About 15 kilometres inland from Durban are New Germany. It got its name when a group of German immigrants to South Africa moved on a cotton-growing farm here and gave it the new name, Westville after the cotton crop failed and they switched to cultivating vegetables and flowers. The little city of Pinetown, which was built up around the ancient Wayside Hotel, which back then functioned as the primary wagon route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, has incorporated the small town, which is now primarily occupied by a sizable industrial park.
New Germany is an excellent starter home neighbourhood and one of the few places in and around Durban where you can pick up a house for less than R1 million, despite its industrial bent and Pinetown’s reputation as a “motor town” due to the number of auto dealerships situated along the Old Main Road. Its residents adore it since it has unquestionably one of the best entry points to major roads and is convenient for travelling to and from Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
It helps that New Germany Durban has excellent access to outdoor areas and getaways on the weekends. Despite its diminutive size, the New Germany Nature Reserve offers some wonderful picnic spots with braai spaces, hiking trails, and a bird hiding near a waterhole.
In addition, you may view zebra, Samango monkeys, different antelope, and many bird species, especially in the walk-through aviary. Visit Hillcrest’s Heritage Market, the Valley of 1000 Hills, which includes the 1000 Hills Choo Choo, and the neighbouring Kranskloof Nature Reserve as well.
History Of New Germany, Durban
The immigration plan of an English Jew named Jonas Bergtheil, who landed in Natal in 1843 and founded the Natal Cotton Company three years later, is credited with the creation of Natal’s first German population. Bergtheil contacted the British colonial office for immigrants after realizing the possibility of European settlement along the coast. He appealed to the Kingdom of Hanover for assistance after his intentions were initially rejected by the British and subsequently the Bavarian governments. His offer was accepted by 35 peasant families (or around 188 individuals) from the Osnabrück-Bremen district, and they landed in Natal on March 23, 1848. They called their new dwellings Neu-Deutschland (New Germany) and Westville, and they made their residences in two nearby places about 10 kilometres inland from Port Natal.
After the first two crops of cotton were destroyed by bollworms, Bergtheil’s plan to grow cotton failed. In addition, the ginning equipment he bought from England never showed up. The settlers quickly gave up cotton in favour of market gardening, and many did not renew their five-year agreements with Bergtheil when those agreements came to an end. Due to the immigrants’ lack of interaction with Germany and lack of a clear vision of a German community, the budding community may have failed within a generation. A Berlin missionary’s arrival secured the survival of the language and religion for the time being.
On November 19, 1848, when he dedicated the first chapel of the Berlin Missionary Society in South Africa, Pastor Carl Wilhelm Posselt (1815–1855) agreed to serve the congregation in New Germany. He carried out missionary work among Zulu agricultural labourers and in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, and in 1854 he founded a second station, Christianenberg, specifically for this reason. In the tiny German school that the settlers had started, he also taught Scripture.
The congregation was temporarily relocated to Emmaus in 1852 as a result of the coastal famine and a drop in newcomers. After Bergtheil was able to stop the migration of Germans into the interior, Posselt returned to New Germany durban in 1854 and remained there until his death in 1885 as a missionary and pastor.