Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Durban, South Africa
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At the heart of Durban is the harbour, the busiest in Africa and the ninth largest in the world. With the exception of Richards Bay further north, there is little in the way of deep water anchorages. Even Durban Bay has to be dredged continually to keep it free of silt. However, the proximity of Durban to the major industrial area of Johannesburg has ensured a solid economic base. The DMA is responsible for more than half the economic output of the province.
The industrial activity of the city is concentrated to the immediate South and includes South Africa's largest auto maker, Toyota, satellite industries and a large chemical plant. Durban is also the point at which most of the oil is offloaded into South Africa and there are large oil refineries that process the oil before it is pumped to Johannesburg. Further industry is located west of the city in Pinetown.
Outside Durban, most of the economic activity is agricultural. To the north, much of it is concentrated around the sugar industry, of which South Africa is one of the world's leading exporters. To the west, there is a preponderance of beef and sheep farming and forestry.
In recent years, there has been an influx of people from the surrounding areas as a result of both a better life and as a refuge from political violence. These people have created numbers of informal settlements both adjacent to and within the urban areas with concomitant high unemployment. They are slowly being provided with more formal accommodation.
The South African economy is in the process of a rearrangement that will enable it to compete more effectively worldwide. Part of the process is the reduction of trade tariffs that has resulted in difficulties for certain industries such as the large textile industry. As jobs are being shed in the formal sector, more people are being employed in the informal sector.
Migration of the CBD
In common with many areas around the world, there is a gradual movement of commercial concerns from the CBD to the suburbs. There has been considerable development of small factory/warehouse areas and office parks as well as suburban shopping malls in recent years.