Durban System

From the earliest days of the white settlement in Durban, one of the recurring themes in the relationship between the white and the black inhabitants of the area was the desire of the whites to enjoy the benefits of black labour, without allowing so many black people into Durban that they would be overwhelmed.

Therefore they introduced what would become known as the Durban System, which sought to control the influx of black people by requiring them to have permits/passes to be in town.  The Durban System would have cost ratepayers a lot of money, but the authorities worked out a way to make it self-sustaining.  In 1908 the Native Beer Act 1908 was passed, through which Municipalities in Natal obtained the sole right to brew and sell beer within their boundaries.

The KwaMuhle Museum in Bram Fischer Road (formerly Old Fort) in Durban is housed in the original Native Affairs Building where the Durban System was practised.

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