Township Renewal: Kwa-Mashu Case Study

This case study has relied to a great extent on first-hand knowledge and materials produced by Len Baars, Senior Manager: Projects,
Economic Development Unit, eThekwini Municipality. In addition, we have made use of the National Treasury’s Neighbourhood
Development Programme, KwaMashu Town Centre Regeneration Project case study, currently in discussion draft form.


KwaMashu is a township situated 25km north of the Durban city centre. It was established in the period 1955–1966 to house black people forcibly removed from Cato Manor. Housing consists of either standard township-style housing or informal dwellings. The present population is about 180 000. KwaMashu was located on state land that was subsequently devolved to the eThekwini municipality. It is part of the area known as INK (Inanda-Ntuzuma-KwaMashu).

The restructuring of local government in South Africa began in the mid-1990s. A number of smaller local councils in the greater Durban area were amalgamated into a single metropolitan municipality, and the boundaries of the city were expanded to incorporate a number of new areas. The department responsible for economic development at the time started to look for a suitable location for a focused, municipality-led intervention in the newly incorporated areas. The political violence of the 1980s had been particularly intense in the northern areas. As a result, development in those areas had been impeded, and there was a greater level of need.

In 1998, a pre-planning assessment concluded that the greatest positive economic impact could be achieved by focusing on the development of one centre in the newly incorporated northern areas – namely the KwaMashu Town Centre.

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Publication Type Source book
Publisher South African Cities Network
Year 2009
Author(s) Network S A C
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