Pinetown is a town just inland 16 km from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. Pinetown was named after the governor of Natal, Sir Benjamin Pine.
The town was established in 1850 around the Wayside Hotel, itself built in 1849 along the main wagon route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. In the Victorian era Pinetown was known as health resort.
During the Second Boer War, the British built a concentration camp in Pinetown to house Boer women and children.
The area of Clermont was a solely black residential zone during the apartheid era, with land tenure being on a freehold basis unlike the state-owned townships elsewhere in the Durban vicinity. This meant residents enjoyed an atmosphere of freedom and this led to Clermont being a base for some well-known political activists during the apartheid era such as the lawyer Archie Gumede.
Other personalities associated with Clermont are relatives of the leader of the world-renowned “Ladysmith Black Mambazo” musical group.
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