033 345 1348 (Telephone)
033 394 3535 (Fax)
Physical Address177 Commercial Road
Postal AddressPO Box 25
Having crossed over the Drakensberg Mountain range into Zulu territory on their Great Trek from British dominion in the Cape Colony, Boer settlers earmarked this site as their capital-to-be, and in 1838 laid the foundation of a neat grid of streets and lanes of Pietermaritzburg. Rival British expansionists were a safe distance away at Port Natal-Durban and the surrounding tribes were predominantly scatterlings the result of King Shaka's empire-building exploits who posed no threat. It was from this fledgeling settlement that Pieter Retief embarked on his ill-fated journey to negotiate for land with Shaka's co-assassin and heir, King Dingane. The Boer leaders martyrdom gave Pietermaritzburg the first half of its name Gert Maritz being the head of a second wave of Voortrekkers.
Within five years of establishing Pietermaritzburg, however, the Boers succumbed to British military might and vacated the area leaving their carefully-laid foundations to be stamped with a world-renowned legacy of Edwardian and Victorian architecture.
Pietermaritzburg remained capital of Natal province until the arrival of our non-racial democracy and the emergence of KwaZulu-Natal, where for a while it shared its status with Ulundi. However, Pietermaritzburg, recently 'regained' its status not as the capital of Natal, but the whole province of KwaZulu-Natal.
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