Find out why generations of families call Westville home.
Formerly an independent municipality, the suburb of Westville has been integrated into the larger eThekwini Municipality, but that hasn’t changed the residents’ approach to their region.
That’s the spirit!
If anything, Westville’s keen community spirit and a deep sense of personal investment from its residents have evolved to help create a suburb that’s made up of one part happiness, and the other part, family. Generations remain here, as their children grow up and raise their own offspring within this hilly neighbourhood.
Westville is far enough away from the city centre to feel like you’re heading to your holiday home, and it’s much cooler than the humid inner city. As you drive along its tree-lined avenues, down hills and up the driveway to your expansive family home, you’re reminded that the suburban dream can come true. That’s because you’ve created it – in Westville.
Shop till you drop
A Durban landmark, The Pavilion is a favoured shopping spot and retail jewel, with almost two million patrons seeking out bargains here every month. A one-stop shopping centre, The Pavilion attracts visitors from all over Durban and beyond, thanks to its convenient location and wide range of stores.
Owing to an ever-expanding populace and easily accessible routes to the area, shopping centres in Westville have grown in size and number. A smaller shopping destination, Westwood Mall, remains popular with Westville residents. Then there’s Westville Mall, which has been fulfilling daily retail needs for more than 30 years. A stalwart stop-in for many on their way home from work, here you will find kids checking in at Burger King after school, or business people popping in for a quick bite to eat.
The advent of more retail stores and commercial entities in the Westville region might be a considered a disturbance to the suburban way of life. But for Westville, this just hasn’t happened, as Alan Haarhoff, proud Westville resident and chief marketing officer at Always Active Technologies will tell you.
Westville is very homely in a traditional sort of way – rolling hills, big houses and communities clustered around churches, schools and shops. In many ways, the proliferation of security huts has added to this, as parents feel more inclined to allow their kids a bit more freedom to be kids. While we may have more commercial businesses and the like claiming a presence here, Westville remains predominantly residential. Perhaps it’s because the larger companies are moving more into the North Coast areas – I like Westville for this very reason!
A dash of culture
Of course, with a history that dates back to the 1840s, Westville’s strong ties to its heritage cannot be ignored. As Alan emphasises, “The local Bergtheil Museum has been refurbished and my kids have visited and enjoyed it. I love history and I’d be keen for anything that helps preserve it.” Housing an array of artefacts, historical records and photographs, this local history museum was declared a national monument in 1983.
For bookworms, the Westville Public Library is a treasure trove, with a wide range of books on offer and regular events for those of the literary persuasion.
For the foodies
So, while you can enjoy late summer afternoons swimming and braaing at home, sometimes a spontaneous dinner out is in order. Westville makes it easy, with a number of great eateries within and near the suburb.
Alan recommends “the homely feel and popularity of local bistros, such as Poco Loco in Westville North – small, intimate and serving quality food. Locals are loyal and it attracts spontaneity. We also have some quality kid-friendly restaurants such as Olive & Oil Café and Chez Nous. Olive & Oil is a great outdoor and indoor spot with plenty for the kids to do.”
What to do in Westville:
- Join the Chiltern Athletics Club for their regular road runs.
- Enjoy a hike through Palmiet Nature Reserve.
- Take in a performance at the Westville Theatre Club.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.