Durban, unlike other major cities in South Africa, has not capitalized on its rich heritage, particularly with regard to struggle and resistance sites and heritage routes within the city.

DUT, has identified a precinct that has a distinct atmosphere, architecture, mix of activities and a rich heritage. Unfortunately, the history of this precinct has not been documented. DUT, in partnerships with South African History Online (SAHO), is proposing a research project that intends to document the history of the people, places and events in the identified precinct.

Currie’s Fountain is listed as one of the major sites of protest in Durban in Harrison’s book on Top Sites in South Africa: Struggle (2004) and the role that Currie’s Fountain played in the early development of Durban, particularly with regard to the reliable supply of water to a Town during a period of drought, has not been fully realized and acknowledged.

The site was named after a councillor Mr H W Currie, after he discovered underground water that became Durban’s first reliable water source in 1878. By the 1920’s the area was designated for sporting activities for the Indian Community of Durban. Over a period of 129 years, Currie’s Fountain has served as a water source, a venue for soccer, athletics, golf, cricket, boxing, cultural and political events. Many of the former and present leaders of the ANC, NIC, BC Movement, Unions, NGO’s and sporting codes frequented Currie’s (as it is known by many) over a eighty year period.

The history of Currie’s Fountain is part of a wider context of the people, places, spaces and events around it. Currie’s was part of a neighbourhood made up the Beatrice Street area, Grey Street area, the Market, Wills Road, Warwick and Mansfield area. This is the area that comprised the “non-white” town.

Because “Currie’s” is so well known and has such a long history it can become the pivot and catalyst around which the interrelated spatial history of the precinct and its people can be “told” and integrated. Thus the heritage research project has, as a working title, been referred to as the ROCS project – an acronym for the Research Of Currie’s and Surrounds.


  • A heritage research project by DUT in collaboration with SAHO, OF
  • A defined precinct in the City, generally referred to as the Warwick Junction precinct
  • Covering all the social, sporting, political, economic, educational and religious aspects over an approximate 100 year period – 1907 TO 2007.
  • Utilizing a historical and popular struggle/ sports site as a rallying point and catalyst for the search for stories, documentation, photos and memorabilia.
  • An interactive campaign with the public in search for stories –  a oral history project involving many families now scattered all over Durban’s townships, but whose roots are to be found in the Warwick Junction Precinct.
  • Search and documentation of information with the view to the development of a heritage precinct  and a heritage route within the city.
  • The research project will help “brand” and profile the redevelopment planned for Currie’s Fountain Sports Ground into a Sports Development Centre.

Contact details Veena Partab: Cell 0846606633
Fax : 031 373 2896 Office 031 373 6732

Len Rosenberg from the Physical Planning Department has compiled a publication,
“Wellspring of Hope: The Legacy of a Sports Field” on the history of this area.

The publication is available for purchase via Len Rosenberg on cell 0837772900, (031) 3732708, or Veena Partab on 0845506633, e-mail or Fiona Chetty

The book can also be obtained at Adams Bookshop in Musgrave and Ike’s Books in Florida Road at a cost of R100.