About the area
Originally developed in the 1960s as an Indian suburb during the dark days of apartheid, Chatsworth has retained much of its rich culture and remains a popular residential choice for many of Indian descent, despite the fact that the Group Areas Act has long been abolished.
There’s scant evidence of the hardship early Indian settlers had to endure after being forced to live in an area which initially comprised 11 suburbs, made up of 7,000 sub-economic and 14,000 economic houses in a place which offered little or nothing in the way of infrastructure or amenities. The Chatsworth of today boasts an impressive 64 suburbs which offer an array of top-performing schools, shopping centres and a feast of eateries specialising in traditional cuisine.
It is still common to hear languages such as Tamil and Telugu spoken and many masjids, churches and temples – including the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath or Temple of Understanding, the largest Hare Krishna temple in the Southern hemisphere – are represented in the suburb.
The Chatsworth Centre is a well-known landmark that offers a cultural shopping experience. In addition to the usual conveniences such as banking facilities and clothing chain stores, the centre, which houses some 150 stores, also has an array of shops which focus on eastern wear, jewellery and authentic Indian food.
Understandably, the area boasts some of the best curry houses in the Durban area including Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant and Takeaway, situated in the grounds of the Temple of Understanding.
The Chatsworth community takes education seriously and the fact that there are 21 high schools in the area bears testimony to the driving ambition to succeed, which has seen the culture flourish against all odds since the first indentured labourer set foot on African soil.
Chatsworth is one of those places where community is everything. My extended family and I live here and although some of my family has moved away, we know they still regard Chatsworth as home.
Pathma Naidu, resident
Nearby medical facilities:
- RK Khan Hospital
- Life Chatsmed Garden Hospital
- Chatsworth Secondary School
- Shallcross Secondary School
- Protea Secondary School
- Chatsworth is ideally situated for those who commute to Durban’s CBD which is approximately 30kms away.
- Amanzimtoti is situated 25 minutes’ drive away via the N2 and Higginson Highway.
- It’s not surprising that the South Coast is popular as a holiday destination or for weekend breaks given that it’s a relatively short drive (132km) to the seaside town of Margate.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.