Pietermaritzburg

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Pietermaritzburg
Downtown Pietermaritzburg as seen from Chase Valley
Nickname(s): PMB, Maritzburg
Motto: The City of Choice
Pietermaritzburg is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Pietermaritzburg
Location of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal
Pietermaritzburg is located in South Africa
Pietermaritzburg
 Pietermaritzburg shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 29°37′S 30°23′E / 29.617°S 30.383°E / -29.617; 30.383Coordinates: 29°37′S 30°23′E / 29.617°S 30.383°E / -29.617; 30.383
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceKwaZulu-Natal
DistrictUmgungundlovu
MunicipalityMsunduzi
Established1839[1]
Government
 • MayorMike Tarr
Area[2]
 • Total160.99 km2 (62.16 sq mi)
Elevation596 m (1,955 ft)
Population (2001)[2]
 • Total223,519
 • Density1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2001)[2]
 • Black African43.8%
 • Coloured7.9%
 • Indian/Asian28.8%
 • White19.4%
First languages (2001)[2]
 • English52.4%
 • Zulu39.2%
 • Afrikaans4.2%
 • Xhosa1.8%
 • Other2.4%
Time zoneSAST (UTC+2)
Area code(s)033
 
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Pietermaritzburg
Downtown Pietermaritzburg as seen from Chase Valley
Nickname(s): PMB, Maritzburg
Motto: The City of Choice
Pietermaritzburg is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Pietermaritzburg
Location of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal
Pietermaritzburg is located in South Africa
Pietermaritzburg
 Pietermaritzburg shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 29°37′S 30°23′E / 29.617°S 30.383°E / -29.617; 30.383Coordinates: 29°37′S 30°23′E / 29.617°S 30.383°E / -29.617; 30.383
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceKwaZulu-Natal
DistrictUmgungundlovu
MunicipalityMsunduzi
Established1839[1]
Government
 • MayorMike Tarr
Area[2]
 • Total160.99 km2 (62.16 sq mi)
Elevation596 m (1,955 ft)
Population (2001)[2]
 • Total223,519
 • Density1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2001)[2]
 • Black African43.8%
 • Coloured7.9%
 • Indian/Asian28.8%
 • White19.4%
First languages (2001)[2]
 • English52.4%
 • Zulu39.2%
 • Afrikaans4.2%
 • Xhosa1.8%
 • Other2.4%
Time zoneSAST (UTC+2)
Area code(s)033

Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was founded in 1838, and is currently governed by the Msunduzi Local Municipality. Its "purist" Zulu name is umGungundlovu, and this is the name used for the district municipality. Pietermaritzburg is popularly called Maritzburg in English and Zulu alike, and often informally abbreviated to PMB. It is a regionally important industrial hub, producing aluminium, timber and dairy products. It is home to many schools and tertiary education institutions, including a campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. It had a population of 228,549 in 1991;[3] the estimated current population is around 500,000 (including neighbouring townships) and has one of the largest populations of Indian South Africans in South Africa.

Contents

History

The city was originally founded by the Voortrekkers, following the defeat of Dingane at the Battle of Blood River, and was the capital of the short-lived Boer republic, Natalia. Britain took over Pietermaritzburg in 1843 and it became the seat of the Natal Colony's administration with the first lieutenant-governor, Martin West, making it his home. Fort Napier, named after the governor of the Cape Colony, Sir George Thomas Napier, was built to house a garrison. In 1893 Natal received responsibility for their own government and an assembly building was built along with the city hall. In 1910, when the Union of South Africa was formed, Natal became a province of the union, and Pietermaritzburg remained the capital.

Name

There exist two interpretations about the origin of the city's name. One is that it was named after Piet Retief and Gert (Gerrit) Maritz, two famous Voortrekker leaders.[4] The other is that it was originally named after Piet Retief alone, since his full name was Pieter Maurits Retief. In this interpretation the original name was "Pieter Maurits Burg", later transliterated to the current name (Jenkins, 1971:11).

Retief in fact never reached Pietermaritzburg and was killed by Dingane, successor to Shaka, king of the Zulus. Maritz died of illness on 23 September 1838 near the present-day town of Estcourt, some hundreds of kilometres northwest of Pietermaritzburg. This was after the battle with the Zulus at Bloukranz, and Maritz did not ever reach the Pietermaritzburg area. In 1938, however, the city announced officially that the second element Maritz should also honour Gert Maritz.

At the time of the rise of the Zulu Empire, the site that was to become Pietermaritzburg was called Umgungundlovu. This is popularly translated from the Zulu as "Place of the Elephant", although it could also be translated to mean "The elephant wins". Umgungundlovu is thus thought to be the site of some Zulu king's victory, since "Elephant" (Indlovu) is a name traditionally taken by the Zulu monarch. Legend has it that Shaka had his warriors hunt elephant there to sell the ivory to English traders at Durban (then called Port Natal). Today, the town is still called by its Voortrekker name, although the municipality of which it is part bears the Zulu name.

Apartheid

During apartheid, the city was segregated into various sections. 90% of the Indian population was moved to the suburb of Northdale while most of its Zulu inhabitants were moved to the neighbouring township of Edendale.

Clock tower of the university's Collin Webb Hall

The University

The University of Natal was founded in 1910[5] as the Natal University College and extended to Durban in 1922. The two campuses were incorporated into the University of Natal in March 1949. It became a major voice in the struggle against apartheid, and was one of the first universities in the country to provide education to black students. This campus boasts association with a remarkable array of world-class academics and has famous alumni distributed throughout the world. It became the University of KwaZulu-Natal on 1 January 2004.

Mahatma Gandhi

Pietermaritzburg is also famous for an incident early in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. On 7 June 1893, while Gandhi was on his way to Pretoria, a white man objected to Gandhi's presence in a first-class carriage, and he was ordered to move to the van compartment at the end of the train. Gandhi, who had a first-class ticket, refused, and was thrown off the train at Pietermaritzburg. Shivering through the winter night in the waiting room of the station, Gandhi made the momentous decision to stay on in South Africa and fight the racial discrimination against Indians there. Out of that struggle emerged his unique version of nonviolent resistance, Satyagraha. Today, a bronze statue of Gandhi stands in Church Street, in the city centre.

Other historical events

Capital status

Prior to the end of apartheid in 1994, Pietermaritzburg was the capital of Natal Province. Following the first post-apartheid elections in South Africa, as a result of which the Inkatha Freedom Party won a majority in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, Pietermaritzburg shared its status as capital of the (then newly created) province of KwaZulu-Natal with Ulundi. Pietermaritzburg became the legislative capital of the new province, while Ulundi became the administrative capital. The IFP, being strongly Zulu nationalist, desired that Ulundi, the capital of the Zulu Kingdom at the time of its fall to the British in the Anglo-Zulu War, be the post-apartheid capital of the province. Ulundi had also been the capital of the bantustan KwaZulu, which makes up a portion of modern KwaZulu-Natal. However, Ulundi severely lacked the infrastructure to be an effective seat of government, and the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Party, the two other strong political parties in the province, among others, called for Pietermaritzburg alone to be the capital. The debate came to an end when the ANC came to power in the province in 2004, and named Pietermaritzburg the sole capital of KwaZulu-Natal. This has resulted in the relocation of several government offices to Pietermaritzburg. This has generally been welcomed as a positive development for the region. Since 2004, progress such as the modernisation of several buildings in the city centre and a proliferation of retail and housing developments in the suburbs are results of recent investment in the city by both the public and private sectors.

Transport

Pietermaritzburg is on the N3 national road, the primary route between the Pretoria-Johannesburg-Witwatersrand conurbation and the harbour city of Durban, some 90 kilometres (56 mi) from Pietermaritzburg. The city is served by Pietermaritzburg (Oribi) Airport, which has regular scheduled service to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Pietermaritzburg railway station is served by trains on the Johannesburg-Durban route of Shosholoza Meyl.

Geography and climate

Upland savanna near Pietermaritzburg
Pietermaritzburg
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
141
 
28
18
 
 
117
 
28
17
 
 
113
 
28
16
 
 
48
 
26
12
 
 
24
 
24
7
 
 
13
 
22
3
 
 
11
 
23
3
 
 
31
 
24
6
 
 
60
 
25
10
 
 
74
 
25
13
 
 
104
 
26
15
 
 
108
 
28
16
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: SAWS[6]
Climate data for Pietermaritzburg
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)41
(106)
39
(102)
38
(100)
37
(99)
37
(99)
31
(88)
32
(90)
35
(95)
39
(102)
40
(104)
41
(106)
42
(108)
42
(108)
Average high °C (°F)28
(82)
28
(82)
28
(82)
26
(79)
24
(75)
22
(72)
23
(73)
24
(75)
25
(77)
25
(77)
26
(79)
28
(82)
26
(79)
Average low °C (°F)18
(64)
17
(63)
16
(61)
12
(54)
7
(45)
3
(37)
3
(37)
6
(43)
10
(50)
13
(55)
15
(59)
16
(61)
11
(52)
Record low °C (°F)9
(48)
10
(50)
5
(41)
1
(34)
−1
(30)
−4
(25)
−4
(25)
−3
(27)
−1
(30)
2
(36)
5
(41)
6
(43)
−4
(25)
Precipitation mm (inches)155
(6.1)
121
(4.76)
113
(4.45)
44
(1.73)
30
(1.18)
13
(0.51)
2
(0.08)
8
(0.31)
64
(2.52)
74
(2.91)
100
(3.94)
108
(4.25)
832
(32.76)
Avg. precipitation days2216156531210121516123
Source: South African Weather Service[6]

Population

Key statistics (2011)[7]

Sport

Tourist Attractions, Entertainment and Surroundings

Some of the many Tourist Attractions include; The Natal Museum, Tatham Art Gallery, City Hall and SANBI Botanical Gardens.

Some of the many Entertainments include; Golden Horse Casino and Liberty Midlands Mall.

Some of the many beautiful surrounding areas include; Albert Falls Nature Reserve, Howick Falls, Midmar Public Nature Reserve, Queens Elizabeth Park and World’s View.

Educational institutions

Pietermaritzburg is served by a number of schools and tertiary institutions. The University of KwaZulu-Natal is the largest educational institution in the city.

Civil society

Pietermaritzburg is home to a number of prominent civil society organisations including the Abahlali baseMjondolo (shackdwellers) movement, GroundWork, CINDI and the KwaZulu Natal Christian Council.[11][12][13][14][15]

Famous residents

Various

Sister cities

CityCountryYear
TaichungTaiwan1983
HamptonUnited States1998[20][21]

See also

Bibliography

Notes

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20–26)". pp. xlv–lii. http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07212011-123414/unrestricted/05back.pdf. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Pietermaritzburg". Census 2001. http://census.adrianfrith.com/place/51109. 
  3. ^ 1991 Census
  4. ^ Rhoodie, E. M.; Keith S. O. Beavon (1976). "Pietermaritzburg". In William D. Halsey. Collier's Encyclopedia. 19. New York: Macmillan Educational Corporation. p. 43. 
  5. ^ "History of the University of KwaZulu-Natal". http://www.ukzn.ac.za/aboutus/history.asp. 
  6. ^ a b "Climate data for Pietermaritzburg". South African Weather Service. http://old.weathersa.co.za/Climat/Climstats/PietermaritzburgStats.jsp. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  7. ^ [1], Census 2011 — Main Place "Pietermaritzburg"
  8. ^ Springbok Series – Sportscar championship in South Africa, that was run usually during winter. Until 1963 was Springbok series for F1 cars. Championship ended in 1973 after two races due to the Middle East oil crisis and never was restarted again... WSPR-racing.com
  9. ^ South African Springbok Trophy Series – South African endurance sports car championship. It was usually held during the winter when the main season had been finished. Until 1963 the Springbok series was destined for F1 cars before it switched to mixed sports car and touring car field. The main race of the series was well known Kyalami 9 Hours, which enjoyed good international competition. Also many of the other races were well supported. Sports cars were limited to two litres in 1970 but three litre cars were still allowed in the main 9 hour event, so even factory Ferrari took the challenge and won in Kyalami three consecutive times during 1970–72 period facing opposition of Porsche 917 and other great machinery of the time. The championship ended up in 1973 after only two races due to the Middle East oil crisis and was never restarted again. The Kyalami event was then shortened to 6 hours and became part of the World Manufacturers Championship, but only for a single season. It then continued under various rules sets and distances over the next decade appearing two more times in the World Sports Car Championship calendar (1983 and 1984 – but the latter was a complete fiasco and it never returned in its full 1000 km distance, nor as part of the WSPC. Just a few shorter races were held for a few more years to come but 1985. WSRP.ic.cz
  10. ^ "IMCA-slotracing.com". IMCA-slotracing.com. http://www.imca-slotracing.com/1965-1966-HISTORY%20OF%20THE%20SPRINGBOK%20SERIES.htm. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "World Habitat Day". Rajpatel.org. http://rajpatel.org/2010/10/01/world-habitat-day/. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  12. ^ [hwww.cindi.org.za CINDI]
  13. ^ "GroundWork". GroundWork. http://www.groundwork.org.za/. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  14. ^ [www.kzncc.org.za/ The KwaZulu Natal Christian Council]
  15. ^ "South Africa: Post Abahlali baseMjondolo AGM speech by S’bu Zikode". Africafiles.org. 14 December 2008. http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=19685. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Carlton, Melissa. "Biography". http://www.melissacarlton.com/bio.html. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Pietermaritzburg – Home Of Gandhi and The Comrades Marathon". Encounter South Africa. http://www.encounter.co.za/article/60.html. Retrieved 1 January 2007. 
  18. ^ "Pietermaritzburg Tourism". Archived from the original on 24 September 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060924173954/http://www.pmbtourism.co.za/aff/pmbtourism/about_us/default.htm. Retrieved 1 January 2007. 
  19. ^ "Golden Horse Casino Hotel". CyberCapeTown Greater Durban Area Accommodation Portal.. http://cybercapetown.com/GoldenHorse/. Retrieved 1 January 2007. 
  20. ^ "Sister Cities of Hampton, Virginia". http://sistercities-hamptonva.org/. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  21. ^ "Sister Cities International". http://www.sister-cities.org/. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 

References

  • Jenkins, G. 1971. A Century of History: the story of Potchefstroom. 2nd ed. AA Balkema. Cape Town. 120 p.

External links