Durban Then & Now – 1954 vs 2014

Following the interest in the Cape Town and Johannesburg Then & Now videos, we felt it would be a travesty of the first order to leave out a Durban Then & Now. So we set out to recreate Durban scenes of the past in the same location 60 years later.

What do you think? Has a lot changed in the sunny city over the last 6 decades? Subscribe to our channel to see more awesome videos.

Watch the video

Durban Main Beach Front

Comparing the Durban beachfront over 60 years.

The Beachfront has always been the epicentre of accessible outdoor entertainment in Durban

View from Golden Sands Hotel

View from Golden Sands Hotel

Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street)

West Street

Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (formerly West Street) signals the centre of town under it’s new name honouring a hero of the struggle and former president of the ANC.

New Beach

View of New Beach View of New Beach

Long characterised by high-rise hotel blocks and the piers which straight-arrow their way into the surf, the face of Durban’s Golden Mile has changed dramatically in recent years; the most significant developments being the Moses Mabhida Stadium,  Suncoast Casino and uShaka Marine World near South Beach.

Beachfront Restaurant

Beachfront Restaurant Beachfront Restaurant

Warwick Junction

In what is arguably South Africa’s most authentic African marketplace, Warwick Junction is a mashup of merchants selling everything from traditional ‘muti’ to music and fresh produce.


More Then & Now videos

Check out these other videos in which we celebrate the past and present of other South African cityscapes:

Cape Town Then & Now

Johannesburg Then & Now

Remember to subscribe to our channel to see more awesome videos. Production company: Para Film productions.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Wow thank you for sharing

  2. Durban used to be a beautiful city,but has now become a slum.
    the people of durban avoid the city,because it has been taken over by the rest of africa who have poured over our borders.
    it is filthy and drugs are sold openly in the streets.
    I loved Durban,but now avoid it,rather going to the north coast(Umhlanga etc)

    • Your comment sucks! Racist pig!

    • i suport you on that one, especialy point. Wow, lived there for a year and i dont think it is a place good enough to be inhabitat by people. im not xenophobic but the drugs thing is just out

    • I’m sad to say that Gerry is right. Durban has become a total slum and to be avoided. The rubbish and litter is just awful and it used to be so clean. Such a shame.

    • 100% correct. calling this comment “racist” KOOS confirms you are nothing but a vertical turd. Gerry spot on dude. Democracy has bought Durban Demo’Crazy!! I wouldn’t recommend it to any beautiful city.

    • We share the same sentiments Gerry, you spot on,,, Ayi i hardly do town as well especially point ,, damn..

    • Gerry you spot on boss … I stayed 5 months at Point it’s like small Hillbrow and some disgusting things I ve noted here in durban, always in fear when going there! Outsiders has taken over our territories and make it their own.I am not xenophobic but for our future kids the city need to clean up that place as Point our most main central of attraction for tourist beside uMhlanga and other areas …

    • Koos look at the pictures people used to visit the beaches but now with all the crime we dont, gerry is correct even south coast is scummy.

    • @gerry, I totally disagree, Durban CBD is finally doing well after decades of excluding people. It was worthless and cold place before, yes, it did have some good spots but at least now it’s turned into a vibrant spot which everyone has access too. Umhlanga on the other hand is really going down, sorry to say.

    • Gerrie, klim agter jou TV en jou bierpens uit en gaan loop ‘n bietjie op die strand. Ja durban is nie meer ‘n tropiese paradeisdorp nie, en daar is so paar dodgy plekke, maar moenie die buitelanders blameer nie. Die probleem is meestal deur locals veroorsaak, insluitend mense wat net agter hulle skerms sit en kla.

  3. Durban is still the holiday place for me.I enjoy the beach with its restructed promenade.
    also a place to go and relax.

  4. There you go Durban Metro the gauntlet has been thrown, now pull finger and make the city a great place to be again.

  5. Since the revamp in 2010 for the World Cup, our beachfront is simply worldclass. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t been down there on any day of the week and seen the diverse crowds of people all enjoying it side by side – from surfers to runners to skateboarders to swimmers, every colour of the rainbow and every religion. It’s a microcosm of everything that’s good about SA in a few kilometers. Sure, there are parts of Durban that are dodgy and scummy – like any city in the world. But the comments above just demonstrate that there will always be people who can’t see the good in anything, and I actually feel sorry for them – how tragic to constantly harp on the past and think that the best days are over, rather than seeing how lucky we are to live in a coastal city that offers us such a fabulous lifestyle.

  6. DURBAN IS STILL ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN THE WORLD. NO DOUBT THERE ARE STILL SHADY AREAS BUT OVERALL ITS A FUNTASTIC PLACE. GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY THE GOOD PLACES FIRST BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN.MAYBE THIS WAY YOU WILL GET RID OF THE SCUM YOU SO AFRAID OF.

  7. I recently visited my ‘home town’ Durban after quite a few years break. It was a sad visit. The CBD is a absolute tip. The Esplanade and Albert Park areas are disgusting and the buildings have deteriorated. I feel sorry for those who have to stay there. The beachfront was no different. I was warned not to go walking anywhere near South Beach/Addington Beach and this was good advice. It was filthy. I am afraid the a few of the correspondents on this page are living in cuckoo world. The once beautiful city is dead.
    It was a pleasure to get back to Cape Town.

  8. I took my kids down to Durban beachfront a couple weeks back. The ocean is filthy and the sand black from filth. They would not build sand castles because as they dug disgusting objects came up! Will not be going back. Rather go south coast or north coast…

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