Curries Fountain Stadium

“Curries”, as the stadium is affectionately known, has a unique status as a site of community activism in Durban, where the ideals of non-racial sports were developed and put into practice. The venue was also used extensively for mass political events. The name Curries Fountain originated from the municipal waterworks, which was established nearby in 1878. Playing fields were first created at the site after 1892 when racist colonial segregation policies prevented black teams from using other grounds reserved exclusively for whites. Curries Fountain was selected as a suitable location and 9.3h of land from the Botanic Gardens were set aside for sports fields, arising from a request by the Natal Indian Football Association. A permanent home for non-racial soccer matches and cricket fixtures was only brought about in 1924. The site hosted a wide variety of sports including soccer, cricket, athletics, tennis, golf and motor racing. The grounds became the premier venue for soccer in Durban, as games were not limited to Indian teams and players and teams of all races participated from the 1950s. Curries quickly became the centre of life in Durban, especially around social issues and political rallies. The first mass gathering was held on the site in 1913 when Thambi Naidoo addressed a crowd of 6 000 people during the national strike. During the apartheid era protesters gathered at the stadium before marching through the city to voice their anger against government policies of segregation and racial discrimination. Curries is also associated with important political events in its own right, such as the Frelimo Rally in 1974, the initial meetings of Cosatu and other unions in the 1980s and the mass meetings of the United Democratic Front.

Location

Address: 24 Winterton Walk
GPS Points: -29.85286, 31.02419
Site Contact Details: Steven Kotze
Durban Local History Museums
steven.kotze@durban.gov.za
031 311 2239

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