Dr Duncan Du Bois

Historian,Political Commentator and Analyst

 Bluff Peninsular - researched by Duncan DuBois


Based on archival sources and contemporary press references as well as an interview with a 91-year-old timer, the book contains random sketches of life on the Bluff peninsula from the 1850s to the 1980s. Themes which coloured the pre-1932 period (before the Bluff was incorporated into Durban municipality) concerned the frontier-type existence of the small number of Bluff residents who dwelled amidst its wild, untamed bush. Popular with day-trippers who crossed the bay by ferry, the Bluff was also regarded as a dumping ground by the authorities for environmentally undesirable pursuits such as quarantining for smallpox, the location of a leper colony and in the 20th century, for the siting of the whaling station.

The existence of the Wentworth Farmers’ Association from the 1880s was the only semblance of organised society. As late as the 1920s, there were at least two dairy farms on the Bluff. The incorporation of the Bluff into the City of Durban in 1932 resulted in accelerated development. Keen to exploit a new rates revenue source, the city provided tarred roads, water reticulation, public transport and electricity – but at a very slow pace which led to disgruntled comparisons being made with service delivery in Durban North.

Containing 35 images and photographs and a register of the name origins of all the roads on the Bluff, this self-published book of 81 pages sets the bar for others to research the history of their suburbs.

Bluff Peninsula is available from Elena of Inkdotcom at Wakefields Centre for R125 per copy.