A brief history of the University of KwaZulu-Natal:

Founded in 1910 as the Natal University College (NUC) in Pietermaritzburg, the University of Natal was granted independent University status in 1949 owing to its rapid growth in numbers, its wide range of courses, and its achievements in and opportunities for research. By that time, the NUC was already a multi-campus institution, having been extended to Durban after World War 1. The distinctive Howard College building was opened in 1931, following a donation by Mr T B Davis, whose son Howard Davis was killed during the Battle of Somme in World War I. In 1946, the government approved a Faculty of Agriculture in Pietermaritzburg and, in 1947, a Medical School for African, Indian and Coloured students in Durban.

The University of Durban-Westville was established in the 1960s as the University College for Indians on Salisbury Island in Durban Bay. Student numbers throughout the 1960s were low as a result of the Congress Alliances’ policy of shunning apartheid structures. This policy gave way in the 1980s to a strategy of 'education under protest' which sought to transform apartheid institutions into sites of struggle. Student numbers grew rapidly and in 1971, the College was granted University status. The following year, the newly-named University of Durban-Westville moved into its modern campus in Westville and was a site of major anti-apartheid struggle. UDW became an autonomous institution in 1984, opening up to students of all races.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal was formed on 1 January 2004 as a result of the merger between the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal.

The 2005 CASA conference

In the context of the newly-merged institution, it is appropriate that both the Pietermaritzburg and the Durban centres should be involved in the hosting of the 2005 Classical Association of South Africa Conference. The conference will be held in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday 5 and Thursday 7 July. On Wednesday, delegates will travel by luxury coach to Durban, where the conference will continue until about 12:30 pm in the T. B. Davis Lecture Complex. Thereafter, delegates will be taken by coach to uShaka Marine World for the conference excursion. There are numerous restaurants, shops, and amenities here. In the late afternoon the coach will drive to the Killie Campbell Museum for an evening reception (including supper). The Killie Campbell Museum contains an extremely valuable collection of Africana. Thereafter the coach will return to Pietermaritzburg by about 9:00 p.m.


The basing of delegates on the Pietermaritzburg campus, together with the visit to the Howard College campus and the excursions on the second day, will provide an excellent opportunity for the fostering of academic (and social!) collegiality during the entire conference period. The Pietermaritzburg campus offers very pleasant and park-like surroundings, with all amenities in close proximity: delegates are offered the opportunity to stay in the Petrie Residence (named after the founding Professor of Classics, Alexander Petrie, who was involved in the establishment of CASA in 1927). There is a dining-room close by, and the venue for the conference on the first and third days will be the Old Main Building, situated a mere 100 metres from the Petrie Residence (see the aerial view of the campus on the conference website). While delegates may, of course, prefer to stay in hotels or bed-and-breakfast establishments (information provided below), they are strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the opportunity to enjoy the advantages offered by the intimate surroundings of the campus—at a very reasonable cost and without irksome commuting!


Useful information:


Transport: There are a number of taxi companies such as Zippy Cabs, 90 Umbilo Road (tel. 031 202 7067); Eagle Taxis (tel. 031 337 8333); Mozzie Cabs (tel. 031 303 5787; sharecall 086 066 9943).


Banks: There are ATMs for all major South African banks on both campuses. On the Howard College campus they are located near the library building. Banking hours are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.


Situation of the Pietermaritzburg campus: the campus is situated in Scottsville, one of the older suburbs of Pietermaritzburg, with easy access from the N3 highway. For those arriving by road, please note that the main entrance to the university campus is off King Edward Avenue (turn into King Edward Avenue from Durban Road, the main thoroughfare into the city, at the Nedbank Plaza); the Petrie Residence is situated directly ahead of the boom gate at the entrance to the campus.


Situation of the Durban campus: Howard College is situated on the ridge overlooking the harbour of Durban. There are 360-degree, panoramic views from the Library building. There are many shopping centres nearby such as Buxton's Village (Moore Road), the Davenport Centre (Davenport Road), Musgrave Centre (Musgrave Road). These centres are open seven days and week (on Sundays they close at 4:00 pm).


Amenities nearby: the campus is very close to two shopping centres, which have all necessary facilities (including two pharmacies); in addition, there are a medical centre and a hospital within 2 kilometres of the campus; the campus clinic, situated 25 metres from the Petrie Residence, also provides a service to visitors.


Places of interest very close to the residence and the Old Main Building: The Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives; the Centre for African Literary Studies (which houses the recently acquired Lindfors collection, comprising the world’s largest collection of African literature in English, French and Portuguese); the Cecil Renaud Library, where Classical books and journals are accessible to visitors.


Parking of private vehicles: safe parking is available right outside the residence (and, for added peace of mind, the university security office is directly opposite the residence!).


The Petrie Residence offers clean, comfortable accommodation in quiet and picturesque surroundings. Several rooms are large enough to accommodate couples. Adequate bathrooms and toilets available (not en suite) for both men and women. Duvets are supplied and extra blankets will be available on request. Delegates will be able to make tea and coffee in the residence at any time (kettles, cups and all necessary ingredients will be supplied). Please note: delegates will be required to bring their own towels and soap. Delegates will be issued with access cards to gain entry to the residence. Security is excellent.


The catering facilities are managed by a resident caterer; vegetarian fare will be available on request.


Climate: Pietermaritzburg and the KwaZulu-Natal region as a whole enjoy a very pleasant winter climate, with very little chance of rain. While the early mornings and evenings can be chilly—although frost is not common—the mid-morning and afternoon temperatures can be described as idyllic (Avg. max winter temp: 23°C). However, nights in Pietermaritzburg can become quite cold (Avg. min winter temp: 3°C).


Prophylactic Medication Unnecessary: There is no need for prophylactic medication for malaria between October and May, even in the game reserves north of Durban. The following quotation from a safari website makes this clear:

'The intermediate risk areas (only in Kwa-ZuluNatal) include the following tourist areas: Kosi Bay, Sodwana Bay, Mkuze -Game Reserve and St. Lucia Lake (not the town of St. Lucia and the river mouth). In these areas the use of antimalarial drugs is advisable only for high risk people from October to May. The drugs listed above for chloroquine-resistant areas are recommended.'