282,683 Pages

Salisbury Island in the Port of Durban on the east coast of South Africa, was an island until the Second World War when construction of a naval base connected it to the mainland by a causeway. The island, then a mangrove covered sandbank, was named after HMS Salisbury, the Royal Navy ship that surveyed the future harbour area for the newly established Port Natal Colony in the 1820s.[1]

Second World War and after[edit | edit source]

Naval Base Durban was constructed for the Royal Navy during the Second World War in response to the threat of Japanese attacks on shipping along the east coast of Africa. It was during this construction that the island became a peninsula through the construction of a causeway.[2] After the war the base was turned over to the South African Naval Service (SANS), which has since maintained a fluctuating and intermittent presence.

With the signing of the Simonstown Agreement in 1957, the Royal Navy gave up its control of the SANS in exchange for the use of the base at Simon's Town. The SANS became the South African Navy (SAN) and Salisbury Island its main base. When the Simonstown Agreement ended the SAN moved most of its operations back to Simon's Town and Durban became a secondary facility.

University College for Indians[edit | edit source]

In 1961 the University College for Indians was established on Salisbury Island - it closed down in 1971 when it was replaced by the University of Durban-Westville. Under apartheid the different population groups in South Africa had to have separate facilities, the college was the first fully fledged tertiary educational institution for Indian South Africans. Students used to commute to the college by ferry or boarded in hostels on the island.[3][4] Alumni of the college include Pravin Gordhan the former Minister of Finance, Roy Padayachie the former Minister of Public Service and Administration.[5]

Naval base again[edit | edit source]

From the mid 1970s until the early 1990s it was the home base of the Minister class strike craft flotilla. Even after the closure of the college, the island maintained a link with the Indian community in the form of SAS Jalsena which was the main training facility for Indian South African sailors.[6] Upon the retirement of the strike craft all combat ships of the navy were based at Naval Base Simon's Town and the Durban base was reduced to a naval station in 2002. Some of the facilities of the base were then taken over by the army as a general support base. In 2012 a decision to base the navy's offshore patrol flotilla in Durban led to a programme of renovation to restore the facility back to full naval base status.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mngoma, Nosipho (18 April 2013). "Rekindling Salisbury Island pride". Daily News. Independent Newspapers. http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/opinion/rekindling-salisbury-island-pride-1.1502327#.VC_kAM8cTIV. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  2. Wessels, Andre (June 1996). "South Africa and the War against Japan 1941-1945". The South African Military History Society. ISSN 0026-4016. OCLC 2512522. http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol103aw.html. 
  3. Vahed, Goolam (January 2014). "The formal education journey of Cassim Dangor, 1963-1985: Reflections on education challenges in apartheid South Africa". Pretoria: Historical Association of South Africa. OCLC 731736224. http://ref.scielo.org/sjnzdb. 
  4. Govinden, Devarakshanam (December 2011). "Remembering "Salisbury Island"". South African Society for History Teaching. ISSN 2223-0386. OCLC 840012622. http://ref.scielo.org/29psyw. 
  5. Mngoma, Nosipho (18 April 2013). "Rekindling Salisbury Island pride". Daily News. Independent Newspapers. http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/opinion/rekindling-salisbury-island-pride-1.1502327#.VC_kAM8cTIV. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  6. Mngoma, Nosipho (18 April 2013). "Rekindling Salisbury Island pride". Daily News. Independent Newspapers. http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/opinion/rekindling-salisbury-island-pride-1.1502327#.VC_kAM8cTIV. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  7. Engelbrecht, Leon (27 February 2012). "Navy may upgrade Naval Station Durban". DefenceWeb.co.za. http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23908:navy-may-upgrade-naval-station-durban-&catid=108:maritime-security&Itemid=233. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.