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TThe Inanda Heritage Route explores the often overlooked area on Inanda, north of Durban. Despite its apparent obscurity, this region has historical roots that run deep, as a place that experienced first-hand the injustices of apartheid, was the home of passive resistance and became an icon of the freedom struggle.
TThe Inanda Heritage Route takes in some of the most important, albeit little-known, historical sites of Durban. Winding its way through the Inanda Valley, it provides a snapshot of critical South African history as well as, perhaps surprisingly, India's past.
IInanda's recent history dates back to the early 1800s, when KwaZulu-Natal was a Boer Republic. It was a farm then, passing hands several times as the Boers left and the British arrived, and then when African and Indian farmers came here to farm sugar cane.
But it was the events that unfolded at the turn of the century that shaped its future. First Mahatma Gandhi, then a lawyer, arrived in the region to represent an Indian client. After being thrown off a train for sitting in a "whites only" section, Gandhi stayed on here and started his passive resistance movement.
During 1960s, Inanda became home to the thousands of people displaced from urban areas under apartheid laws. It quickly grew into a shanty town and then, as segregation laws took further hold, a dense informal settlement that was later the site of intense political violence.