Then and Now: Scott Street, Scottburgh

By Frank Chemaly Time of article published Apr 17, 2021

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Durban - The old picture this week comes from a postcard of Scott Street, the main street in Scottburgh on KZN’s South coast. It is unclear when the picture was taken, but probably in the 1940s.

The American oil giant Mobiloil changed its trademark to Mobil in 1963, before divesting from South Africa in the late 80s

The town developed during the early 1800s as adventurous souls drifted down from Durban, exploring both the coastline and hinterland. When it was discovered that Natal had the ideal climate for growing sugar cane, plantations were developed and the area was gradually populated. One major influx was a contingent of Byrne Settlers who arrived via Durban in 1850 from Liverpool. Among them came the Crookes brothers, Charles and Samuel, whose progeny remain local ‘sugar barons’ to this day.

The town was established in 1860 and named after then Lieutenant-Governor of Natal John Scott. It soon became a port for the sugar farmers and mills sprang up around it.

Scott Street in Scottburgh, looking south. Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

The lagoon of the Mpambanyoni River, which was used as the port, was named by King Shaka. It is said that while resting on its bank with a regiment of soldiers, Shaka was fascinated by the myriad birds nesting among the reeds and, wondering how each pair could possibly find its nest, he coined the name Mpambanyoni which translates into “the confuser of birds”.

The town itself was made a municipality in 1964.

Our photographer Shelley Kjonstad shot the scene recently on a trip down the South Coast.

The Independent on Saturday

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