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Durban Harbour

By Allan Jackson - started October 2008.

I thought it was time to start a page on the Durban Harbour Widening (DHEW) project and then realised that, what was really needed, was a page which could act as a contents page for all the harbour stuff on this site. The page starts with historic material and gets to the entrance widening project, below.

Picture courtesy NPA.

  • Seeing as we're talking harbour stuff, I might as well start with a short history of the battle to defeat the sandbar which blocked the entrance to harbour for so long.
  • Here's a longish extract from The Natal and Zululand Annual of December 25, 1926, which covers the harbour pretty thoroughly.
  • Here is a longish article, published in a magazine about ships and shipping in about 1936, on the harbour. There is also a map availabe here.


Durban Harbour Widening Project (DHEW)

The DHEW project is currently currently underway but the coverage is going to have to be done piecemeal as information comes to hand, both because of the time factor and because it is not easy to get information on the project.

Anyway, I'll see if I can still build up a complete picture over time.
  • To start off the widening project, there is an article by Terry Hutson I posted in March 2007 on the fact that the project was underway.
  • I then nipped down to the Point and North Pier area in March 2007 for a final visit.

There is a lot be filled in here.

  • Pictures I took on a visit to the harbour mouth on 25 August 2007.
  • Pictures I took on a visit to the harbour mouth on 24 November 2007.
  • Pictures I took on a visit to the harbour mouth on 27 September 2008.

A panorama I made during the 27/9/2008 visit. It shows the new North Pier on the left, the
remains of the old one on the right, and all the land in between, which was due to be dug away.
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  • October 2008: I received a press release from Afrisam, the cement manufacturer supplying cement to the project. It has some really nice pictures showing how the large concrete blocks (or antifers) are being used in the constuction of the new North Pier. See the page here.
  • On November 5, 2008, I went on a trip to the old Whaling Station and managed to get a few pictures of work going on at the harbour entrance. The view is partly obscured by bush but you do get some idea of how far work had progressed at that stage.


The NSRI headquarters is the building with the blue roof on the bay and, behind it, is the block yard where antifers and dolosse are being made to armour the the new northern breakwater.  
The Millenium Tower.  
The Point Precinct and the rock wall which will form the new breakwater, and which will eventually have antifers placed along it to armour it.  


The following aerial pictures were sent in anonymously and give a good idea of the progress of the work.

Showing the end of the Bluff and the dolosse and antifers stored ready for use reinforcing the South Pier. Pic taken early September 2008.

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Pic taken early September 2008.


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The demolished part in front is where the Kings Battery used to be. (Thirstys Tavern and the flea market etc). In the middle are the new Point Waterfront residential properties being developed with the canal system which will open out to sea with a small craft harbour. On the far right with the pier is Ushaka Marine World. Pic taken early September 2008.

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The new North Pier. Pic taken about November 27, 2008.


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Pic taken December 6, 2008.


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More anonymous pictures.

The Pinnochio excavator barge in action. Pic taken 11/12/ 2008.

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The Pinnochio excavator barge in action again. Taken from the new north breakwater. Pic taken 2/3/ 2009.


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ADDED 13 July 2010: The DHEW project was completed and handed over by the contractors on schedule before the Soccer World Cup. I was down in the Point area on Sunday, July 10, 2010 and noticed that, although still a construction site, I could get onto the new north pier. I took the following pictures before a large pleasant gentleman arrived to remind me that the area was not yet open to the public.

This panorama was taken with the beach to my immediate left looking down to the end of North Pier, the harbour entrance and South Pier beyond that. I believe that the pit next to the crane is a bund to hold sand, pumped from the catchment area just south of South Pier, before it is transferred to Durban's beaches.

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Looking down towards the end of North Pier.

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Passing at the time was Transnet's Piper Dredger.

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