Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Dundee, KwaZulu Natal

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Country  South Africa
District  Umzinyathi
Established  1835
Area  46.6 km²
Local time  Wednesday 3:17 AM
Province  KwaZulu-Natal
Municipality  Endumeni
Postal code (street)  3000
Area code  034
Number of airports  1
Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal wwwsouthafricatravelnetnatgifstalanamusejpg

Weather  16°C, Wind NE at 5 km/h, 92% Humidity

The coal mining town of Dundee is situated in a valley of the Biggarsberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (28°10′S 30°14′E). It is part of the Endumeni Municipality, Umzinyathi District. It is very rich in coal deposits. More populous than the town of Dundee itself is its adjacent township named Sibongile, originally established by Peter Smith, with land contributed by his son in-law. This township is now being extended with many residing zones, e.g. Lindelani.


Map of Dundee, South Africa

Dundee was established in 1882 after the discovery of coal close to the surface by the Boer farmers. It is named after the hometown of a pioneering Scottish settler, Peter Smith. At first, Dundee was a farm (Talana farm), the property of Peter Smith, which he had bought 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 Wilson.


The town lies nestled in a valley of the picturesque Biggarsberg 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 of the San people that lived here about 4 000 – 5 000 years ago. Evidence of this is to be found in lifestyle and rock paintings in several caves and shelters.


Dundee has a subtropical highland climate (Cwb, according to the Köppen climate classification), with pleasant summers and cool, dry winters. The average annual precipitation is 684 mm (27 in), with rainfall occurring mainly during summer.


  • The Boers reported surface coal here and named one of the streams Steenkoolspruit (Afrikaans for Coal Stream).
  • Peter Smith, a Scottish settler started sending wagonloads of coal, which was discovered close to the surface, to be sold in Pietermaritzburg. This started the coal mining 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.
  • Smith, with partners Dougald McPhail and Charles Wilson, floated the Dundee Coal and Estate Company on the London Stock Exchange in 1899.
  • The British start massing troops at Dundee and was given an ultimatum by the Boers to retreat with the troops. On 20 October 1899, the first shots of the Second Boer War were fired. The news of this battle hit the headlines in Britain as 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 in modern warfare, and the tactic as applied by Boer field artillery had a devastating effect. After the battle, the British troops retreated to Ladysmith and Boer 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).
  • 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.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was tried in the Dundee courthouse for civil disobedience and imprisoned in the Dundee jail.
  • The poem "The Battle of Dundee" aka "How President Kruger's Irish Took in Her Majestys Hiberians"[1] by Rev I. Dempsey about the battle was widely circulated in print media of the time.
  • Sport

    The Northern-Natal Rhinos (Noord-Natal Renosters) Wrestling Club in Dundee is one of the top wrestling clubs in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

    Sentraal Rugby Club is one of the top sides in Northern-Natal.Titans Rugby club is a youth rugby team that builds future rugby players(Grassroots).Rhino Women's Rugby Club has constantly produced Sharks Craven week players and have represented Umzinyathi District in the annual Salga games

    Coat of arms

    Dundee was a borough in its own right from 1902 to 1996. In October 1951, the council obtained a grant of arms from the Lord Lyon King of Arms in Scotland. It registered the arms at the Bureau of Heraldry in July 1995.

    The arms, which were based on those of the Scottish burgh of Dundee, were : Azure, a pot with three lilies issuant Argent, charged with a miner's lamp proper and on a chief Or two wildebeest courant in fess, Sable; the shield ensigned of a mural crown Argent. In layman's terms : a blue shield displaying two black wildebeest on a golden strip above three lilies in a silver pot decorated with a miner's lamp. The motto was Per victoriam laboremque.


    Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal Wikipedia