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Pietermaritzburg (South Africa)
Coordinates 29 ° 36 ′  S , 30 ° 23 ′  E Coordinates: 29 ° 36 ′  S , 30 ° 23 ′  E
Basic data
Country South Africa


District umgungundlovu
local community Msunduzi
height 596 m
surface 126.2 km²
Residents 223,448 (2011)
density 1,771.3  Ew. / km²
founding 1839
Website www.msunduzi.gov.za (English)
City Hall
City Hall

Pietermaritzburg (also popularly Maritzburg ) is located in the municipality of Msunduzi and is the capital of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal . In 2011 the city had 223,519 inhabitants. The city lies on the Msunduzi River .


Pietermaritzburg was founded by Voortrekkern in early 1839 and named after Pieter Retief and Gerrit Maritz . It was the capital of the Republic of Natalia . In 1843 Great Britain occupied the area and Pietermaritzburg became the capital of the British colony of Natal .

In 1901, the Natal government in Pietermaritzburg created the Geological Survey of Natal and Zululand .

During the First World War , Fort Napier in Pietermaritzburg was a concentration camp for German prisoners from the German colonies in Africa. A large number of these prisoners came from Lüderitzbucht in German South West Africa , today's Namibia .

After the 1994 elections, Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi were also capitals of the KwaZulu-Natal Province. When the African National Congress (ANC) provided the provincial government after the 2004 elections, Pietermaritzburg was once again the sole capital of the province.


The city's economic structure focuses on the processing of aluminum products , the manufacture of automobile parts , furniture and cut flowers . International competition events in mountain biking and BMX as well as the agricultural exhibition Royal Agricultural Show contribute to the tourist attraction of Pietermaritzburg.


Pietermaritzburg is located on the N3, which is important for South Africa's national road traffic . This comes from the port city of Durban and continues north into the metropolitan area of Johannesburg . Parts of this motorway are subject to tolls near the city . The regional road R33 connects Dundee and Vryheid with Piet Retief not far from Swaziland and ends at its confluence with the N17 . In the opposite direction the regional road R56, which extends between Port Shepstone and Kokstad the connection to N2 manufactures.

Transnet's national rail network enables Pietermaritzburg to connect to northern KwaZulu-Natal and the neighboring provinces of Mpumalanga , Free State and Gauteng . To the south, the route from the city reaches the metropolitan area of ​​Durban, where a large part of the national import and export volume is handled in the ocean port . There is a transition to the Metrorail Durban regional network at several stations . Other branch lines lead from Pietermaritzburg to the northeastern city of Greytown and to the southwestern, more distant Kokstad. Shosholoza Meyl offers connections for passenger traffic, coming from Durban, to Johannesburg and to Cape Town via Bloemfontein and Kimberley .

In international air traffic, the city can only be reached via King Shaka International Airport in Durban. For smaller planes there are arrival and departure options at the regional airport Pietermaritzburg Airport in the southern district of Oribi with an asphalt runway length of 2200 meters. This is to be replaced by a new international airport (as of January 2018) elsewhere.


According to the 2011 census, 52.02% of Pietermaritzburg's residents are female, while 47.98% are male. The city's population is made up of 70% blacks, 14.2% white, 8.4% Indians or Asians, and 6.9% colored and 0.5% defined as “other” people.

The first language was 57% isiZulu , 28.9% English, 4.2% Afrikaans , 3.5% isiXhosa , 2.3% Sesotho , 0.9% isiNdebele and 0.5% Setswana .



The city's British past can be seen in the form of typical parks and gardens as well as numerous large, well-preserved colonial buildings. The Edwardian and Victorian styles are predominant . A landmark of the city is the City Hall , built in 1893 with a 47-meter-tall bell tower (built in 1900), the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere and a national monument since 1996.

Other main attractions of Pietermaritzburg are the Church of the Vow from 1839 and Fort Napier from 1843.

Public facilities

There are several museums and galleries in the city, such as the Natal Museum or the KwaZulu-Natal Railway Museum with a historic station building.

The Tatham Art Gallery in the Old Supreme Court building has an extensive collection of works of art and handicrafts .

In the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden , founded in 1874 , typical plants of the grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal are shown, especially with the genera Kniphofia , Watsonia and Dierama . The native plant communities of the Ngongoni Veld represent around 80 percent of its area .

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Detail of the statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was expelled in 1893 in his capacity as a member of the Indian population near the city from the compartment of a railway train intended only for whites , which shaped him decisively and ultimately led to the political strategy Satyagraha . In his honor, a statue was erected in front of the Colonial Building , which was unveiled on June 6, 1993 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu .


The hilly Natal Midlands are in the vicinity of Pietermaritzburg .


Members of many religions such as Hindus , Muslims , Christians , Mormons , Jehovah's Witnesses , but also African religions can be found in Pietermaritzburg.

education and Science

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus

Pietermaritzburg, together with Durban, is the seat of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), founded in 1909 as the University of Natal .

There is also the Umgungundlovu FET College (UFET) , an educational institution with a technical profile. In Wartburg near Pietermaritzburg is the Wartburg Kirchdorf School , one of the most prestigious and award-winning schools in the area.

The Council for Geoscience , the geoscientific authority in South Africa, maintains an office here.


From 1953 to 1981 the Roy Hesketh Circuit was located in Pietermaritzburg , the only permanent race track in what is now the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The track was named after the South African racing driver Roy Hesketh . In Pietermaritzburg, the South African Roland Schoeman set a world record in 50-meter freestyle swimming on the 25-meter lane on August 8, 2009 .


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities who have worked in the city

Web links

Commons : Pietermaritzburg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. 2011 census , accessed October 1, 2013
  2. a b c KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs: Msunduzi Municipality . on www.kzncogta.gov.za ( Memento of the original from February 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.kzncogta.gov.za
  3. ^ Pietermaritzburg Fact File: Royal Agricultural Show Grounds . at www.pietermaritzburgtourism.co.za ( Memento of the original from February 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.pietermaritzburgtourism.co.za
  4. Shosholoza routes . on www.railtours.co.za ( Memento of the original dated February 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.railtours.co.za
  5. Zulu Kingdom.Exceptional: Oribi Airport . on www.zulu.org.za (English)
  6. ^ Delay for airport site. News24, January 8, 2018.
  7. http://www.statssa.gov.za/?page_id=4286&id=8234
  8. ^ Peter Joyce: South Africa. 1998, p. 71, ISBN 3-89508-885-4
  9. Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI): KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden . at www.bgci.org (English)
  10. ^ Pietermaritzburg - Local History, Hassim Seedat: Gandhi: the Pietermaritzburg experience , January 13, 2010
  11. Msunduzi Municipality - Pietermaritzburg: Gandhi Memorial Committee, Compiled by Rob Haswell - Gandhi and Pietermaritzburg, The Birthplace of non-violent Resistance, (PDF download)
  12. UFET College Campuses . on www.ufetcollege.co.za (English)
  13. ^ Council for Geoscience: Council for Geoscience - Pietermaritzburg Office . on www.geoscience.org.za (English)