Local schools were invited to experience a unique environmental education programme to celebrate World Wildlife Day.
PUPILS from Durban South schools including Bluff Christian Academy, Assegai Primary, Parsee Rustomjee Primary and Grosvenor Boys High School experienced a unique environmental education programme to celebrate World Wildlife Day on Saturday, 2 March.
The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa’s (WESSA) Treasure Beach educational centre on the Bluff played host to a rocky shores ecosystem challenge at Treasure Beach. Pupils explored the different sea creatures within the water close to the shore and simultaneously enjoyed first-hand experience of the harmful effects of water pollution on marine life. Part of the programme was well suited for the young ones’ curious minds as it included educational exhibits displaying different experiments and information all aimed at focusing on life below water and marine species.
WESSA is affiliated with a number of organisations in its mission to protect and care for the environment including the United Nations, Youth Managers Foundation, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, Department of Environmental Affairs, Durban Solid Waste and eThekwini Municipality.
ANDRE (the Nature Guy) Steenkamp has educated and exposed the community to the wonders of nature since 2001 and his love for the environment drives him to never stop spreading the word about conservation and education.
The 44-year-old Bluff man spends most of his time in nature, working side by side with environmental organisations and warriors such as WESSA and Sodurba to encourage and engender an interest, especially among the youth, for environmental awareness and conservation.
The High Commission of Canada in South Africa hosted a beach clean-up event in partnership with WILDOCEANS and the US consulate in Durban. The aim of the event was to host a beach clean-up and educational workshop on ocean plastic waste and marine litter to ecosystems at a beach in Durban as part of Canada’s G7 commitment to take action to address oceans plastics.
Canada is committed to protecting the environment and preserving the waterways, so that the world continues to enjoy the beauty, health and economic benefits that our oceans, lakes and rivers provide. The government of Canada is working at home, in South Africa and across the world with partners to address the serious and growing problem of ocean waste. Involved was, Sithengile High School, a local school, on the day. After the cleanup we played educational games encouraging the students to make a commitment to protect the marine environment.
Candidate Whale Heritage Site The Bluff, Durban, South Africa, have set a target of June 2019 to finalize their WHS application and welcome on-site auditors as they progress towards WHS accreditation. Enhancing the site with creative and original initiatives, the management team have made fantastic progress towards developing ocean literacy initiatives and sustainable practices since they achieved Candidate Site status in 2017.
On the 24th October the Department of Environmental Affairs of the South African Government announced the approval of a network of 20 new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that are representative of South Africa’s rich coastal and ocean biodiversity. This will increase protection of the ocean around South Africa from 0.4 to 5%.
Two of the 20 MPAs are situated within the territory of KwaZulu Natal province in which The Bluff Whale Heritage Site is located. This is massive news and a huge win for the marine environment!
The Bluff is rich in history with the first ship being built on the harbour side of the Bluff in 1685 by stranded Portuguese and British sailors.
They lived in a wooden shack on the shores of the Bluff. Of course there was no actual harbour then but it was a natural, unspoilt harbour.
Bluff History by Gerald Pigg
By 1900 there were nine families resident on or near the Bluff, the most prominent being the Armstrong’s and Wellingtons, both living at Fynnland.
The Bower family occupied a comfortable residence overlooking a beach which today is known as Treasure Beach, so named because of the belief that the Grosvenor was wrecked at that very spot.
Mr Grey was also an early settler in the district and established a farm on the seaward side of the Bluff which he called Brighton Beach, for sentimental reasons.
The Clarkson family were farmers who had a large farm called Wentworth on the landward ridge which adjoined the land settled by the Jacobs family.
The Clark and Garson families, living close to the Catholic Mission, were the other residents.
Bluff History by Peter Whitaker
When my father first came to the Bluff in the 1940’s Bluff Rd was a sand track and lined with trees. Mr. Grey who owned Greys Inn, a hotel, roughly opposite Splash pools (and not the Harcourt hotel which came much later) used to take a team of oxen down what is now a footpath from Airley Rd to Brighton Beach to help pull the old 1920/30 cars up, so that people could have lunch at his Inn before the long drive back to Durban. Mr. Grey owned a large part of the Brighton Beach area, which is why Greys Inn Rd was named after his Inn, and he also left a large area of the valley in trust to the people of the Bluff, as a recreational area. I understand that this is mainly the section being used by Natures Haven and Harlequins.
The Bluff had many separate areas as it developed, each with its own problems and characteristics. The North had the Whaling Station smell, the South the Oil refinery smell (not pollution, just a smell), the centre had a swamp with mosquitoes and sometimes you got the benefit of all three in varying proportion. We were a mixed community then, we had Indian fisher folk in houses on stilts built out over the waters of the bay at Fynnlands (as well as some other areas), the Zanzibari’s at Kings Rest, and over at St Francis Xavier in Sormany Rd and down to where Moss Rd is today, a large Zulu community. A number of Bluff roads owe their names to the first farmers who subdivided to make the stands that we live on today. Some of the original farm houses still remain, you just have to know where to look. Then for many years we had Clover dairy (complete with cows) opposite the reservoir in Dunville road it eventually became a depot and then was sold off .
The Bluff had many uniquely named areas, such as Kings Rest, reputedly where Dick King rested after crossing the bay, and Kings View which later became more commonly known as Crossways after the Crossways Hotel. How the area ever was renamed Ocean View, I can never understand there was no discussion with the residents, and Ocean Views are found in just about every seaside town, but Kings View was unique. There were many more areas with similar names.
Do you remember how we got about in the 1950/60s? The bus service was in two parts, a Green line and a Red Line service. The Routes were Marine Garage to Town, or Crossways to Town with the buses turning around in Beach road, ever wondered why there is that extra wide piece of Beach Rd going up toward Netford Rd for about a bus length? It was so that a bus could pull in and turn around to go back to town. On the other side of the Bluff buses would go to Fynnland beach, which in those days was a beautiful beach inside the harbour, before the oil sites were built. In fact before 1948 the Government of the day was going to build an “oil harbour” down at the cuttings at Merebank, so the current idea is far from new. After enough homes had been built it was decided that the buses should travel up to a terminus at the military base and cross over as they do now. This journey through transport would not be complete however if I did not mention the tour bus of the day that was run by the Council – it was called the “Toast Rack” and was open with a sort of fence all round which looked for all the world like a toast rack.
My brother and sister started school at Brighton Beach Primary School, as it was known in those days, 5 class rooms on the first floor and the first headmistress (Mrs. Wife) had an office under the north stairs which I think is now used as a cleaner’s store. By the time I got there in 1957 the pillars on the ground floor had been bricked in to form another 5 classrooms, with the middle 2 having a sliding partition to make a “hall’. 1964 saw the building of the Hall, and later still the pool. Much later still came the splitting of schools into Junior and Senior Primary levels.
The 1966 world surfing championships were held at Anstey’s beach, Bluff.
With a huge swell running Rob Mac Wade from Durban went on to win and become world champion.
Keith Titmuss explains what it was like:
There was a level crossing at the old Fynnland railway station (where my dad worked – we lived in AIken Place when I was a kid). You went across the railway line heading for the causeway and after about 500 metres you turned right onto a sandy path that lead to the beach. There was nice white sand, shady trees, a jetty into quite deep water, changing huts, a playground with swings etc and even a park-keeper on duty.
This is an interesting one. It must have been taken in the 50’s – the Indian Fishing Village which was situated next to the Causeway leading to Salisbury Island.
The seine netting community were based there as well as the shrimp fishermen who did a roaring trade with the fish market as well as providing bait for all the local anglers.
Yesterday saw the launch of the multi-million rand state-of-the-art Ricksha buses and Sodurba got the chance to experience the first ride!!!
eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, said under her leadership she wants to see Durban increasing its market share of tourists dramatically in all seasons of the year.
Tourism is a major contributor in the city’s economy and with summer vacations looming on the horizon, the Municipality is pulling all the stops to look after the welfare of all its tourists.
“We are a city hard at work. Tourists that come to our city should automatically be our ambassador when they are gone back home. We will only do that by ensuring that we unceasingly meet their needs.
“Hopping on the Ricksha Bus is the most convenient way for them to explore the City’s tourism offerings where one is able to sight see scenic overviews of a range of Durban’s major attractions, while learning about the City’s history, its people and their heritage, cultural diversity and many more,” said Gumede.
She added: ” It is going to be an experience that will forever be engraved in the minds of many of our tourists we are very excited.”