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Sydenham is a suburb in the heart of Durban, South Africa. It has a diverse community of people and cultures.

Sydenham, Durban
Sydenham, Durban is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Sydenham, Durban
Sydenham, Durban
Sydenham, Durban is located in South Africa
Sydenham, Durban
Sydenham, Durban
Coordinates: 29°49′42″S 30°59′40″E / 29.8283°S 30.9944°E / -29.8283; 30.9944Coordinates: 29°49′42″S 30°59′40″E / 29.8283°S 30.9944°E / -29.8283; 30.9944
CountrySouth Africa
Main PlaceDurban
 • Total1.78 km2 (0.69 sq mi)
 • Total17,835
 • Density10,000/km2 (26,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2001)
 • Black African12.7%
 • Coloured7.3%
 • Indian/Asian79.6%
 • White0.4%
First languages (2001)
 • Zulu9.3%
 • English85.4%
 • Xhosa2.2%
 • Afrikaans0.4%
 • Other2.7%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code031


In January, 1850, David Sparks arrived at Port Natal on the ship, Ballengeich, after a voyage that had lasted the usual three to four months. He was then about 20 years old, very energetic, and determined to make his way in the new country. It was not long before he got to work. The pay was small but food was cheap and he managed very well.

Young Mr and Mrs David Sparks settled in the area now known as Sydenham. A portion of Brickfields Estate had been bought by him from Joseph Cato, and here two wattle and daub rondawels were built with the kitchen – a-lean-to-shelter – 10 to 12 yards (9.1 to 11.0 m) away.

Some years after the selling of the plots David Sparks built himself a seven-roomed brick house with a slate roof – a home then thought to be one of the best and up-to-date in the Natal Colony.

When the house was finished being built a housewarming party was held. People came from all parts of Natal, in carts, on horseback and ox-wagons to camp out in the grounds around the house. That huge picnic lasted a whole week, everyone being in the highest spirits, taking part in the games and dancing and feasting that marked the entertainment. The David Sparks’s housewarming party was remembered for years. It was at this festival that Sydenham got its name. Old George Spearman suggested three names: Sparksville, Parkville and Sydenham. David Sparks chose the name Sydenham, and the homestead was called Sydenham House.[2]

Sydenham added to Durban MunicipalityEdit

Although the municipal area of Durban was quite sizeable, and until 1932 comprised some 12 square miles (31 km2), a number of suburbs developed about its perimeter, and in 1921 village management boards were established at South Coast Junction, Umhlatuzana, Mayville, Sydenham and Greenwood Park.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Sub Place Sydenham". Census 2001.
  2. ^ THE SPARKS SETTLERS by David Gifford N. Sparks
  3. ^