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Durban Reality Tours

When critically‑minded people visit Durban and seek out a 'reality tour'
typically denied by the mainstream tourist circuit, one of the stops is
the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu‑Natal. Located
at the highest point in Durban (the top floors of Memorial Tower
Building in Glenwood), the Centre introduces sympathetic visitors to the
work of leading social activists and environmentalists. The sites that
kombi‑taxis arranged by CCS reach include an inner‑city tense with
resistance to xenophobia and gentrification, the largest petrochemical
complex in a residential area in Africa, a variety of shack settlements
and working‑class 'African', 'Indian' and 'coloured' neighbourhoods, the hotly‑contested source of Durban's water at Inanda Dam, and the university environs.

Contact Persons
Lungi Keswa (27 31 260 3195)
Des D'Sa (Wenthworth/Umlazi tours) - 27 839826939
Orlean Naidoo (Chatsworth tours) - 27 726712901
Baruti Amisi (Durban inner city - market/refugee tours) - 27 836838297
Dudu Khumalo (Inanda tour) - 27 765162055

Durban Reality Tour: A collection of material about the ‘invisible’ side of the City
Llywellyn Leonard, Sufian H Bukurura & Helen Poonen

Sample tour (November 2009)

A Durban Reality Tour
by Pamela Ngwenya, CCS Post‑Doctoral Scholar,

On 4th November 2009, the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu‑Natal led a tour of Durban that conveys the gritty reality faced by ordinary Durbanites. This video documents the highlights of the tour, including the 'toxic' South Durban Industrial Basin, the tented community of Crossmoor and, on a more positive note, the development of an organic community garden and biodigester in the township of Cato Manor.

Durban Reality Tour from Pamela Ngwenya on Vimeo.



Photo by Ntokozo Mthembu

The University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society will be offering delegates of the SANPAD Poverty Challenge conference an opportunity to see another side of Durban. The Durban Reality Tour will take you to some of the urban communities which have become sites of intense resistance against water and electricity disconnections, environmental degradation and housing struggles. Cost: R50 cash on the bus (sorry).

  • 9:00 pick-up at Blue Waters Hotel, 9:05 at Elangeni Hotel

  • 9:10 - 9:30am in central Durban through the eyes of Southern African refugees with Baruti Amisi (CCS)

  • 9:30 - 9:50am in central Durban (Warwick Triangle) through the eyes of oppressed street traders with Pat Horn and Gaby Bikombo (StreetNet and Siyagunda)

  • 10:00 - 11:30 in South Durban with the Community-Environmental Alliance considering pollution and urban health crises with Llewellyn Leonard (CCS) and Des D'Sa (SDCEA)

  • 11:40 - 12:40 in Umlazi looking at the scourge of post-apartheid housing with Ntokozo Mthembu (CCS)

  • 1:15 - 15:30 in Chatsworth considering water/electricity and in Crossmoor on the evictions issue, including breyani lunch, with Orlean Naidoo (CCS)

  • 16:00 - 17:30 at Yellowwood Park Coedmore Mansion for tea

  • 17:30 return to Elangeni and Blue Waters

  • To book for the reality tour please contact the Centre for Civil Society: Helen Poonen, or 031 260 3195, or Patrick Bond at 083 425 1401

    DURBAN REALITY TOUR, 26 & 30 June 2007

     Other Research Institutes Working on Civil Society
     The Funding Site  
     Council for Research and Values in Philosophy 
     Heinrich Boll Stiftung 
     Thusanang - the South African funding facility 
     National Research Foundation 
     The Ford Foundation 
     Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 
     The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 
     The Atlantic Philanthropies 
     Samuel Rubin Foundation 
     Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung 
     Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung 

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