Gandhi arrived in Durban on 23 May 1893. This was at the
invitation of Seth Dada Abdullah in order to help him with a
court case. During his stay here he engaged in peaceful
confrontation in the struggle for equality, justice and human
dignity. His non-violent strategy was conceived as Satyagraha
- the technique of non-violent action for rectifying
injustices and righting wrongs.
Gandhi was involved
in the formation of two political institutions. In 1894 he
founded the Natal Indian Congress. The Transvaal-based British
Indian Association was established by Gandhi nine years later
in 1903. During the same year he started the newspaper 'Indian
Opinion' and a year later he established the Phoenix
Settlement in Durban. The 'Indian Opinion' was published from
the Settlement in four languages. It was the prime vehicle for
the growth and dissemination of Gandhi's thoughts.
|Main Buildings Of Phoenix
- International Printing Press
Gandhi Museum and Library
Gandhi Health Clinic
Gandhi Primary School
- 'Kasturbavahn' the house built and lived in
by Gandhi's son Manilal and his family
built by the Girl Guide
The Phoenix Settlement was situated on the north
western edge of Inanda about 25km from central Durban. It
comprised 100 acres of land with several main buildings
clustered together on a small hill known as the Apex area.
Throughout its long history, the Settlement played
an important role both from the spiritual and political point
of view, in promoting justice, peace and equality.
1985, during the so called 'Inanda Riots', the Settlement was
so badly damaged that it brought to an end the traditional
Gandhi family life. After the riots it was overtaken by about
8 000 informal settlers.
Phoenix settlement with remnants of the Gandhi buildings
in the background
remnant of the Printing Press constructed in
Settlement and the immediate surrounding area is presently
collectively known as Bhambayi. About 20,000 people live in
the area. Before and during the first non-racial democratic
election, held on 27 April 1994, Bhambayi was in the midst of
an intense regional conflict between the followers of the
Inkatha Freedom Party and the United Democratic Front. In more
recent times, the Bhambayi Resident's Association and the
Bhambayi Development Committee have been established.
The Phoenix Settlement Trust Committee
(established in 1969 to celebrate the Centenary of the birth
of Gandhi) is presently promoting the reconstruction and
development of the Settlement. The Phoenix Settlement Trust
has members from different service organisations including the
African National Congress, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the
Durban Metropolitan Council. Negotiations are currently
underway with the local community at Bhambayi, the Minister of
Housing in KwaZulu-Natal, the Central Government and the
Durban Metropolitan Council to conserve the settlement.
Aerial photograph of the settlement outlined in
red. The blue circle indicates the location of Gandhi's