Looking back on South Coast history: July 22 to 24

pic: Herald archives

THERE are some topics, like farming, which seem to be less important to the area than they used to be. On July 22, 1955, the Herald carried a rather disturbing story.

July 22


“ACCORDING to a well-known Izingolweni farmer, farmers in the Izingolweni, Harding and Ixopo areas are very concerned at the losses they are experiencing among their stock from what appears to be some new disease. It has been suggested that it may be some deficiency disease as the grass has been analysed and there is no nutriment in it.”

IN the same issue, a bowling green was hailed as a fitting memorial. “The late Harry Bell was a prime mover in the formation of the Southport Bowling Club and no fitter monument to his name could have been devised than the magnificent six-rink Harry Bell Memorial Green.”


FIVE years later, the Herald asked the question: “Whither PS industries?” The floods of May 1959 had resulted in the need to revise the town planning scheme and the Port Shepstone Borough Council realised that it would have to find other industrial sites within its already restricted boundaries.



“THE increasing popularity of the Lower South Coast as a holiday, residential and industrial area has raised the question of a fishing harbour from the category of desirable to that of essential.” It may have been considered ‘essential’ but Port Shepstone seems to have managed very well without it for the past 50 years.

Early shark protection at Margate. pic: Margate Art Museum

“THE quite unexpected passing to higher service of Albert O’Connor came as a great shock to his great many friends and business associates in the Lower South Coast area.”

AND, still in 1966, complaints we being made to the provincial government aout the state of the roads and bridges on the lower South Coast.


“THE waste of ratepayers’ money is enough to make anyone tear their hair out.” Whatever the subject of Councillor Jock van der Merwe’s outburst may have been at the time, it’s certainly a sentiment one here’s often enough through the years!

“COFFEE production in South Africa is still at a very low level.”


ANOTHER recurring headline: “Attendance records were shattered at the fourth Lions’ South Coast Show.”

July 23


DO you remember what life was like when the telephone service depended on landlines? In 1954 the Herald had good news: “Three additional circuits, making a total of five, were provided between Durban and Margate on February 15, 1954. The delay between these two centres does not now exceed 30 minutes during busy periods.”


On July 23, 1965, the Herald carried an explanation as to why the Margate swimming pool was necessary. “Heavy seas during June this year damaged the offshore nets at Margate to such an extent that bathing had to be banned for nearly 10 days. This fact established the necessity for proving an alternative to sea bathing as it would be disastrous to ban bathing during peak holiday periods without having an alternative available.”

Police dog display at Lions’ Show 1988. pic: Herald archives

July 24


“THE recently gazetted wage determination which affects all shops in Port Shepstone and Margate comes into effect from August 1, 1970. This lays down that the minimum wage which may be paid to qualified shop assistants and clerks is R105 per month in the case of males and R70 per month in the case of females.”

STATISTICS are always a topic of discussion. “IN a single year 6 000 people are killed on South Africa’s roads, 9 000 people die in crimes of violence and between 2 000 and 3 000 take their own lives.”

THE good news was that the double carriageway bridge that links St Michael’s and Shelly Beach was virtually complete and Hibberdene attained Town Board status.


“ALLEGATIONS that raw effluent was being discharged into the sea at Shelly Beach have been denied by the town clerk.”


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Susan Cooke
Features Editor

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Looking back on South Coast history: July 12 to 14