Tag Archives: Durban System

Sharpeville and the Story of Cato Manor

Beer halls 2

Internationally Human Rights Day is celebrated on the 10th December each year in honour of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. But in South Africa we commemorate Human Rights Day on the 21st March, in acknowledgment of the events that took place on this day in 1960, when the police opened fire […]

Day of Reconciliation

Chris Hani inspects MK soldiers at a rally held at Langa Stadium, Cape Town,1991

Next Friday, on the 16th December, South Africa celebrates the Day of Reconciliation. But while the public holiday in its current form has only been in existence since 1995, the 16th December has been commemorated in South Africa since 1910, when it was originally referred to as Dingaan’s Day. It was on this day that 470 Voortrekkers, […]

The Durban System and the Native Beer Act

Police arrest and remove demonstrators from the Victoria Street Beerhall, 18 June 1959

In the heart of Durban’s hip new Rivertown is the Rivertown Beerhall, a social space filled with young creatives and out-of-towners taking in the sites and sounds of Durban’s newly gentrified CBD. But the relaxed bar belies the dark history of these beerhalls, that were a central part of the ‘Durban System’. A precursor to the dreaded […]