Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal
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|• Total||24.18 km2 (9.34 sq mi)|
|• Density||180/km2 (470/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||30.9%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
Port Edward is a tourist resort for seasonal visitors from more affluent regions of South Africa. The coastline between here and Port Shepstone to the north is popularly known as the Hibiscus Coast because of its lush sub-tropical gardens.
It is also famous for the Red Desert, reputed to be the smallest desert in the world.
There are many tourist seasons that influence Port Edward but the most significant is the Christmas / New Year period spanning from early December to mid-January. Port Edward's Silver Beach hosts an annual New Year's Eve party frequented by youths whilst on New Year's Day itself, families populate the beach for continued celebrations. Another main season coincides with the Sardine run natural phenomenon usually occurring from late May to mid-July. Recently large retail franchises (Boxer Superstores, Shoprite Holdings) have shown interest in Port Edward. With the local economy growing, the town is set for a bright future.
In 1831 there was a crisis between the settlers in Port Natal (Durban) and Dingane, the Zulu king. Some settlers boarded a ship that was in the harbour and the others, including Henry Francis Fynn and his family, fled down the coast. The Zulu warriors caught up with them where Port Edward is today and massacred the fleeing settlers, which included local tribespeople of Langeni, on a hill called Isandlundlu (in English, shaped like a hut). The place has been known ever since as Tragedy Hill and its slopes are still littered with the bones of the victims.
In 1552, the Portuguese carrick "Sao Joao" ran aground at Port Edward and this is the first time in recorded history that peoples from Europe met peoples from South Africa.
In 1878, the ship "The Ivy" ran aground on Leisure Bay area beach.
In 1925, the area was partly owned by TK Pringle, and he named the inland portion Banner Rest as this was where he wished to "strike his banner". The village was laid out and was named Port Edward in honour of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII.
There are various small schools in Port Edward, some consisting of only 50+ children; however the most popular of these schools is Port Edward Primary School.
- "Main Place Port Edward". Census 2011.