Saturday, September 4, 2010

Port Shepstone (K 15)

Name: Port Shepstone


Port Shepstone - KwaZulu Natal South Africa
Port Shepstone is the largest town on the tropical KwaZulu-Natal South Coast in South Africa. It was founded in 1867 when marble deposits were discovered on both river banks near the mouth of the Mzimkulu River. The Port Shepstone harbour was immediately built at the opening of the river mouth for marine trade. The first coaster entered the harbour on the 8 May 1880 and inaugurated regular trade between Durban and Port Shepstone. The main exports for many years after that were marble slabs, sugar and lime.

The development of Port Shepstone was boosted by the arrival of 200 Norwegian settlers who were brought out to farm the area. On their arrival some of the settlers immediately noticed the potential for seafaring trade and devoted their time and energy into developing the harbour and its facilities. By 1893 Port Shepstone was functioning as a full fiscal harbour. However, when the railway from Durban reached Port Shepstone, the harbour was doomed. It fell into disuse and eventually the river silted up again making it impossible to use. Port Shepstone is today the administrative, commercial, distribution and transport center of the South Coast. On the outskirts of the town is a charming church which is the cultural and social focus of the Norwegian settler's descendants. Port Shepstone is a perfect stop for tourists wanting to experience some of the beautiful KwaZulu Natal Coast.

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