KwaMashu is one of Durban’s first townships. It was established in 1959 because of the Group Areas Act. Most of the people who live within the borders of KwaMashu originally come from Umkhumbane (Cato Manor). People were removed from Umkhumbane during the apartheid regime in 1950’s. The Group Areas Act was a system used by the apartheid government to separate Indians, Coloureds and Africans who lived together in places such as Umkhumbane in Durban, Sophiatown, in Johannesburg and District Six, in Cape Town. Before the establishment of the township the area was a sugar cane plantation owned by Marshall Campbell whom the township was named after.
The first clinic of KwaMashu is Poly Clinic it was established in 1962. Poly Clinic has been extended and since 2006 it is now known as a Community Health Centre and there is also an HIV section called Nqobani Clinic. KwaMashu has been grouped with its neighboring townships Inanda and Ntuzuma, together they are referred to as INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu) by the eThekwini Municipality. Collectively the INK area is home to an estimate of 580 000 people.
KwaMashu is divided into ten sections. The mode of transport used in KwaMashu is mostly taxis (mini buses), buses and trains. KwaMashu is also a home to South Africa’s well known art centre Ekhaya Multi Art Centre and it has its own community radio station Vibe fm 94.7. It has two shopping centres namely the Bridge City Shopping Centre and KwaMashu Shopping Centre.
Some of the famous people who are from KwaMashu are:
- Siyabonga Nomvethe – soccer player
- Linda Gumede
- Leleti Khumalo – acted in Sarafina and other films
- Henry Cele – acted in films like Shaka Zulu
- Andile Ngcobo
- Alfred/Tu Nokwe (Nokwe Family) – Ifa LakwaMthethwa
- Sipho Gumede – Musician
- Jeff Radebe – Minister of Justice
- Dumisani Makhaye – ANC Stalwart
- Mbusi Makhanya
- Edmund Mhlongo – Director of Ekhaya Multi Art Centre
Ilokishi laKwaMashu lingelinye lamalokishi okuqala. Lasungulwa ngonyaka ka1959, ngomthetho owabekwa uhulumeni wobandlululo wokuhlukaniswa kwabantu ngokwebala. Iningi labantu abahlala Kwa Mashu basuswa eMkhumbane (Cato Manor). KwaMashu kuhlekene izigceme eziyishumi futhi yakhelene nezindawo iNtuzuma neNanda. Lezindawo ngokukamasipala weTheku zaziwa nge-INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma kanye neKwa Mashu).
Umtholampilo wokuqala owasungulwa ngo1962, waziwa ngokuthi yi-Poly Clinic, ehlinzeka ngalolonke usizo ngoba kukhona nesikhukho sabaphila neHIV esaziwa ngeNqobani Clinic. Ezokuthutha Kwa Mashu zihlanganisa, amatekisi, amabhasi kanye nezitimela. Ziningi izihlabani zebhola, osopolitiki, abadlali beshashalazi abazalelwe endaweni yaKwa Mashu. Kunenxanxathela yezitolo endaweni ekuthiwa yi-Bridge City Shopping Centre kanye neKwa Mashu Shopping Centre. Indawo yaKwaMashu iyikhaya le ‘Ekhaya Multi Art Centre’ futhi linesiteshi somphakathi iVibe 94.7.