Mansfield Road

posted in: InfoRequests 15

Leonard Rosenberg has written in to ask if anyone knows anything about forced removals in the Mansfield Road area. He wrote:

Dear Alan
I am looking for info and photos related to the forced removals in the Mansfield rd area, that is now Durban University of Technology (used to be Technikon Natal) The area was eventually allocated to Technikon Natal who had to acquire all the properties. To my knowledge it was a multiracial area and people had to vacate. Looking for people who used to live in the area.
Thank you
Leonard Rosenberg

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15 Responses

  1. Bruce Robinson
    | Reply

    Hi leonard, I think the block that had to be vacated was bewsey grove / mansfield road / botanic gardens road / berea road. I do know there was a big hooha as people / families had lived there for many years. There was also a problem when they widened Berea road to what it is today. I will ask around . cheers, Bruce .

  2. Hannes Smith
    | Reply

    I was a lecturer at the old Technikon Natal from 1977. We occupied an old building in Smith street opposite the main campus building. We referred to our domain by the street number namely 457.
    The building was shared by the school of Fine Arts, Interior design, Teachers training ( students from University of Natal) and Alice Defty`s very well-known school of Fashion and clothing design.
    Naturally we were all very excited about moving to the new campus in Mansfield road, ever since our rector Mr. Allan Pittendrich and his team had started scouting around for suitable land. Everybody realized the problems involved and heartache it would cause to people having to be relocated and moved.
    Finally moving to the new campus was a dream come true for all involved in the planning.
    I retired in 1987 from the Technikon Natal now Natal University of technology

  3. Zaheer
    | Reply

    Hi Mr. Rosenberg

    I have been doing some research on my family history and discovered that my great grandfather lived in 15 mansfield road and had his business at 11 mansfield road at the time of his passing in 1927. I believe this forms part of the land allocated to the then technikon natal. Any information you can provide to me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanking you
    Zaheer Osman

  4. Gerald
    | Reply

    Hi Zaheer,
    I knew the area having lived there from 1958 to 1961. We lived in Dufftown Flats a small block of 4 flats which was No. 99 Mansfield Road.. This building was demolished and the property absorbed into the Technikon.. Also absorbed was the whole of Bewsey Grove which was all white occupied in my time. Bewsey Grove ran from Mansfield Road through to Old Dutch Road. I am not sure when all the demolition and take over occurred. Bewsey Grove had homes both sides so quite a lot of demolition took place.
    I would say that the lower end of Mansfield Road at the time was all Indian owned or occupied. Mansfield Road ended up meeting Centenary Road and flanked the main Durban Fire Brigade station. Looking at the old Durban Directories I find Mansfield Road lower section had quite a few Indian families resident there although I must say they were not very evident. Higher up Mansfield Road, I remember one Indian family who you never saw at all bar at Deepavali when the family put out those little oil lamps on their verandah walls.
    Looking at the 1938 Directory this is what is listed for lower Mansfield Road:
    Warwick Avenue ( a section later changed to Centenary Road)
    Left hand side.
    3 Kussell, Harribhoy Laundry
    7 Nursejeata Laundry
    9 Kismet Laundry
    11 Indians (no details)
    13 Indians
    Etna Lane
    15 Hansot Trading Co.
    17 Indians
    Right Hand side
    Vacant Land
    Mansfield School Grounds

    1965 Directory
    Warwick Ave
    5 – 13 Scala Centre
    7 Scala Shoe Store
    9 Scala Dry Cleaners
    11 Scala Grocers
    13 Scala Photographic Studio
    13a Scala Watch Works
    Etna Lane
    Mansfield Road Boys High School.

    Not much but hope this helps a bit.

  5. Tammy
    | Reply

    I lived and visited my Grandparents who live on the corner of Mansfield Road and Bewsey Grove between 1965 and 1968. Their names were Dolly and Phillip Koch. There were empty shops underneath and my Grandparents lived above the empty shops, Odette and Melanie Talmage lived at the bottom behind the shops. A Greek or Portugese family lived across the road and he owned the tearoom further down Mansfield road. Further up Bewsey Grove was a calde-sac where hippies used to gather and play their guitars. I recall a lovely Indian family that I would visit a few houses down Mansfield Road on the same side of Mansfield School. There was also a white lady with short black hair, not sure who she was but everyone called her Marie biscuits. Good memories

    • Val

      Hi Tammy. My name is Val. I was friends with your Mom Kathy. And knew your grandparents very well. We lived downstairs and remember when you were born. Please phone me or email me. I would love to meet with you. Cell no. 0837826929.

  6. Val
    | Reply

    Tammy. I’m on Face book. – Val Erskine and I live in BALLITO. Please contact me

  7. Gerald
    | Reply

    Hi Val and Tammy,
    I lived just round the corner from Bewsey Grove and remember the building on the corner. If I recall people in my time lived upstairs and down stairs was closed. I looked up the 1968 Durban Directory I have and here is a reminder of who lived on the Left hand side of Bewsey Grove.
    Old Dutch Road
    12 A J Dekker
    18 P Graham
    22 A Filen
    28 P S Naude
    32 A Y Wilton
    34 J J Lockey
    36 Mrs E Alley
    40 C J van Rooyen
    44 S Luke
    56 W H E Talmadge
    58 J P J Koch
    58a Mrs VT McDonald
    Mansfield Road.

  8. Val erskine
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald. I lived downstairs from Tammy’s grandparents. Phillip and Dolly Kock. We moved to a block with only 4 flats on the cnr of Bewsey and old Dutch Road. I can’t remember the name. I knew Mrs Talmadge who lived the other end after we left. I am still friendly with the Collatz family who lived further up Bewsey Grove. And jenni Daniels who became Jenni Pretorius. Then there was Allan Trollip who had died. And cnr of Mansfield opposite the Kocks and TALMADGES was Margaret Reid. What is your surname and where did you live. Cynthia Crocker lived just around the cnr in Mansfield road. In fact her mother worked in the tearoom cnr Mansfield and botanic gardens. Nice chatting. Keep in touch

  9. Val Erskine
    | Reply

    Hi Tammy and Gerald. Please send email address or Face book name thanks. Val

    • Ashraaf

      Hi Val. Would you by any chance recall the name of the cafe at the corner of Mansfield and botanical gardens. Thank you in advance.

  10. Tammy
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald and Val

    Oh wow, this is amazing. Thanks so much for the information. I will definitely contact you Val. I have just received the mail now. So exciting.

    • Dr. Mahomed Faizal Khan

      Hi Leonard,
      I lived at 4 Scala Mansions until 1982, the Khan family (rooftop flat), we relocated to Phoenix to council homes that were allocated to first time home owners. Fond memories of the area and its wonderful people. I remember the elderly couple at Hansots trading as well as the owners of Scala Cafe, whom I am still in contact with. My dad would visit the store at the upper end of Mansfield rd every Sunday for fresh bread and Sunday morning goodies. Watched many a good soccer matches at Curries Fountain and movies at Scala cinema. Many a good memory were captured at the photo studio as well. Sadly departed Warwick Avenue at the age of 14 in 1982. Would love to connect with others that were resident in Scala Mansions.

  11. jo-anne berelowitz
    | Reply

    Hi All,
    I’m so lucky to have stumbled upon this site.I used to live in Durban—a long time ago. I left SA in 1977. Now I’m writing a memoir about living there. I’ve been looking at a book produced by Zuleikha Mayat, who started the Women’s Cultural Group. The book is Nanima’s Chest. I’m trying to figure out where her house was on Mansfield Road. Does anyone know? Have any photographs? Also, her book shows a lovely home on Inness Road where an Indian family lived. My parents bought land on Inness Road next to Mitchell Park and I’d love to know if that land was once owned by Indians and taken from them because of the Group Areas Act. Might anyone have any information? If so, I’d be most grateful for a response. Best to reach me at:

  12. Kay Moodly
    | Reply

    Hi. I am so pleased to read your posts and reminisce about Duchene. I lived 111 Stratford Rd, which ran from Mansfield Road to Old Dutch Road; the back of our 4 flats building was Etna Lane. This was behind Scala Building. We were evicted from the area when it was declared a White area inder the Groups Areas Act; we moved to Chatsworth in 1969. I attended Sastri College from 1968 to 1969. Nothing remains of Stratford Raod as this area was absorbed by the Natal Technikon. I now live in Auckland, New Zealand. Any photos of the area would be greatly appreciated.

    I have a pdf account of the area; if anyone would like a copy, please request by email

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