Looking for a great work-life balance in KwaZulu-Natal? Meet Amanzimtoti.
Going to live “down the coast” used to be a revered rite of passage for many a Durbanite. After spending many of their career-focused years at work in the city, citizens would retire to the quieter side of life, settling in the South Coast to enjoy the seaside. But that’s not entirely true anymore, as Amanzimtoti has become a more family-oriented suburb and one that’s home to a number of small businesses and budding entrepreneurs.
Behind the Name
Locals call the area Toti but, according to legend, the town’s full name dates back to the days of King Shaka. As Shaka rested on the riverbanks with his army during the early 1800s, he took a sip of the river’s water, proclaiming it to be very sweet with an “amanzi mtoti!”
The Sapphire Coast
As the town hugs the coastline; residents enjoy the rather beautiful consequence of never being too far away from the beach. This region is known as the Sapphire Coast, thanks to the sparkling blue waters and well-tended beaches. The nearby Aliwal Shoal attracts avid scuba divers, who come to enjoy the colourful congregation of fish that make this fossilized sand dune a regular pitstop. Back on the beaches, avid surfers, fishers and sun worshippers regularly flock to the sands on sunshine days.
Raising a family
While the suburb has always enjoyed some level of development, and is closely located to a number of industrial hubs, Amanzimtoti has retained a quaint and colourful ambience that lends itself easily to raising a family. As owner of Scrapbooking and Card Boutique, a small business based in Amanzimtoti, Merle Zulberg explains: “We moved to ‘Toti from Johannesburg to give our two children a better quality of life. We chose Toti because we had family living here and liked the area and what it had to offer. My favourite thing about living in ‘Toti is the feeling of living in a small town yet having all the amenities on hand that you require as well as the beach on your doorstep. You have the ‘holiday’ atmosphere of Toti when you need it, yet are close enough to the city when you need it.”
But don’t mistake the laidback lifestyle for laziness, as evidenced by the proliferation of small businesses and home-based operations in Amanzimtoti. As more and more people set out to become entrepreneurs in Amanzimtoti, it’s a community development that’s backed by a strong community spirit. As Merle says: “There is a very strong community spirit in Amanzimtoti. The Community Crime Prevention Organisation (CCPO) was born out of the community taking a stand against crime in the area. Residents pay a small fee for the CCPO each month, which works in conjunction with a private security company to fight crime. The CCPO has a strong presence in the community and are doing a fantastic job. There is another organisation, Army Saints that regularly calls upon the community for assistance. They do incredible work! They recently spent days and days over the weekends cleaning out the Toti River, and the community came out in force to help. They actively engage with residents to get the community involved and assist with whatever is required. Local businesses often sponsor initiatives, and all manpower is supplied by the community.”
Top Five ‘Toti Spots
Thinking about buying a home in Amanzimtoti or just popping in for a visit? Take some time out and explore:
- Galleria Arbour Town: a great mix of big brand retailers, exclusive boutiques and kid entertainment spots;
- The Book Boutique: take a browse through this unique concept bookstore and enjoy some delicious treats from the adjoining deli;
- Splash Water World: Take the kids for a fun-filled day of water rides and slides;
- Hutchinson Park: enjoy a soccer game or take part in a morning road run with the Amanzimtoti Athletics club and,
- Amanzimtoti Bird Sanctuary: enjoy a walk through this feather-friendly reserve and stop at the pond to get a close look at the resident families of waterfowl.
Property prices in the Amanzimtoti
- A typical property for sale in Amanzimtoti is a two-bedroom apartment at an average asking price of R799,000
- 37% of properties for sale are houses, at an average asking price of R1,55m
- 17% of properties for sale are in complexes, at an average asking price of R1,1m
- Average monthly rental for a one-bedroom apartments: R5,300
Properties for sale in Amanzimtoti comprise 14% of total sales listings in the Durban region. They receive:
- 9% of the interest
- 15% of the total rental listings
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.