Durban — One of South Africa’s leading clothing manufacturers, the Kingsgate Clothing Group, started in a building in central Durban in Albert Street before setting up office in Stamfordhill.
The group, established in 1955 to manufacture shirts and schoolwear, opened its first manufacturing plant in Lorne Street in 1958, producing 600 shirts a day with a staff of 40.
Due to a growth in business, in 1959 the manufacturing operations relocated to larger premises in Commercial Road, where shirts, schoolwear, pyjamas and woman’s underwear were produced.
Leopold Centre, home of the group’s head office, was purchased in 1959 and a 10-storey building was built. Adjoining land was purchased in 1961.
1966 was a landmark year as the group entered the chain store market for the first time. With the purchase of the adjoining land, an additional 10 floors were built and combined with the existing structure in two phases by 1971, giving the head office an area exceeding 10 000m².
The Reunion Factory in Grey Street was purchased in 1978. The four-storey building was doubled and provided the group with an additional 10 000m².
In 1982, the Ammdale Centre, at 242 Mathews Meyiwa Road in Stamfordhill, was purchased and extended to accommodate its various marketing divisions, retail operations, finished goods and raw material warehouses, and the IT department.
In May 2017, after 58 years of being in Durban’s central business district, the group’s head office was relocated from Leopold Street (now David Webster Street) to its Ammdale branch in Stamfordhill.
Independent on Saturday