Download our 2010 Year-End Report

Chicago’s Sister City Since 1997

Committee Chair: James H. Lowry [ Bio ]

Mayor: James Nxumalo
Country:   South Africa
Country Location:   Southern tip of the continent of Africa
Geography: Coastal city on the southeastern seaboard of South Africa in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
History:  Vasco de Gama, a Portuguese navigator, discovered the coastline of Natal on Christmas Day in 1497. What he thought to be a lagoon at the mouth of a large river, which he called Rio de Natal (Christmas River), turned out to be a land-locked bay, perfect for anchoring ships. In the early19th century, a party of English traders built a settlement in the bush near the harbor on the site of Durban’s old railway station. In June 1835 the small town growing there was named Durban, after Sir Benjamin D’Urban, then the governor of the Cape. Natal, however, was already home to the Zulu nation. Durban became a municipality in 1854 and a city in 1935.  
Industry:  Agriculture, Chemicals, Clothing, Fashion & Textiles, Electrical, Flag, Banners & Flagpoles, Furniture, and Packaging.  
Did You Know? Durban is considered to have one of the best selections of Art Deco architecture of any city in the world.  
Flag Description: The design and colors of the flag are a blend of principal elements of the country’s flag history and promote national reconciliation. The flag’s six colors are taken from the colors of every political party in South Africa and represent the spectrum of ideologies united under one banner.  


Focus: Governmental
Mr.Michael Mabuyakhulu - Member of the Executive Council of Economic Development in KwaZulu-Natal and his delegation visited Chicago.  They attended a Rainbow Push Coalition conference and met with Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas, several business groups including Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, World Business Chicago and the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago.  They met with the Durban Committee of CSCI and the Mayor’s Office of International Relations to discuss ways to connect on the cross-cultural events that they are working on and explore if there is a way to form a partnership with the City of Chicago (for instance, volunteerism across the city for next year's Nelson Mandela Day, July 18).


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