to have been 1930 or 1931, because the booklet contains a map dated 31 March 1930 and the lastest production and import/export figures quoted in the book are from 1929. The drive to attract more industry to the town may have been as a response to the great depression which began in 1929.

**Caution # 1: I have made every effort to ensure that this web page is an accurate reflection of the original document but the text was scanned-in, and mistakes do happen.
**Caution # 2: As with many documents from this era, there are sections that will strike a modern audience as distasteful and patronising. Allan Jackson.

Click here for printer-friendly version of text.

Industrial Durban

Opportunities at Port Natal

Durban and Districts map

Durban Bay map

Issued under the joint auspices of the Durban Corporation, the Durban Publicity Association and the South African Railway and Harbours Administration.


THE ensuing chapters tell their own story and tell it with restraint as well as with pride. In commending them to those in whose hands this book may fall, I should like, on behalf of the Durban Publicity Association, to stress that aspect of Durban's growth which, more than any other, ought to commend the town to the notice of industrialists the world over. Figures and statistics tell a partial tale; a changing and evolving tale; a tale that is almost out of date before the last pages of to-day's brochure are off the press. What rather, should commend Durban to those who study its chronicles is the fact that Port Natal has been created during the lifetime of men still with us. It is a living and growing monument not only to unsurpassed natural potentialities but to the character, imagination, prudence and faith of a generation of remark-able men. Sixty years ago the urchins of those times used to wade across the bar at low tide. To- day those same urchins, now elderly men, sit in their own homes on the Berea and watch

"The stately ships go on
to their haven under the hill."

knowing that, at low tide as at high, the largest vessels that visit this sub- continent can make their way with ease and security down the deep water channel to Maydon Wharf This surely bespeaks resolution, vision and industry of the blithest traditional kind; and should satisfy the would-be industrialist that in Durban he will breathe the authentic air of overseas progress. With all Africa for its hinterland, and India and the Far East opposite it beyond the sea, Durban occupies one of the key positions on the world's coastline; and no other port in the British Empire has had a sturdier and rapider growth or can look forward with serener hope to a great and assured future.
Harold ??illegible??
Durban Publicity Association.

Message from The Hon. A. P. J. Fourie


THE industrial progress of Durban, since the beginning of the present century, has been remarkably rapid, and the Great War (1914-1918) , which threw the country very much more on its own resources than had been the case any time before, marked the beginning of a period of development which very soon raised Durban to the position of one of the most important industrial centres in the Union.

This development has, by no means, been artificial, for it is based on the natural advantages which Durban offers for the establishment of manufacturing industries.There is a cheap and abundant supply of coal, water and labour , and large areas, eminently suitable for manufacturing establishments, are available at reasonable rates.

Furthermore, Durban has a fine harbour, and on the basis of tonnage handled, it is to-day the premier port of the Union, largely because of its coal bunkering facilities and the proximity of the coal-fields, and also because it is one of the principal ports of call for vessels en route to India and the Far East, and the trading ships of Japan on their way to Brazil and the Argentine.

The above factors in addition to Durban's progressive industrial policy, have brought her by rapid stages to the front rank of South Africa's industrial and manufacturing centres, and support the claim that Durban is an eminently suitable place for the establishment of industrial enterprises.

Message from the Mayor of Durban
(Councillor THE Rev. ARCHIBALD LAMONT M.A., B.D.)

In our beautiful and progressive town of Durban there has been a certain conflict in recent years - sometimes audible, sometimes merely implied - between utilitarian and aesthetic ideas. Yet many of us are optimistic enough to believe that the two main interests of the borough, as pleasure resort and industrial centre, can be reconciled in a blend of beauty and utility.

Durban is animated by a spirit of progress and development. It stands on
the threshold of a new era of expansion and prosperity. The term "Greater Durban," now so commonly used in reference to the proposed extension of the borough boundaries, is both descriptive and prophetic, foretelling a Durban that shall be greater not merely in area but in industry and commerce and in its already assured position as the premier commercial port of the Union of South Africa.

Message from Mr Morris Kramer

SOUTH AFRICA has made great progress industrially. The gross output of its factories - £106,000,000 sterling for 1927-28 is proof of its advance. In my opinion, however, this development will be more marked in the future The resources of the great African Sub-continent have scarcely been touched yet.

There are enormous fields of consumption awaiting exploitation, and the Union, with its developing ports and fine railway system, linking it up with the various African territories, is the natural geographical centre for manufacture and supply. All this is apart from the possibilities within the Union itself, in the production of commodities not manufactured here at the moment. The richness of the Union, and other African territories, in raw materials, both agricultural and mineral, is also a most important factor which will have a stimulating effect upon the country's future.

It is gratifying to see the continued campaign to advertise South African towns as industrial centres. Durban, in common with other places, offers special advantages from the industrial point of view and it is only logical that these should be brought to the notice of firms who are interested in South Africa as a possible field for the extension of their manufacturing interests.



Where a century ago wild creatures still roamed at will, where thick bush rioted almost to the water's edge, there stands to-day the modern city of Durban, replete with every twentieth century advantage in lighting and transport, and in all the refinments of civilized life. It has been a wonderful metamorphosis. A century ago the site whereon Durban stands was practically unknown to Europeans; to-day it constitutes the third largest centre of population in South Africa.

What is more, this phenomenal growth is continuing. It is cumulative .Every decade in Durban's history has registered a long stride forward; every successive census bears testimony to this fact. Very largely this is due to the town's growing importance as a seat of commerce and industry.

Although famous throughout the Sub-Continent as a health resort, the realisation has long on since been borne in upon the municipal authorities of Durban that business, rather than pleasure must be the metier of the borough in the years to come. Rather must Durban be the Liverpool-cum-Birmingham of the Union than the Brighton or Blackpool of South Africa, as it is so frequently called.

No disadvantage is it, however, to carry on one's business amid pleasant, healthful surroundings The first Lord Leverhulme made that discovery at Port Sunlight, as did the Cadburys at Bournville; and many more instances might be quoted of industrial enterprises established amid rural amenities, greatly to the advantage of all concerned. In Durban we have port and pleasure resort combined in a town that is backed by a hinterland of scenic splendour scarcely excelled anywhere in the Union. It is significant that one of the most thriving manufacturing businesses already established here advertises its premises as "The Factory in a Garden." And where better could a factory be placed?

Natal, of course, owes its name to that famous navigator of old Portugal, Vasco da Gama, who in 1497, voyaging around the south of Africa in quest of a sea route to the Golden East, sighted our coast on the day of the Lord's Nativity. For centuries, however Natal remained merely a name on a map. Its real history may be said to date from 1824 when Lieutenant Farewell, of the King's Navy, hoisted the Union Jack on the Bluff, the commanding headland that screens from southern squalls the harbour of Port Natal.

Durban Bay, as we call it to-day, was then but a shallow, reed-grown lagoon, its shores lined with mangrove swamps, where lions and elephants roamed at large. At the present time, on the balks of this once desolate and dangerous sheet of water, vast industries are developing and harbour works have been brought into being at a cost exceeding seven millions sterling.

The harbour entrance, with a depth of water at low tide of 37 feet, admits the largest ships trading to the Southern Hemisphere. Deep-water berths are available for vessels of the largest tonnage. Here is a floating dock, capable of effecting repairs or overhaul at short notice; yonder at Congella is the Prince Edward Graving Dock, the largest south of "the Line," and about the third largest in the world.

All around the Bay are seen evidences of Durban's pre-eminence as a port.
On the Bluff side one sees the whaling factory, also the very modern and efficient coaling appliances; at Island View, the extensive oil sites, where mammoth tanks have been erected , storing many millions of gallons of petrol, paraffin and crude oils; at Congella, the great terminal grain elevator, where South Africa's harvests of maize are fed into the holds of steamships calling here for that purpose. From this elevator grain can be poured forth at the rate of a thousand tons an hour, and its total storage capacity is 42,000 tons.

Not without strife and adversity was Natal wrested from barbarism to become a thriving modern settlement. Lieutenant Farewell, as the result of negotiations with the Zulu despot, Chaka, secured the cession of 25 miles of the coastland of Natal, together with 100 square miles of its hinterland. Here was established the first white settlement, with Durban (originally named "D' Urban in honour of the then Governor of the Cape Colony) as its port. Hither came pioneer settlers from the Cape and from overseas, bringing with them habits of industry and thrift, and gradually winning from the wilds the wherewithal to establish themselves and their families and to lay the foundations of the Durban of to-day .

Permanent memorials of those strenuous days are among the cherished possessions of the borough. On the Esplanade, facing the waters of the Bay, stands an equestrian statue of Dick King, "the saviour of Natal," who rode 600 miles through dangerous country to the nearest British garrison at Grahamstown, Cape Colony, to bring relief to the beleaguered force at the Old Fort, a building which is preserved to this day as one of the historic show-places of the borough.

Natal was finally declared British territory in 1843; Durban was incorporated as a borough, and then began the era of progress, both civic and commercial, which has culminated in a modern city that is destined to become infinitely greater as time goes on .

lt is to this home of industry and commerce that the attention of the modern world of affairs is directed. To the industrialist seeking new worlds to conquer, to the manufacturer of world-commodities seeking to extend his trade, we say emphatically, " Come to Durban."

Windjammers in harbour 40 years ago (1890s??)

Land reclamation and wharf extension, Congella.


To the industrialist seeking expansion for his energies in the exploitation of new markets Durban must strongly appeal. There can be no question as to the advantages the town derives from its unique geographical position, its splendid harbour, its transport facilities linking it up with every quarter of the Union.

Durban is the essential port, not only for the whole of Natal and East Griqualand, but also for large portions of the farther hinterland. It is the commercial centre of the sugar industry, a great and valued asset; it is admittedly the premier port for coal shipments; it is a principal centre for the export of maize wool, wattle bark and other Union products.

For factories there are suitable sites available; also there is an abundance of labour of a necessary type. Factory land for sale on either a leasehold or freehold basis is being gradually added to the industrial area already laid out; and there are good and economical services of electric power, light and water.

At Congella, already a thriving industrial area, a further large extent of land has been marked out for development for factory purposes. A large area is available here for addition to the now recognised industrial zone.This land enjoys dequate railway facilities, with the provision of special sidings, and, in certain cases, access to a water frontage.

Durban is "The gateway to the East," but more important to the industrialist, it is also the gateway to the African interior, thus affording immense possibilities for trade. If industrialists will turn their eyes to that - Greater Africa north of the Limpopo and visualise the requirements of the millions of native people there, to say nothing of the rapidly-growing white population, they will see vast possibilities for an extension of their activities, with Durban as their industrial base.

That Durban is growing phenomenally is beyond all question. Within
ten years the population has increased from 93,000 to nearly 130,000, while the rateable value of property has risen from £14,000,000 to over £27,000,000.

Ten years ago electrical consumption was 28,000,000 units. This year it has risen to 84,500,000 units, with the prospect of a further enormous increase in the output of its giant power station at Congella should the proposed electrification of the railway line from Durban to Maritzburg be carried through. Ten years ago, 2,307 licenses for motor vehicles had been taken out. To-day the number exceeds 8,500. These are facts that speak volumes. Durban's foundations have been well and truly laid. lts status as an outstanding centre for industries is assured.

The Durban Town Council is anxious to consider the needs of the small manufacturing business as well as those of larger concerns. Every application for land, either on a freehold or a leasehold basis is carefully and sympathetically considered.

Of paramount importance to industrialists is an adequate water supply.
Durban's waterworks rank among the most modern and most efficient in the world. There is a daily supply of 15,000,000 gallons available from the Umlaas River. The Shongweni scheme, which includes the great Vernon Hooper dam, 30 miles from Durban, was completed in 1928 at a cost of £960,000. The dam has a storage capacity of 2,600,000,000 gallons, and is provided with flood diversion works for the disposal of silt, a special feature in tile design. The filtration system consists of both slow-sand and rapid-gravity filters.

Judged by British standards Durban holds a premier position in the weekly bacteriological and chemical analyses of its water. The tariff of charges for industrial supplies is exceptionally low.


1. Durban Harbour is an enclosed bay, capable of admitting the largest vessels, and with adequate wharf accommodation at its Point and Congella quays.

2. The total tonnage of cargoes landed and shipped during 1929 was 5,282,477 tons. The coal exported in the same period amounted to 1,532,689 short tons; bunkered coal 1,214,784 short tons. Wool exported for the same period totalled 105,672 tons.

3. There are special industrial areas with access to wharves and railway sidings.

4. There are plenty of available industrial sites for future development.

5. The specially reclaimed area of 80 acres at Island View for oil sites, and having its own water frontage, is already furnished with privately-owned tanks, the total storage capacity of which is approximately as follows:-

Petrol - 17,000,000 gallons,
Paraflin - 4,000,000
Oil Fuel - 6,000,000

6. An amount exceeding £7,000,000 has been spent on the development of Durban harbour.

7. The Durban graving dock is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

8. The most extensive electrical power station in the Union is situated
at Durban.

These are facts deserving the close attention of the industrialist anxious to establish new markets and create new contacts. The advantages Durban is able to offer open up a vista of future profits based upon sound economic conditions. The town's facilities for distribution alone should claim special attention. It has been predicted that well within ten years from now the town will be the most flourishing centre of general industry in the South African Union.

Ground storage of coal at the Bluff

Durban's Coaling Appliances



FROM every view-point, industrial, commercial and maritime, Durban"s position is one of the greatest value and importance. Consider it, for example, as a port of departure for Great Britain and Europe, Australia, India and the Far East.

The steaming distance from Southampton to Durban is 6,809 miles via Capetown and 8,380 via the Suez Canal. From Capetown the port of Durban is distant 822 miles by sea; from Port Elizabeth 384 miles; from East London 253; from Lourenco Marques 295; from Beira 767 and from Mombasa 2,002.

As showing the extent of the world-markets open to Durban one class of export, coal, may be taken as a typical example. Recent coal shipments have been consigned to the following places:-

East African and Red Sea Ports: Lourenco Marques, Beira, Chinde,
Dar-es-Salaam (Tanganyika Territory), Mozambique, Tanga, Mombasa, (Kenya), Massawa, Basra, Djibouti, Aden, Port Sudan and Port Said, also to the islands of Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

West African Ports: Dakar, Burutu (Nigeria), Seccondee, Mossamedes, Las Palmas.

Indian Ports: Bombay, Karachi, Madras, Colombo, Rangoon.

The Far East: Singapore, Penang, The Philippines, Java and Siamese Ports.

South America: Rio de Janiero, Santos, Monte Video, Buenos Aires,
Bahia Blanca, Rosario.

South Shetland Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Island of South Georgia.

Mediterranean Ports: Alexandria, Piraeus, Trieste, Genoa, Naples and

In addition coke shipments have been made to certain of the ports mentioned in the foregoing list.

In considering the centres quoted one should remember that there exists, in many cases, a teeming population of natives in occupation of the hinterland, and capable of offering an enormous trade in almost every description of raw material. In addition, and lying nearer home, there are vast potentialities in the way of trade with the native populations of the Union, Rhodesia, and the East and Central African territories.

In the year 1929 Durban shipments, in addition to the coal and wool exports quoted elsewhere in this brochure, totalled 2,306 tons of timber;and in general cargoes, 1,090,410 tons, including 266,477 tons of maize, 12,706 tons of citrus fruits, and large shipments of other produce.

The imports consist largely of machinery, timber, railway material, oil fuel, explosives, and industrial raw materials of many kinds.

An interesting feature of the South African import trade is the remarkable increase in the number of motor car parts arriving here, to be assembled locally in factories established for that purpose. The construction of motor car bodies, also the body-work for lorries and 'buses, is becoming a flourishing South African industry. In these developments Durban is destined to bear her part, and an interesting possibility of the near future is the inauguration of a local assembling plant for British motor trucks, for which there is an ever-growing demand. Important assembly plants for agricultural implements have already been established.

Harbour trade provides a fairly accurate barometer of a country's progress and development as a whole. It is possible by this means to observe the effects following upon expansion in such staple industries as mining and agriculture. In the former case, we have the larger or smaller importations of machinery and material of all kinds required for the mines, and of the various commodities consumed by an army of mining employees.

The growth of the port of Durban has been facilitated since the time when the difficulties in the way of securing a safe entrance for shipping were overcome. The arduous engineering work undertaken in clearing the formidable sand-bar at the harbour's mouth constitutes the story of a stern struggle against the forces of nature, and the harbour of to-day stands as a tribute to the skill and perseverance that brought the task to a successful issue. Names to be honoured in this connection are those of' Mr. John Milne, Captain Vetch, Mr. Edward Innes, Mr. C. W. Methven Mr. C. J. Crofts, and the eminent British Engineers, Sir Charles Hartley and Sir John Wolfe Barry. Deep waterways have been dredged from the harbour mouth to Congella, where ships of the Imperial Navy and mail steamers of 13,000 tons, and even greater tonnage, are now successfully docked.

At the height of the grain season one may see quantities of maize in bags being handled at the Point, as distinct from bulk export via the giant elevator at Congella. Easily the largest share of the Union maize export falls to Durban.
The water area at H.W.O.S.T. of Durban Harbour is approximately 6.5
square miles. The harbour entrance has a depth of 37 feet at low water, the navigable width of the entrance channel between the North Pier end and the South Breakwater being 450 feet, Widening immediately on entering to 500 feet. Work is now in progress for an extension of the southern arm by some 300 feet.

The depths of water alongside the Point wharves vary from 38 feet 6 inches to 23 feet, in each case calculated at low water. The wharves are supplied with eleven spacious goods sheds and Bond store, with a total floor area of 723,497 square feet, and a capacity of 9,278,187 cubic feet. The capacity of the outside storage accommodation is 7,278,139 cubic feet.

The coaling appliances and the special coaling bins on the Bluff side of the harbour have a total storage capacity of 70,000 tons and are capable of coaling several ships simultaneously at the rate of 1,000 tons per hour. In addition, considerable bunkering operations are undertaken at the wharves on the Point side, the work proceeding concurrently with the loading or landing of cargo. There is ample cold storage accommodation, with a capacity of 2,000 tons, at the Point and Congella, including up-to-date and extensive pre-cooling facilities for the export of fruit.

The graving dock has a length (divided into two compartments) of 1,150 feet, the width at entrance being 110 feet, width at coping 138.5 feet, depth over sill at low water 35 feet. Filling time, 47 minutes, emptying in 4 hours. The volume of water content is 38,118,000 gallons.

Maydon Wharf at Congella is steadily increasing in length as further areas of foreshore are reclaimed and enclosed.

In the course of the year larger tonnages are landed and shipped at Durban than at all the other ports of the Union of South Africa put together, a fact which entitles it to be regarded incontestably as South Africa's premier commercial port. Of the cargo handled at all Union ports during 1929, no less a percentage than 59.5 can be accredited to Durban.


SHIPS from the seven seas find sure and ready anchorage at Durban. Both at the Point wharves and at Maydon Wharf, Congella - eventually to be linked up in a continuous scheme of wharfage - there is ample berthage for passenger and cargo vessels, large and small.

Here great tramp steamers discharge their varied freights from Britain and the Continent, from America and Canada, from India and the Farther East. Here also vessels from the Baltic, the Gulf and the Pacific Coast disgorge great stores of timber for the Congella wood-yards and saw-mills, whence supplies are sent to Johannesburg for the mines, and to all quarters of the Union for manufacturing purposes.

And here, at the water's verge, with shipping facilities second to none in the world, any industry entailing the use of raw materials from overseas, or intending to utilise South African raw materials for manufacturing and export purposes, is ideally placed.

In any list of the steamships trading to Port Natal, pride of place must be apportioned to the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company, whose fine fleet of passenger and cargo vessels has played no inconsiderable part in the development of modern South Africa. For many years past the "Castle" liners have carried the South African mails, rendering faithful service.

Majestic vessels all, their distinctive colour-scheme marks them out on the high seas and familiarises them in the minds of men as units of the most famous fleet trading to the Southern Hemisphere.

Of great publicity value to South Africa are such ships as the Carnarvon Castle, the Arundel, the Windsor, the Dunbar and others, for wherever these are seen they give rise to thoughts of South Africa, and serve as a constant reminder of the forward strides the Union is making in commerce and industry.

The Government of South Africa, seeking equitable conditions in regard to
shipping in the best interests of all concerned, has devised certain measures aiming at the regulation of cargo rates.

An agreement between the Government of the Union of South Africa, the Perishable Products Export Control Board and the Union-Castle Steamship Company is now in force, whereby freight rates, refrigerated space, etc., are fixed. The agreement is for ten years, but at the end of five years can be terminated on twelve month's notice from either side. The freight arrangements included in this agreement apply also to goods shipped by the steamers of what are known as the Conference Lines.

By the creation of the Union Shipping Board the Government has taken further steps to ensure that shipping conditions shall be fairly adjusted and from time to time revised in the interests of fair treatment for all sections concerned.


A glance at any shipping map of the world is sufficient to show Durban's predominance in the Southern Hemisphere as a port enjoying direct communication with virtually every portion of the globe. Even a direct passenger service to America, hitherto impracticable save by favour of an occasional cargo boat, is now supplied by the inauguration of the American- South African Line, with monthly sailings to and from the States, thus effecting a saving of time and money as compared with what has hitherto been the prevalent practice of voyaging to America via England.

Hereunder are given the principal shipping lines trading to Natal, with their offices or agents in Durban:-

American-South African Line - J. T. Rennie & Sons, Smith Street.

Blue Funnel Line - Wm. Cotts & Co., Ltd., Smith Street and the Point.

British India Line - W. Dunn & Co., Commercial Road and the Point.

Clan Line - Clan - Houston (Pty.) Ltd., Smith Street.

Deutsche Africa Dienst - (Embracing the several German services to South Africa.) Offices, Gardiner Street.

Ellerman & Bucknall Line - Ellerman & Bucknall (Pty.) Ltd., Field and Smith Streets, and the Point.

Hall Line - Ellerman & Bucknall (Pty.) Ltd., Field and Smith Streets, and the Point.

Harrison Line - J. T. Rennie & Sons, Smith Street.

Holland-Afrika Lijn - Holland-Africa Line Agency, Smith

Houston Line - Clan-Houston (Pty.) Ltd., Smith Street.

Indian-African Line - J. T. Rennie & Sons, Smith Street.

Natal Direct Line - King & Sons, Smith Street.

Navagazione Libera Triestina - J. T. Rennie & Sons, Smith Street.

Nippon Yusen Kaisha - Wm. Cotts & Co., Ltd., Smith Street and the Point

OSAKA Shosen Kaisha - Ellerman & Bucknall (Pty.) Ltd., Field and Smith Streets, and the Point.

Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co. - The Union-Castle Company's offices, West Street and the Point.

White Star-Aberdeen Line - J. T. Rennie & Sons, Smith Street.

Coasting Vessels - Messrs. C. G. Smith & Co., Ltd. run coasting vessels between Durban, Port St. John's and the Cape ports.

Thesen's Steamship Company - Have a regular coasting service between Durban, Capetown and South West African ports. Agents, Clan-Houston (Pty.) Ltd., Smith Street.

Government Ships - Three vessels owned and employed by the Union Government are engaged in the coal export trade to the East.

Virtually every port of the seven seas is touched by one or another of the lines of steamships enumerated. Not in all the Southern Hemisphere is there a harbour more efficiently covered than Durban in either passenger or cargo service.
Should further information be desired we commend to the reader's notice the offices and agents whose names are quoted and by whom all enquiries will be promptly and courteously answered.


SOUTH AFRICA, a land of many races, offers the industrialist this supreme advantage, that there is available at all times a large reservoir of native and Indian labour for rough work and routine factory tasks.

This labour is cheap as well as abundant. Its existence has assisted, and is still assisting, in a marked degree the development of the country's mining, agricultural and industrial resources. The prosperous sugar-growing industry of Natal, originally established by the help of imported Indian labour, finds its chief mainstay in an army of mill and field-workers drawn from the Asiatic and Bantu races.

Not the least of Durban's attractions for the industrialist is its large force of native and Asiatic labour. Of the present estimated population of "Greater Durban," i.e., the municipal area and its surrounding districts, approximately fifty per cent. are of the coloured races. Resulting from the presence of this army of non-European workers, the white man, as a labour unit, is restricted in a considerable degree to the more highly-paid lines of the skilled trades or to the work of supervising and controlling the unskilled labourers.

In Durban Borough alone there are over 30,000 working natives, and they are a body that can be reinforced at will from the Natal hinterland, and, if necessary, from further large reserves in the adjoining territories of East Griqualand, Pondoland and the Transkei.

Natives, Asiatics and Europeans are of course employed according to their gifts in an ascending scale of intelligence. While the native, usually a good, honest worker, cheerful and industrious, is necessarily restricted to the lower and rougher forms of work, the Asiatic is, as a rule, capable of performing duties calling for a far greater measure of skill and intelligence, while the positions of responsibility, entailing duties of supervision and organisation, are naturally allocated to European employees.

One outstanding difference marks the employment of natives and Asiatics.
While the native, as a general thing, prefers to fend for himself in the matter of food and drink, the Asiatic is commonly employed on inclusive terms- wages plus rations.

The Durban Corporation provides four large eating-houses for natives, native quarters with dormitory accommodation for 8,000 and a married natives' village of 120 cottages. The native women have a hostel with housing provision for 250 at their disposal and at the Point and Congella there are barracks for togt boys (natives who work by the day) and for rickshaw pullers. Moreover, a scheme for a new native village and location outside the Borough is being rapidly developed, besides other quarters within the municipal area. The native, a healthy fellow, can show a death - rate lower than that of the European.
During the year the death- rate figures per 1,000 of the population were:- Europeans 8.42, Natives 6.75, Asiatics 14.54 and Coloureds 10.25.

Since liquor is prohibited to the natives, its sale to them being a criminal offence, the Durban Corporation has established a municipal native brewery where kafir beer, similar to that prepared by the Bantu people in their kraals, is manufactured for sale at the native eating-houses. It is a healthful, unharmful drink, with an alcoholic content of only 2.28 per cent. and can be described as a nourishing food.

Fairly treated, both natives and Indians make loyal and willing workers. The prevailing rates of pay are approximately as follows:- Natives, 2/6 to 3/- per day, with living quarters; Indians, 1/6 to 1/9 per day, plus rations and quarters.

On an entirely different plane is the question of the housing of European employees, since individuals of the white races, especially men and women with family responsibilities, naturally prefer to make their own arrangements. Nevertheless a word must be said as to the Housing Schemes of the Durban Corporation. Fourteen of these schemes have been inaugurated comprising 344 dwelling houses, 268 of them detached and 76 semi-detached. The houses consist of two, three, four and five rooms, together with kitchen, pantry, bathroom and outhouses. All have been erected by private contractors on town lands and sales have been effected at cost price plus the value of such land. The average size of each building plot is about 1/9th of an acre.

With the exception of 39 houses erected for the purpose of letting, all these dwellings have been sold to the occupants on an instalment basis spread
over a generous term of years. The terms of purchase have been an initial payment varying from £25 to £187 and, thereafter, monthly payments varying from £2:19:8 to £8:7:10 spread over terms ranging from 22 to 29 years.

Apart from these municipal housing schemes the town is rapidly overtaking the shortage of accommodation that became so acute in the years following the European war. Houses of a desirable type are being erected in plenty.
Numerous large blocks of residential flats have been supplied. For the protection of tenants paying weekly or monthly rentals for unfurnished accommodation there is a Rent Board, functioning under Government authority, and armed with full powers to reduce or adjust such rental conditions as are, in their judgment, harsh and unconscionable.

Thus both in labour supply and in the housing accommodation that is its essential corollary Durban can claim to be remarkably well equipped. Much of the increased activity in building work that has been a feature of the past few years is, in fact a direct result of the industrial expansion that has taken place in the Durban area. At the present time the industrialist setting up a plant here may rest assured that his staff will find ready accommodation and will be in a position to enrol themselves as citizens of Durban in the happiest conditions.


IN no centre in the Union are better facilities offered than in Durban to the industrialist anxious to open works in South Africa. Here are cheap power and light, cheap coal, a cheap and unlimited water supply, and power and unrivalled sites within easy distance of the harbour and railway.

Maydon Wharf, Congella, has become an important factor in the working of the harbour. It is named in honour of a well-remembered statesman, the Hon. J. G. Maydon, who initiated the scheme of land reclamation in that area. Here are situated many desirable industrial sites.

Some 3,000 acres of the adjacent Clairwood land have been acquired by the Durban Corporation. This is land specially suitable for industrial purposes, being bounded by the railway and the main road, with the Umlaas River on the southern boundary. This river-way will afford natural drainage for any excess water from factories erected on the estate.

All the factors necessary for the successful conduct of industrial undertakings are here present - healthful surroundings, a satisfactory and economical labour supply, cheap and plentiful mechanical power and close proximity to an up-to-date port, with wharfage in the immediate vicinity, as well as ideal transport facilities to every quarter. It will be strange if the near future does not see this busy area extending until the whole of the available space is occupied by productive industries.

Keeping pace with the reclamation of the swamps, the Maydon Wharf has been extended from time to time, and leases have been entered into between the Railways and Harbours Administration and business firms for various industrial and commercial enterprises, thus providing employment for a large number of people and stimulating manufacturing industry. At the Maydon Wharf many activities are in progress: near-by raw products from the tropics are manufactured into soap and its allied articles for household use; in the huge cold storage, South African and Rhodesian meats are stored ready for shipment to the overseas markets.

For the purposes of the building trade there are stores and factories in this area, to which timber, cement, galvanised iron, etc., are consigned from overseas sources. Other premises are devoted to the importation and storage of structural steel, machinery, tubing, piping, etc., or serve as storehouses of local merchants.

Site-holders in this area are restricted to the loading or discharging of goods consigned to themselves and are not permitted to undertake the functions of general forwarding agents, that work being in the hands of the Railway Administration. Reclamation is still going on. The present site-holders number 30, and occupy approximately 344 acres. The diversion of a large volume of imports and exports to this new area has naturally averted abnormal congestion in the main centre, the Point.

Practically the whole of the harbour development was once centred at the Point, the entrance to the harbour. As already stated, wharves comprising berths for some 30 steamers, according to size are provided. There is a large complement of stationary and travelling cranes, steam, hydraulic and electric, and it is proposed shortly to establish a powerful floating crane, capable of lifting 25 tons, for shipping anchored in the harbour, also an 80-ton wharfside electric crane. A floating 15-ton crane is supplementary to the wharf cranes. The hydraulic cranes are being gradually replaced by electrical power, so as to give more rapid work.

It should be mentioned that the port of Durban enjoys a high repute among those great interests in England connected with the insurance of goods, owing to the comparative freedom from trouble regarding damage or thefts in cargoes shipped to this destination. Lloyd's Annual Report has commented favourably on this feature of Durban harbour work.

Landing a loco boiler

Offloading a locomotive chassis of 42 tons.

A glance at the map will show that Durban is the natural port of ingress from the African East Coast, India and the Far East, and also from Australia, while the shorter rail route to the great centres of industry in the Transvaal places it in a most favourable position for the importation of goods from Europe, the United States and Canada. There is an increasing volume of imports from East Africa, mainly of tropical produces such as rice, coffee, copra, ground-nuts, etc.

From India and Ceylon are imported rice, tea and all the grain-bags and woolpacks required for Durban's cereal and wool requirements. From Australia comes chiefly wheat, of which large shipments are constantly arriving for distribution to the various milling companies in Durban and the interior, indicating that most of our flour is milled in the Union, where wheat is not grown in sufficient quantities for home consumption, although the country is self-supporting in regard to meat and dairy products. The most notable importations from America are motor cars and accessories, hardware and many items of engineering equipment. Canada sends agricultural machinery, heavy consignments of news-print and wheat and certain other cereals. Of goods coming from Europe, the greatest volume emanates from Great Britain, the largest cargoes coming direct to Durban.

During 1929 the cargoes landed at Port Natal represented 38.5 per cent.
of the total incoming cargoes at all Union harbours.

The principal exports, exclusive of coal, are maize, wool, skins, hides, mohair, sugar, wattle-bark and cotton. Recently gold in increasing quantity has been leaving the port for India, and a strong trade has been growing up in the base metals and in minerals such as fluorspar and chrome ore, while arrangements have now been completed for regular weekly exports of manganese ore from the special quay at Congella of the Manganese Corporation Limited.

The Port Captain controls the tugs, lighters and other craft concerned with port work, and also the efficient pilot service. The maintenance of the system of buildings, quays, wharves, railways and equipment comes under the care of the Harbour Engineer, while a Harbour Advisory Board tenders its counsel to the Administration from time to time.


DURBAN is in the most favourable position possible for supplies of raw materials from areas in close proximity to the town, from the interior, and from overseas. For convenience, some of the principal raw materials of South African origin may be classified under animal, vegetable and mineral sections.


WOOL.-The breeding of woolled sheep is one of the most important industries of South Africa. As nearly all the suitable country for sheep- rearing in Natal ,the Cape and the Orange Free State is already fully stocked, future development in wool production may be expelled principally in the Transvaal, with Durban as its export port. The Union's exports of wool last year were of a total value of £ 14,521,088.

MOHA1R.- This is obtained from the Cape and Orange Free State, the latter Province shipping overseas via Durban.

HlDES. -The South African output of hides, large quantities of which are handled in Durban warehouses, has considerably increased during late years. The South African exports during 1929 were valued at £1,123,798.

SHEEP and Goat Skins. - These are mainly exported to the London market for the manufacture of gloves and leather of fine texture. The consignments sent overseas from the Union last year had a value of £1,939,198.

WHALE OIL.- Durban as the leading centre of the whaling industry in South Africa, is a very large producer of whale oils. During 1929 there was a total export of nearly 4,000,000 gallons. In addition, large quantities of whale meat are used locally for various industrial processes, one of these being the manufacture of fertilisers. In the past season 1798 whales (sperm, hump, blue, fin, and sei) were landed at Durban.


MAIZE. - This one of the principle agricultural products of the Union and last year there were 3,103,000 morgen under maize cultivation. The most fruitful maize fields of Natal are in the Midlands. There is still much scope for maize-growing. The by-products include samp, flaked maize, table mealie meal, mealie rice, cattle food, cornflour starch, glucose, maize oil and oil-cake meal. The exports of maize during 1929 amounted to 728,900,543 lbs., valued at £2,311,542 and of maise meal 160,840,555 lbs., valued at £512,009. The lion's share of this export business falls to the lot of Durban.

POTATOES.- The Transvaal high-veld and the Eastern Free State are the largest producing areas, although potatoes grow well all over the Union. The exports in 1929 were valued at £19,018, and there is, of course, a large local demand.

COTTON (Unginned). - This industry is yet in its infancy, but it is steadily growing. A total of approximately 100,000 pounds of cotton lint is used in the Union, the remainder being exported through Durban. There are ginning plants in Natal and Zululand.

TOBACCO.- The Transvaal is the largest producer of good quality leaf. Natal grows a medium dark type, used in the manufacture of cigars, and a cheap grade pipe tobacco is also produced. The total exports from the Union last year amounted to 1,099,178 pounds valued at £73,507. In Southern Rhodesia there is an increasing output of leaf, large exports of which pass through Durban.

TEA.-The only South African tea is grown in Natal, in the neighbourhood of Stanger. Although of excellent quality, with a savour peculiarly its own, the product is principally used for purposes of blending. The quantity exported during 1929 was 147,325 pounds valued at £7,964.

GROUND-NUTS.- This crop is grown principally in Natal and the Transvaal, also in great quantities in the East African territories. It is anticipated that the cultivation of ground-nuts in the future will grow extensively, owing to the increasing demand for oil-producing nuts.

PAPER-MAKING GRASSES. -In the Union the grasses suitable for the manufacture of paper are Johnson Grass (Transvaal), Dek Grass (Transvaal), Tambookie grasses (Union), Schiza Chyrium Semibeele (Transvaal) and Papyrus (Union). Spent wattle-bark (Natal) has been found suitable for the making of news-print and packing paper, but the industry cannot be said to have emerged from the experimental stage, so far as this country is concerned.

SUGAR.- A very important industry of Natal and Zululand, employing a capital investment of many millions sterling. There are important by-products in treacle, wax, raw spirit and fertilisers. In 1929 there were exported from Durban 236,664,426 pounds of sugar, valued at £1,194,751. ndustrialists should note that the sugar industry of Natal is required by statute to supply sugar as a raw material for such industries as confectionery, jams, jellies, etc. at a price materially lower than that at which it is sold to the general consumer.

WATTLE BARK.- The cultivation of the wattle has long been a leading industry of Natal. The average output of Natal trees is about 60,000 tons of dry bark per annum. Wattle extract is also prepared and exported. For the year 1929 bark valued at £513,542 and wattle bark extract valued at £241,695 were exported, the whole being shipped through Durban.

OS1ERS.- These are grown in Natal and parts of the Transvaal. The entire available supplies are at present taken up locally for wickerwork and basket-making.

FRUITS.-Although much of the fruit raised in the Union is used locally in various industrial enterprises, there is a large export of both citrus and deciduous fruits, the figures for 1929 being: citrus, 1,092,907 boxes, valued at £545,651; deciduous, 1,154,735 boxes, valued at £248,059; grapes, 516,661 boxes, valued at £150,868. Durban enjoys a commanding share of the citrus exports and also handles large consignments of grape-fruits, apples, pears and apricots.


COAL.- Nata1 and the Transvaal are the principal producing areas. The total output of the Natal collieries is about 5,000,000 tons per annum. Durban is the premier port for coal exports. In 1929 the shipments were 1,832,249 tons, valued at £940,117. There is a growing demand for coke and other by-products. A cheap and dependable supply of coal is an important asset of "Industrial Durban," about I6s. 6d. being an average price per ton of 2,000 pounds delivered.

ASBESTOS.-Enormous deposits of asbestos exist in the Union, which holds the world's record as to variety and length of fibre. Asbestos sheets used extensively in building construction are manufactured locally in large quantities. The exports (valued in 1929 at £183,645) pass in the main through Durban.

CORUNDUM.- The largest known deposits in the world are situated in the Transvaal and the Cape. The output has shewn a sharp increase in recent years, the exports for 1929 being valued at £33,632 as against £16,914 in 1928.

MANGANESE. - Large deposits are known to exist in the Union. Extensive marketable quantities have been discovered in the Postmasburg District, near Kimberly, and regular exports through Durban are now in progress.

SALT.-Large quantities of coarse, medium and fine salt are produced in the Transvaal, the Cape and the Orange Free State, Durban receiving a large share of the Transvaal and Free State outputs.

CLAYS.-Fire clays are found in the coal measures of the Union. Pottery clays are derived from the Transvaal coal fields, while common clays, for brickmaking, pipes and tiles, are produced on a large scale in many parts of the country.

CHROME ORE.- This Transvaal ore is winning its way into the markets of the world. Durban already handles large shipments and will be the port benefiting from future developments. In 1929 the quantity shipped was 42,291 tons, valued at £72,111.



Within the confines of Durban's own municipal estate very little industrial land remains unoccupied. All told, there are only 130 acres available for further factory accommodation within the civic boundaries, exclusive of certain reclaimed land bordering on Durban Bay, the property of the South African Railways and Harbours Administration. By reference to the Durban map issued with this brochure, the available municipal sites may readily be located and their advantages as to position and facilities appreciated.

At Congella, in the heart of the industrial area of Durban, only an area of about 35 acres remains to be taken up. This land abuts on the main line of railways. The whole of this area is served by railway sidings constructed by the municipality. Blocks of land from 1.5 acres to 10 acres can be obtained.


About 20 acres of industrial land stand vacant between the Congella railway station and the municipal stone yard, and between the Congella road extension and the South Coast line. This land, upon application, also could be served by railway sidings. Another small area of 12.5 acres is situated immediately opposite the Stamford Hill railway station, on the east side of the North Coast railway line, and adjoining the Agricultural Show Grounds. Here again railway sidings are available.

Nearby is a limited area of some 2.5 acres of land, admirably adapted for factories, between the Umgeni Road and the North Coast railway line; these sites are served by railway sidings. Lastly, so far as land within the borough is concerned, there is an area of some 75 acres situated on the east side of the North Coast line between Athlone Drive and the Umgeni River. Sites located here could be served with railway sidings from either Umgeni or Stamford Hill stations.

All these sites within the borough boundaries, including a number of estates privately owned, enjoy the advantages of Durban's remarkably efficient civic services, including light and power supplies, water service passenger transport hardened roads and so forth.

In private ownership outside the borough, there are large areas of land admirably adapted for industrial use, such areas are already or can be in the future linked up with the municipal lighting power and water supplies.

The Durban Corporation has purchased from time to time, with a view to various municipal purposes, sundry areas of land outside its own jurisdiction. At Wentworth, for example, the Corporation owns some 30 acres of perfectly flat land which could participate in the benefits of all municipal services with the exception of sewerage.


In view of the rapid industrial development now in evidence, the Corporation has felt for some time past that it should acquire further extra- municipal land with a view to its development on the best lines for factory use. Negotiations for the purchase of some 3,000 acres at Clairwood in close proximity to the main line of railway, have now been completed. Not only are 600 acres of this block of land eminently suitable for industrial establishments, but the upper slopes provide ideal sites for residence.

Inevitably in the very near future Durban must break down the barriers that circumscribe her civic jurisdiction. The 8,210 acres comprising the municipal area are all insufficient for the borough's growing needs. A Government Commission has this matter under inquiry at the time of writing. With the town's boundaries extended - a probability of the very near future - the civic amenities and facilities will apply to the many industrial undertakings that are springing into life in the outer areas.


While it is impossible to quote hard-and-fast prices for industrial land in the Durban area - for so much must depend upon location and the class of industry concerned - it may be stated that recent sales in freehold in the Congella district have been on the basis of £1,500 per acre freehold.


In the case of leasehold land acquired from the Corporation, the terms are a 93 years' lease, the first period of the lease being for 30 years with three renewals of 21 years each. The fixed rental per annum for the first period of lease is subject to arrangement with the Town Council or by arbitration. The lease is purchased on an upset bonus, and not on the rental. The value of the land for leasehold tenure is assumed to be approximately £1,00 per acre, which, calculated at 6%, gives a rental of £60 per annum per acre.



It is important that the industrialist whom this brochure may interest should know what industries already exist in the Durban area, not necessarily for the reason that there may be no further openings in the same lines of business, but rather as information likely to play a useful part in the plans to be formulated in connection with any new local enterprise. For how often we find that industries are inter-dependent in these days of specialisation. Manufacturers co-operate; or they specialise in particular "parts" or special processes essential to other industrialists; or they are out to attract the actual consumer by means of "branded" goods exhaustively advertised; or again, they restrict themselves to what is known as "work for the trade."

According to figures quoted in the latest industrial census, there were 1,180 industrial factories already existent in the Province of Natal, the majority of which would be situated in Durban and its close vicinity. The kinds of industrial establishments already working are listed under the following classifications:-

Treatment of Agricultural Raw Materials.- Wool scouring, corn crushing, poultry food, cotton ginning. wattle bark (grinding and compressing).

Processes in stone clay earthenware and glass, asbestos, asphalts, bricks tiles etc., modelling in cement, lime, glass, marble, stone and masonry, crushed stone and macadam-making.

Wood-Working.- Baskets, brushes and brooms, carpentry and joinery saw mills packing cases.

Metals.- Engineering, machinery and cutlery, agricultural implements, brass and copper works, knife grinding enamelling, blacksmithing engineering works and steel works, tramway workshops, railway workshops mine workshops, galvanised iron works, plumbing, gunsmiths, wire works, gates and fences, typewriter repairs, scale repairs.

Foods, Drinks Condiments and Tobaccos.- Bacon, ham, butter, cheese, ice works, cold storage, bakeries biscuits, jam, jelly powders, canned fruit, sweets coffee roasting, pickles, sauces, vinegar, macaroni, flour and grain mills, sugar mills and refineries, tea factories, aerated waters, breweries, tobacco and snuff.

Clothing.- Textile fabrics and similar articles, millinery, dressmaking, tailoring, clothing factories, dyeing and cleaning, bats and caps, mats and matting, tents and tarpaulins.

Books, Paper, Printing and Engraving.- Printing and book-binding, paper bags, photo engraving.

Vehicles (mechanically propelled and otherwise), also fittings for and parts of vehicles. Coaches and wagons, cycles and motors, coach-painting, ricksha building, carriage upholstering.

Furniture, Bedding and Upholstering.- Billiard tables, chairs, furniture and cabinet-making, mattresses, picture frames.

Drugs, Chemicals, Paints, Varnishes And Allied Products.- Baking powder, candles and soap, explosives, matches, fertilisers, oil and grease, paints and varnishes, chemists' manufactures, tanning extras, tar.

Jewellery.- Watches and clocks, plated ware, electroplating.

Heat, Light And Power.- Electric light and power, electrical engineering, acetylene gas, coke, telephones, telegraphic construction, motor and other spirits for fuel.

Leather and Leather Ware.- Boots and shoes, harness and saddlery, leather bags, tanneries.

Building AND Contracting.- Building, contracting, painting, decorating, sign- writing, elevators.

Other Industries.- Musical instruments, rubber goods, toys and whaling.

Large and varied as this list appears, there is an abundance of room for further industrial activity, in view of the unique opportunities that this centre can offer in shipping, overland transport, light, water, power, and a vast reservoir of cheap, unskilled labour. In this connection the list, given elsewhere in these pages, of raw materials of African origins available in many cases within short distances of the Durban industrial area should be of interest and value.



For many years past the trend of Government Policy in South Africa has been in the direction of a "scientific tariff'' designed to give adequate protection, not only to infant industries struggling to secure a foothold in the world's markets, but also to establish industrial undertakings whose operations are of advantage to the country. Little by little "tariff walls" held to be adequate to the purpose in view have been built up. In addition, "dumping duties'' are imposed in all cases where these are shewn to be necessary.

These are points of paramount importance to the industrialist intending to open up works in Durban.

Shielded by tariff wails, and protected against unscrupulous dumping tactics on the part of overseas rivals, a Durban industry may be said to be in the fullest sense a protected industry. Nor does this apply only to manufactured goods. The State, in its wisdom, has decreed that its policy of encouragement shall be extended to what one may term the "packing" and "assembling" industries.

Tea importers and dealers, for example, pay a less duty on tea shipped to South Africa in bulk than if the same commodity were landed here in pound, half-pound and other packets, ready for distribution to the retail trade. Proprietors of well known and advertised blends of tea have been quick to perceive their opportunity in this matter, and by the inauguration of their blending and packing plants in South Africa, a local industry has been created, resulting in the opening-up of a useful avenue of employment.

The same may be said of the importation of machinery and motor car parts for assemblage in the Union. The important inducement of a reduced duty has led to the establishment of large assembly plants in the country, more particularly in regard to motor cars and agricultural implements. Alternatively, the Director of Publicity, Durban Publicity Association, P.O. Box 1904 Durban, Natal, will be happy at any time to answer inquiries with regard to the inauguration of any particular industry.

With but a few exceptions, there is a free exchange of commodities as between the Union of South Africa and Northern and Southern Rhodesia. Under the Customs agreements recently concluded between the Union and the Rhodesias, duties are leviable on ale, beer, stout, cider and sherry (exceeding 3 % of proof spirit) wines, cigarettes and tobacco manufactures and motor vehicles assembled in the Union upon importation into Southern Rhodesia, and the importation of such goods into that territory will not be allowed unless they have previously been entered at a duly appointed Customs port of entry in Southern Rhodesia.

Similarly, duties will be leviable upon the importation into the Union of the classes of goods referred to above when manufactured in Southern Rhodesia, and delivery of such goods will not be granted unless they have previously been entered at a duly appointed Customs port of entry in the Union.

The foregoing conditions also apply to the above-mentioned classes of goods (except motor vehicles) when imported into Northern Rhodesia from the Union and vice versa.

A landmark of Durban: The mammoth grain elevator

The Prince Edward Graving Dock


THE history of the industrial development of South Africa is nowhere more clearly reflected than in the annals of the railway and harbours. In a country of such vast distances, transport must play a dominant part in every important sphere of activity, and the numerous services operated by the Railways and Harbours Administration have been of inestimable value not only in providing easily accessible markets, but also in opening up the country, and thereby facilitating the obtaining of raw materials from producing centres.

The national prosperity of South Africa is mainly dependent upon its two greatest industries, mining and agriculture, and in order that these two vital features in the country's welfare may be encouraged to the utmost, the Administration has instituted a scale of remarkably low tariffs, whereby the vast quantities of coal and farm produce can be transported to the various harbours for export overseas, or for use in internal manufacturing, at rates that compare more than favourably with those in existence abroad.

The great State-owned organisation comprising South African Railways and Harbours does not confine its activities merely to internal transport services. At the present time it operates over 13,000 route miles of railway, in addition to 11,000 miles of road motor services, the latter acting as feeders for the former in those areas where the number of population and quantity of traffic do not at present justify the construction of a railway line. The Administration also operates all harbours along the South African littoral, together with their various subsidiary services; it controls the numerous lighthouses; and, further, has a fleet of three steamships, which are chiefly engaged in the export of coal and the import of railway material.

In furtherance of its policy of promoting and fostering industry, the Administration some years ago erected a chain of thirty-seven elevators in important grain-producing centres, Durban and Capetown also being served in this respect. Besides facilitating the transport and export of grain in bulk, these great storehouses have proved of material benefit to the farmer in that they afford him an opportunity of storing and marketing his grain to the best advantage. Further, the receipts issued for grain delivered to an elevator are negotiable documents in commercial circles. The Administration has likewise helped largely in the development of the coal industry, and in this direction the various co-operative measures that have been introduced have proved a considerable stimulus in the general industrial advance of Durban, which is the most important coal port in the Union.

In view of the enormous quantity of traffic, from the coal-fields of Natal and the Transvaal, also the continual and heavy consignments of various crops such as Sugar Cane, Maize, etc., and because of the mountainous nature of the country traversed by the railway, inland, the Administration has electrified over 170 mile of the main line in Natal, and as a result of this undertaking, the service has been accelerated and its carrying capacity greatly increased. As a further incentive to a phase of industrial development, the Administration has erected in the Durban harbour area coal storage bins, with a total capacity of 70,000 tons and up-to-date coaling appliances capable of loading at the rate of 1,400 tons per hour. These are naturally important features of the port.

But the giant grain elevator at Congella, with its capacity of 42,000 tons and able to ship 1,000 tons per hour, and the thoroughly modern coaling appliances and storage bins at the Bluff, constitute only a part of the Administration's material efforts in the fostering of industry. At Island View there is a timber wharf 1,000 feet in length, while near-by are the oil storage sites where petrol, paraffin and fuel oil can be discharged in bulk into tanks having a total capacity of over 25,000,000 gallons. From these tanks, pipe lines are laid which enable the bunkers of oil-burning ships to be replenished readily and speedily. Further, an enormous pre-cooling store, for use in connection with the export of citrus and deciduous fruit, is in course of construction, and this, when completed, will have a total capacity of over 2,000 tons.

Durban Harbour constitutes, to the industrialist, the town's most vital undertaking, and as behoves its importance it is provided with every modern facility for the loading, discharging and storage of cargoes, and with all other essentials such as quays, tugs, lighters and repairing facilities. Among the last-named, pride of place must be given to the huge graving dock, divided into two compartments, which is 1,150 feet long and 138.5 feet wide at coping and 110 feet in width at the entrance. In addition, there are the floating dock with a lifting capacity of 5,000 tons, a floating crane, and a patent slip capable of lifting small craft. As a result of these facilities, the shipping industry at Durban embraces an additional sphere of activity over and above the customary operations pertaining to the handling of passengers and cargo.

For many years extensive operations in connection with the reclamation of low-lying land in the neighbourhood of the harbour have been carried out, with the result that additional industrial sites are now available. The Railways and Harbours Administration is prepared to lease these sites for varying periods, all particulars with regard thereto being obtainable from the System Manager, South African Railways and Harbours, Durban.

The variety and magnitude of the undertakings controlled by the Railways and Harbours Administration have certainly played a considerable part in the industrial development of the country generally, and the rapid growth of Durban to its present high position is due in no small measure to the progressive and up-to-date activities in connection with transport by land and sea.


In common with other South African centres, Durban is steadily acquiring an air sense, and if the town has lagged a little behind certain of its rivals in aerial development, a fair excuse may be advanced in the fact that there have been difficulties in the way of making provision for an aerodrome adequate to the needs of a first-class aerial port.

Map of possible airship routes.
Click picture to view enlargement.

That Durban is destined to become an essential link in Africa's aerial chain cannot be doubted. Her geographical position ensures it and her commercial needs demand it.

Rapid transit by air for passengers and mails has long been recognised as an essential need of a country like South Africa, a land of magnificent distances. A first air mail service in 1925, connecting Durban with Capetown and other coastal centres, was of an experimental character; but the service inaugurated last year presents every appearance of permanence. It links Durban up with East London, Port Elizabeth, Capetown, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg for air mail purposes, and provides a passenger as well as a letter-carrying service.

From these beginnings large developments must spring. It is to the aeroplane that we must look for the speedy transport of the future. Supplied, as the town will be before long, with an extended aerodrome, capable of accommodating the largest 'planes, Durban will be able to assume a worthy part in the future aerial progress of the country.

The air mail from Capetown speeds up the delivery of oversea letters, via the Cape-Durban railway, by a matter of two days. It is an important saving of time in a business man's correspondence. A speedy, direct service to Johannesburg is needed to complete the chain of aerial services and this undoubtedly will come in the near future.



On the principle that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" it is important, even when considering a site for a new industrial establishment, to inquire what are the facilities for rest and recreation, for entertainment, education, etc., in the vicinity. Those who live and work in Durban are favoured with amenities such as one seldom finds associated with an industrial centre.

The town is in the unique position of being both an important business centre and a pleasure resort of infinite interest and charm. One hears it spoken of as the "Brighton'' or the "Blackpool'' of South Africa. For the holiday-maker from the hinterland and for the tourist from overseas there is no populous centre in the Sub-Continent to exceed Durban's all-the-year-round attractiveness.

Bathed in almost perpetual sunshine, the picturesque town nestles like a gem in its luxuriant setting of greenery. In the town itself all the resources of modern civilisation are available, yet in the thick bush of the suburbs monkeys may still be seen disporting themselves: utterly unafraid of man. In such places as Riverside, whence a delightful view of Durban is obtained, the small grey creatures venture among the visitors in quest of peanuts and bananas.

West and East are found in a bizarre juxtaposition in Durban, which is one of the most cosmopolitan towns of the Southern Hemisphere. Artistic brassiere from India; Kafir curios from the hinterland; and the latest modes from Paris may be seen in shops placed side by side, while the call of the Muezzin from the minarets of Moslem mosques mingles with the church bells of the Christian faith.

The first impression visitors receive of Durban is of the extreme cleanliness of its streets. Everywhere, both in the business centres and in the beautiful residential suburbs, the roads and sidewalks appear to be constantly swept and burnished. In the suburbs stand strikingly attractive private residences, all with their beautiful gardens. In their various seasons, the tree-lined roads are resplendent with the beautiful blue blossom of the jacaranda trees or the brilliant scarlet of the flamboyant, these being followed in due course by the crimson glories of the pointsettia, and the flaming orange of the golden shower, while the bougainvillea and other colourful creepers lend their allurement to the scene.

The air is refreshingly cool and exhilarating during the winter season, and the summer is, except, on a few rare days, not oppressively hot. The mean maximum and the mean minimum temperatures for the year are respectively 81 degrees in summer and 63 degrees in winter. The Durban death-rate among Europeans is very considerably under that of most European centres.

Sparkling sea and verdant shore; a splendid beach thronged with bathers and surf-riders, backed by the Marine Parade with its vista of stately hotels; the picturesque Esplanade flanking the bay and offering a two-mile promenade, lined with graceful palms, reminiscent of a scene on the Riviera; the bold green headland of the Bluff on the opposite side of the bay, forming a strong barrier against equinoctial gales, with its lighthouse flashing its triple warning far out to sea - all these make up a scene that is charming and colourful, and will linger long in the memory of visitors when recalling their impressions of this delightful holiday resort.

Scenic drives by motor car, 'bus and char-a-banc over good roads are a popular feature. Picturesque native ricksha-pullers ply for hire throughout the town. These stalwart Zulus, fantastically arrayed, are a never-ending source of wonder and interest to visitors.

Durban has an efficient municipal tramway service, covering over 40 miles of track, and serving all the necessary termini for business people; while there is a regular train service for visiting points of interest on the North and South Coasts.

Entertainments are lavishly provided. The famous municipal orchestra gives symphony and popular concerts. For lovers of the drama there is the Theatre Royal, which has housed many of England's most famous players. This theatre is shortly to be replaced by a palatial edifice, to cost £80,000. There are several excellent cinemas. A broadcasting programme of musical and vocal numbers, together with the latest news is put "on the air" daily.

Wireless plays an important part in Durban life, telegrams via "Overseas" system being received at any telegraph office at a rate of 1/4 a word for the British Isles. Messages to ships at sea may be sent through the General Post Office at 11d. per word, except to vessels of the Argentine, Belgian, Dutch, German, Greek, Norwegian and Portuguese lines, on which a charge of 3/4 for 10 words is collected, in addition to the Union tariff.

On the beach is situated the great open-air swimming bath, 300 feet by 75 feet, depth from 3 feet to 7 feet, with a continuous flow of sea-water. This is open all the year round and is the venue for numerous aquatic festivals. Along the beach, ocean bathing is a great attraction, especially surfing, and the bathers are under the supervision of an efficient body of life-savers. Chairs, tents and umbrellas are provided for the thousands who take the sun-and-air cure along the soft sands close to the surf.

Durban has seven picturesque public parks. In the heart of the town are the Town Gardens, containing memorials to those who fell in the Anglo- Boer War and the Great War, the latter an impressive monument with its overturning flame of remembrance, the whole having for background the magnificent Town Hall, a building erected at a cost of £352,000. Mitchell Park, on the Berea, has a splendid collection of aviaries of South African birds of great value to the ornithologist. No charge is made for admission.

One historic spot merits special mention - the Old Fort, rich in memories of Dick King's famous 600-mile ride to Grahamstown in 1842, to secure assistance for the beleagured British garrison. The place has now been converted into a beautiful old-world garden, with quarters for ex-service veterans, and contains many interesting relics of the early days, as well as an impressive Memorial Chapel to those who fell for their country.

Durban possesses two race-courses, three golf-courses, the finest grassed polo ground in the Union, many bowling greens, several football, athletic and cycling grounds, also a number of first-class tennis courts: including a fine set of municipal courts on the beach. There are five social clubs - the
Durban, the Royal Natal Yacht, the Mercantile, the Southern, and the
Union. The Durban Country Club, also on the beach, provides facilities for golf and other forms of sport, and is also a joyous social rendezvous.

The Durban Municipal Library is situated within the Town Hall, as are also the interesting Museum and Art Gallery. The library contains about 60,000 volumes on a wide range of subjects, as well as the principal Empire and South African newspapers. A separate section caters for the needs of the children.

Durban has many excellent educational institutions, the largest being the Natal Technical College: with a site 2.5 acres in extent. The buildings contain chemical, physical and engineering laboratories, workshops, cookery kitchens, a large lecture hall and art school: besides many class-rooms, lecture rooms, and the like. The Institution is conducted on the lines of a British public school, its day and evening classes providing a wide variety of subjects of a technical and cultural nature. It includes a flourishing day School of Commerce, a School of Art, a Domestic Science department, and a day school for apprentices. In the evenings, large numbers of students attend for instruction in all branches of science, engineering, art, literature, commerce, accountancy, domestic science, etc.

The cost of the Natal Technical College to date has been £91,000 and further important extensions of this valuable educational centre are in contemplation.

Durban students, by arrangements with the Natal University College at Maritzburg, can pursue full-time courses for a degree of the University of South Africa without leaving the town. A site of 50 acres, commanding splendid views, has been granted by the municipality for the purpose of giving Durban its own University College, which is now in course of erection.

Among other educational establishments may be mentioned the Durban High School for boys, the Technical High School (for boys preparing for engineering, industrial, chemistry and commercial life), the Maris Stella Convent High School for girls, the Girls' High School, the Girls' College, the Durban Business College and the Marist Brothers' School for boys. There are a large number of Government Schools where primary education is provided free of charge, while many other institutions are Government-aided.

Inquiries relating to scholastic facilities in the Durban area may be addressed to the Director of Publicity at the Publicity Bureau, P.O. Box 1904, Durban, who will be happy to supply information on this or any other subject.


OUTSTANDING among the industries at present flourishing in Natal, and worthy perhaps to be distinguished as the "key" industries of the Province, are the coalfields of Northern Natal and the vast and fruitful sugar plantations that now extend almost from end to end of the coastal belt.

The discovery of coal deposits of high quality may be said to have been one of the determining factors in the prosperity and the growing industrial importance of Natal. As a port Durban owes much to this valuable development. Its cargo and bunker business in coal, referred to elsewhere in this brochure, is of great importance to Port Natal and the shipping community.

Of the highest quality to be found anywhere in Southern Africa the coal of Natal has proven itself a boon to the industrialists of Durban and other centres. Supplies for all factory purposes are available here at short notice, in unlimited quantities, and at a price that compares most favourably with the fuel costs of other centres.

In the manufacture of those byproduct that have coal as their basis the Natal colliery companies have shown themselves fully abreast of the times.
Sugar, the second but it would not be fair to say the secondary "key" industry of Natal, is an undertaking of growing importance and an industry in which a capital aggregating many millions sterling has been embarked.

The sugar farmers and millers, as is abundantly necessary nowadays, are protected as fully as possible against overseas aggression by heavy import duties. It is an industry that is carried on with remarkable acumen and ability by the firms engaged in it, firms whose verdant plantations and flourishing factories are conspicuous along the whole of the coastal belt from its southern extremity to the Zululand littoral.

Both in planting and in milling methods the industry has shown a constant vigilance and forethought and is now reaping its reward in constantly increasing crops and a highly satisfactory average of sucrose content.

As against the protection extended to it in the form of import and anti- dumping duties the industry is bound down by the Government of the Union to deal fairly by its home consumers. Under the Sugar Prices Act a maximum retail selling price for the commodity is immutably fixed.

Furthermore, the industry is required to supply its commodity at special rates to industrial users like the manufacturers of sweets and general confectionery, the factories engaged in the production of jams and jellies, the pickle manufacturers, and many others.

This last is a point of prime importance to the industrialist whose products are in any way based upon sugar.


STATESMEN and publicists, great captains of industry, leaders of public thought in every walk of life, have lauded Durban and its future possibilities. Their words, extracts from which are published hereunder, offer valuable testimony to the town's rapid progress and unique potentialities as a great industrial city of the future.


General J. C. Smuts, ex-premier of the Union and one of the world's outstanding personalities, says of Durban that "it is rapidly becoming one of the great industrial centres of South African," and very confidently predicts that "Durban is going to be one of the great cities of the world."


Speaking in Durban at a banquet of the South African Sugar Association, the Right Hon. Lord Melchett paid a cordial tribute to the town's amenities. "I have been immensely struck with Natal, and with Durban in particular," he said. "What puzzles me is how you manage, on such a small white population, to build up such magnificent cities as this. You have here superb public buildings, beautiful streets, and apparently all the luxuries the world affords displayed in most attractive shops. I do not think I have known a place of similar size which impressed one so much with its beauty, and equally with its great commercial prosperity.''


"I cannot help being greatly impressed by a first-hand impression of what has taken place in the last 15 years, both in the city itself and its delightful environs, and in the trade and commerce of the Port.

Such a record of progress in 15 years is, indeed, remarkable, and one of which the people of Natal in general and the residents of Durban in particular may justly feel proud. It proves that the race is as virile as ever.

Once more I would express my gratification at again visiting this progressive port. Greatly as the volume of overseas trade passing through Port Natal has grown, the harbour and port have kept pace with modern requirements, and the facilities it affords to shipping, combined with its favoured geographical situation, should ensure for Durban a still brighter and more prosperous future."


"Durban is the finest industrial centre I have visited in South Africa," said Sir John E. Thornycroft, K.B.E., Managing Director of John I. Thornycroft & Co., Ltd., in the course of his recent tour of the Union.


Alderman F. J. West, a former Lord Mayor of Manchester, has formed the opinion that Durban presents great possibilities in the way of industrial expansion.
"Durban,'' said he, "is essentially a suitable town for the development of industries. In the first place, it is the finest port in the Union, boasting a harbour with a depth of 35 feet at low water, and capable of accommodating the largest of vessels. Her capacity for harbour extension, coupled with her close proximity to the Natal coal-fields, provides her with the immediate essentials for successful industrial development."


It is a fact of high significance that the great house of Lever Brothers, Limited, has decided henceforth to make its Durban branch the headquarters of its business in South Africa. Mr. W. Seals Wood, who will be in control of the Company's South African business, with Durban as his base, has frequently testified to the town's brilliant industrial prospects.

Speaking some time ago as President of the Chamber of Industries, Johannesburg, Mr. Seals Wood said:-

"Without the opportunity of visiting factories and seeing their products, it is almost impossible to visualise the many commodities which are being efficiently manufactured in the Union. Durban, as one would expect, is very much in the van of progress, and its industrial undertakings are among the most efficient in South Africa. It has been said that efficiency in Durban cannot be so great as in other parts of the country, owing to the climatic conditions; but not only are the workers themselves most efficient, but in machinery and plant - vital factors in industrial development - Durban is probably more up-to-date than any other town in the Union."


The well-known journal, South Africa, published weekly in London, recently wrote thus of Durban as an industrial centre:- "No other town in South Africa can offer quite the exceptional facilities that Durban can to the industrialist anxious to open works in that country.

Cheap power, cheap light, cheap pure water, and an unrivalled site within easy distance of the harbour. There is nothing like it in the Union, and in very few other countries.''


Mr. Fred. E. Robson, of Toronto, recently visited Durban in the course of a world-tour in the interests of an influential group of British and Canadian manufacturers. At a luncheon of the Durban Rotary Club he spoke of Durban as being a Liverpool and a Blackpool in one. Of the Congella industrial area Mr. Robson said it was an example of wonderful foresight. It reminded him of his home city of Toronto, which he coupled with Durban as being, in his opinion, in the first flight of the progressive cities of the world. "Durban," he said "combines delightful residential districts with a marvellous foresight in civic administration and industrial development."


In addition to land, a subject already dealt with at length in this brochure, the essential services concerning which the industrialist will desire information are lighting, power and water. These services in the Durban area are entirely municipal.

LIGHTING. The normal charges for the lighting of business premises are 2d. per unit between the hours of midnight and 6 p.m., and 3d. per unit - if more than 2,000 units per month are consumed - during the evening hours from 5.30p.m. to midnight. In addition the borough Municipal Electricity Department enjoy discretionary powers in the matter of large consumers. The following special arrangements are to be noted:-

Supply to large buildings.- In the case of buildings requiring very large amounts of current the Corporation have the right to supply such buildings through a transformer, and the consumer must, if called upon, provide proper space in the building for such transformer.

Contracts for special consumers. - Contracts may be made to meet special circumstances, such as those in which the consumer binds himself to consume a minimum quantity of electricity, or to take it only at certain hours, or both.

Power. Motive power for industrial processes is supplied at rates varying from 1.5d to 0.5d per unit. For all supplies of current totalling over 5,000 units per month the charge sinks to 0.5d nett per unit. For the first 15,000 units a discount of 10 per cent. is allowed for payment within seven days of the rendering of the account, provided that any balance outstanding is paid at the same time; but all units charged at one-halfpenny are strictly nett.

For water heating on a large scale current is supplied at four-tenths of a penny nett.

WATER. Complete tariffs issued by the Municipal Water Department detail the charges per quarter for all quantities of water (by meter) from 1,000 up to 3,000,000 gallons. The charge for places within the borough is graded down from 1S. 3d. for 1,000 gallons to 1s. 0d. per 1,000 on a basis of a consumption of 3,000,000 gallons within the quarter. Above that quantity there is a flat rate of 1s. 0d. per 1,000 gallons.

Users outside the borough are quoted 6s. 0d. for the first 1,000 gallons, and £250 1s. 8d. for 3,000,000 gallons. On a quarterly consumption above that quantity there is a flat rate of 1s. 8d. per 1,000 gallons.

RATES. The borough rate of Durban is differentiated as between land and "improvements.'' Rates are assessed and levied on immovable property on the basis of 6d. in the £ on the value of land and 3d. in the £ on the value of the buildings erected thereon. Out of the rate so collected an amount equivalent to seven-eighths in the £ on the freehold value of immovable property is credited as water rate.

As an indication of the growth of the borough, it is interesting to note that the values of building plans passed by the Borough Building lnspector during the last ten years are as follows :-

1920 £729,628
1921 £492,905
1922 £829,279
1923 £842,970
1924 £936,563
1925 £1,075,966
1926 £1,116,752
1927 £1,068,006
1928 £1,000,003
1929 £972,955

The above figures do not include plans for Government and Municipal buildings erected during the specified years.

During recent years the rateable values of lands and buildings within the borough boundaries have shown the following upward movement, reflecting the steady growth of the community :

Rateable Value of Land - £8,912,180
Rateable Value of Buildings - £12,068,940
Total Rateable Value - £20,981,120
Value of Exemptions - £922,930
Net Rateable Value - £20,058,180

Rateable Value of Land - £9,757,430
Rateable Value of Buildings - £12,958,180
Total Rateable Value - £22,715,160
Value of Exemptions - £1,261,030
Net Rateable Value - £21,454,580

Rateable Value of Land - £10,197,533
Rateable Value of Buildings - £14,085,160
Total Rateable Value - £24,282,693
Value of Exemptions - £1,070,140
Net Rateable Value - £23,212,553

Rateable Value of Land - £10,371,840
Rateable Value of Buildings - £14,914,310
Total Rateable Value - £25,286,150
Value of Exemptions - £1,106,230
Net Rateable Value - £24,179,920


In no portion of the Union of South Africa is the view more strongly- held than in Natal that the future well-being of the British Commonwealth of Nations must largely depend upon the fostering of closer trade relations between Great Britain and the Dominions. In Durban particularly is this vision of a great Imperial development cherished by the commercial and industrial communities, who look forward to a day when speedier communications by sea and air will bring them into closer touch with the great capitals of Europe.

With problems of a political character this brochure has no concern, but it is permissible to say that Durban, in common with other cities of the British Dominions, watches with close and sympathetic attention all those movements that have for their object the encouragement of closer trade relations.

Throughout the Empire there are vast resources - the primary products of the soil no less than the products of organised industry - awaiting development. And with a new spirit of co-operation and co-ordination animating industrialists and men of commerce in all parts of the world the future should be full of promise. In such developments Durban is ambitious to play her part, not only as port and as entrepot, but also in the role of an industrial producer on an ever-ascending scale.

Here, in Durban, are conditions favourable to the creation of a great industrial centre, admirably served as to transport and communications and replete with every factory facility that modern practice can suggest. Here is land in abundance; here are water, lighting and power of the best; here are shipping facilities second to none, and, moreover, a geographical position that marks Durban out as destined to play a great part in any and every forward movement of Southern Africa in relation to the growth of inter-Dominion trade.

It is with the design of making these advantages and facilities widely known among industrialists and leaders of trade throughout the world that this brochure on "Industrial Durban" making manifest the opportunities that present themselves at Port Natal, has been compiled.

For Port Natal is not merely a gateway of Africa - an ever-open gateway welcoming all legitimate trade and commerce from beyond the seas. It is also a window of Africa - a window from which the traders and agriculturalists and manufacturers of the sub-continent scan with eager appreciation every movement making for greater co-ordination in the commerce and industry of the great Commonwealth of Nations to which South Africa belongs.



THE compilers of this brochure feel that they will have failed in their duty unless they provide the industrial inquirer with every facility for obtaining such further information as he may desire on the subject of "Industrial Durban." An attempt is made hereunder to supply a list of addresses from which information may be sought on various lines of inquiry.

Sites for Factories, etc.- Industrial sites are to be obtained by negotiation with the Durban Corporation or the South African Railways and Harbours Administration. Inquiries may be addressed either to the
Town Clerk, Municipal Buildings, Durban, to the System Manager,
S.A.R. & H., Durban, or to Messrs. Webster, Steel & Co. (London Agents of the Durban Corporation), 9 St. Helen's Place, Bishopsgate, London, E.C. 3.
On any matter of general commercial interest affecting Durban, address
the Secretary of the Durban Chamber of Commerce, Salisbury House,
Smith Street, Durban.

On matters specifically relating to industrial conditions, the Secretary of the Natal Chamber of Industries, 84 Club Arcade, Durban, will be happy to answer inquiries.

Questions relating to architecture and buildings may be addressed respectively to the Secretary, the Natal Institute of Architects, Poynton's
Chambers, 339 Smith Street, Durban, and the Secretary, the Master
Builders' Association, 37-38 Anglo-African House, Smith Street, Durban.

Newspaper Offices:- The offices of the morning and evening newspapers of Durban, if needed for purposes of publicity or advertising, are as follows:- Natal Mercury (morning) Smith Street, Durban.
Natal Advertiser (evening) Field Street, Durban.
Both newspapers are keenly alive to the importance of industrial development and inquiries addressed to their managerial departments will be assured of a prompt and courteous response.

All other inquiries may be addressed to the joint compilers and publishers of this brochure, the Durban Publicity Association, Church and West Streets, Durban, and the Publicity and Travel Department, South African Railways and Harbours, P.O. Box 1111 Johannesburg, who are most anxious to render any assistance in their power. Information may also be obtained from the offices quoted on the front inside cover of this brochure.

Home | Contents | Diary | Orders | Site Search | Contact Us