Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal

Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal

Overview


The coal mining town of Dundee is situated in a valley of the Biggarsberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu....

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 (28°10′S 30°14′E). It is part of the Endumeni Local Municipality, Umzinyathi District. It is rich in coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 deposits. More populous than the town of Dundee itself is its adjacent township named Sibongile.

Dundee was formed in 1882 after a discovery of the availability of coal closest to the surface by the Boers (Famers).
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal'
Start a new discussion about 'Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia


The coal mining town of Dundee is situated in a valley of the Biggarsberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu....

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 (28°10′S 30°14′E). It is part of the Endumeni Local Municipality, Umzinyathi District. It is rich in coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 deposits. More populous than the town of Dundee itself is its adjacent township named Sibongile.

Dundee was formed in 1882 after a discovery of the availability of coal closest to the surface by the Boers (Famers). It is named after the hometown of a pioneering Scottish settler, Peter Smith. At first, Dundee was a farm (Talana farm), a personal property to Peter Smith, which he had brought from a Voortrekker settler, Mr Dekker. Three other men are credited with the founding of Dundee; his son William Craighead Smith, son in- law Dugald McPhail, and close family friend Charles Willson.

The town lies nestled in a valley in the picturesque Biggarsberg- the heart of Northern KwaZulu- Natal, and is surrounded by historical remarkable mountains of “Indumeni” (where the thunder rolls), “Mpati” (The place of good waters), and “Talana” (The shelf where precious items are kept). Dundee has trails and evidence (lifestyle and rock paintings in caves and shelters) that the San people once lived in this area about 4 000 – 5 000 year ago.

In 1889, Peter Smith founded Dundee Coal Company and established his company at the London Stock Exchange. Soon after, Dundee soon emerged as a boomtown graced with stately homes. Pioneer traders from the Indian sub- continent settled here during the following decade, when Dundee became the meeting place of seven roads into the hinterland and coast of Africa.

The township of Dundee (Sibongile) was established by Peter Smith, with a land contributed by his son in-law. This township has now extended to a large number of residing zones e.g. Lindelani.

The mountain of Impati
Impati Mountain
Impati Mountain is a mountain near the town of Dundee in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The name "Impati" is a Zulu word meaning "leader". As the name implies, the mountain stands out noticeably, compared to the surrounding hills due to its elevation. It's foothills were the scene of...

 is situated north of Dundee.

Climate


Dundee has a subtropical highland climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 (Cwb, according to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

), with pleasant summers and cool, dry winters. The average annual precipitation is 684 mm (27 in), with most rainfall occurring mainly during summer.

History

  • The Boer
    Boer
    Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State,...

    s reported surface coal here and named one of the streams Steenkoolspruit (Afrikaans for Coal Stream).
  • Peter Smith, a Scottish
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

     settler started sending wagonloads of coal which was discovered close to the surface to be sold in Pietermaritzburg
    Pietermaritzburg
    Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was founded in 1838, and is currently governed by the Msunduzi Local Municipality. Its "purist" Zulu name is umGungundlovu, and this is the name used for the district municipality...

    . This actually started the coal industry in Natal.
  • The first geological survey of the Natal coalfields was made in 1880 and proved that there were workable coal deposits.
  • In 1882 a town was laid out and named after Smith’s Scottish hometown Dundee
    Dundee
    Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

    .
  • Smith with partners Dougald McPhail
    Dougald McPhail
    Dugald McPhail Born Iverary, Argyll, Scotland in 1840. Immigrated to Natal in 1864. Married Isabella Petrie Smith, the daughter of Peter Smith in March 1875.He was one of the original three founders of the town of Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal. He, Peter Smith and Charles Willson began a mining company,...

     and Charles Wilson floated the Dundee Coal and Estate Company on the London Stock Exchange
    London Stock Exchange
    The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

     in 1899.
  • The British
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     start massing troops at Dundee and was given an ultimatum by the Boers to remove the troops. On 20 October 1899, the first shots of the Boer War
    Second Boer War
    The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

     were fired. The news of this battle hit the headlines in Britain
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

    , the "Battle of Glencoe", which was corrected the following day to the "Battle of Dundee" and on the third day to the "Battle of Talana." It was on the slopes of Talana Hill that the British army troops wore khaki uniforms for the first time in battle; it is also notable as the first indisputable use of indirect fire
    Indirect fire
    Indirect fire means aiming and firing a projectile in a high trajectory without relying on a direct line of sight between the gun and its target, as in the case of direct fire...

     in modern warfare, and the tactic as applied by Boer field artillery
    Field artillery
    Field artillery is a category of mobile artillery used to support armies in the field. These weapons are specialized for mobility, tactical proficiency, long range, short range and extremely long range target engagement....

     had a devastating effect. After the battle, the British troops retired to Ladysmith and Boer
    Boer
    Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State,...

     forces occupied the town, renaming it Meyersdorp. This occupation lasted seven months. Dundee was relieved after the battle of Helpmekaar in May 1900.

  • The town's folk who had left before or shortly after the battle returned and the town began to flourish again. Dundee soon emerged as a boomtown graced with stately homes and the first theatre north of Port Natal (Durban
    Durban
    Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

    ).
  • Pioneer traders from the Indian sub-continent
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     settled here during the following decade, when Dundee became the meeting place of seven roads into the hinterland and coast of Africa.

Trivia


  • The battles of Isandlwana
    Isandlwana
    Isandlwana is an isolated hill in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, southeast of Rorke's Drift and north by northwest of Durban....

    , Blood River
    Battle of Blood River
    The Battle of Blood River, so called due to the colour of water in the Ncome River turning red with blood, was fought between 470 Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius, and an estimated 10,000–15,000 Zulu attackers on the bank of the Ncome River on 16 December 1838, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal,...

     and Rorke's Drift
    Rorke's Drift
    The Battle of Rorke's Drift, also known as the Defence of Rorke's Drift, was a battle in the Anglo-Zulu War. The defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift, under the command of Lieutenant John Chard of the Royal Engineers, immediately followed the British Army's defeat at the Battle of...

     are near the town.
  • The site where the last heir to the Bonaparte
    Bonaparte
    The House of Bonaparte is an imperial and royal European dynasty founded by Napoleon I of France in 1804, a French military leader who rose to notability out of the French Revolution and transformed the French Republic into the First French Empire within five years of his coup d'état...

    dynasty died is also nearby.
  • The last pre-Boer War theatre extant in KwaZulu-Natal, the Boswells can be found here.