The Royal Agricultural Society Of Natal
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PIETERMARITZBURG 175 YEARS: A MESSAGE FROM  THE MAYOR

The history of Pietermaritzburg is a very rich and diverse one, and as it evolved over the years it became even more richer.  The name itself, derived from two Boer leaders, Piet Ritief and Gert Maritz, reflects a story of settlement politics which from that time until now, has resulted in a serious issue of land ownership. The Colonial past , also left an indelible mark to Pietermaritzburg which came to be known as one of the oldest Victorian Cities in the world, small wonder the statue of Queen Victoria still stands tall on the premises of the Legislature.

The City hall, which boasts the status of being the largest red brick building in the Southern Hemisphere, is one of the iconic monuments that was built in 1898. But one of the most significant pieces of the history of Pietermaritzburg, was the struggle of our Royal and Traditional leaders which dates more than 100 years, that saw the incarceration of King Dinuzulu, who later died in 1913. This year, also marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Native land Act of 1913.

Since then, there have been many people who became faces of change, and that will include Josiah Gumede, Moses Mabhida,  Harry Gwala, Dr. Chota Motala, A.S Chetty, Jabu Ndlovu, Reggie Hadebe, Selby Msimang, Amakhosi, , just to mention but a few. Among such people, two world icons made history in Pietermaritzburg. Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

The political landscape has obviously changed over the years since the first democratic vote on the 27th of April 1994. One of the impacts of this change was the decision to make Pietermaritzburg the Administrative and Legislative Capital of KwaZulu-Natal. The City has also become the economic hub only second to Durban. Pietermaritzburg has become a socially diverse City belonging to everyone who lives in it. Socio-economically though, we still remain a predominantly divided unequal society, and we are doing everything humanly possible to unite our people. The draft IDP/Budget 2013/14 will reflect that.

We are grateful that in celebrating the anniversary, we are in partnership with the Royal Agricultural Society who are officially opening the Royal Show on this day. The Royal Show forms a very important history in the  life of Pietermaritzburg as this is the 162nd year of existence. It is therefore very logical that our celebration happens on the day of the official opening. The job opportunities that are created by this show every year, as well as the economic spin offs it brings to the City, is all very much commendable.

I invite all the citizenry or our Municipality, to come and celebrate with us at the opening of the Royal Show and the Launch of the 175th Anniversary celebrations. This is for all of us.    

Annual-Report Ridding-Club
 

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