Pinetown is a town just inland from Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Pinetown is situated at an elevation of 1,000 to 1,300 feet (305 to 395 m) in the hills adjoining Durban, on the northwest.
It was established in 1850 around the Wayside Hotel, itself built the year before, along the main wagon route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It was named after the governor of Natal, Sir Benjamin Pine. The British built a concentration camp here during the Second Boer War, to house Boer women and children.
Pinetown is now part of the larger eThekwini Municipality. The area from Cowies Hill in the east, to Mariannhill in the west, is commonly referred to as the Pinetown area, although Pinetown strictly extends from Caversham Glen to Manors.
Several schools, including the public Pinetown Boys' High School and Pinetown Girls' High School exist in the area, not neglecting several primary schools, such as Benjamin Pine Primary School, Sarnia Primary School and Ashley Primary School. The only Afrikaans-medium school in the area is Gelofte Skool, meaning 'promise school'.
The shack dwellers' movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, is very strong in Pinetown, particularly in the Motala Heights, Motala Farm, Mpola and New eMaus settlements.
Regarded up until now, as a predominantly light industrial town, and not particularly sought after as a residential suburb, Pinetown has had a somewhat subdued reputation. But things are changing and this suburb of Durban is gaining quite a reputation in the property market, particularly amongst first time buyers, who love the fact that Pinetown nestles at the foot of Field’s Hill - the stretch that forms part of the annual Comrades Marathon - and has quick access to the M13 and other major routes, making it easy to reach Durban and other destinations in KwaZulu-Natal.
The New Germany Nature Reserve, a small reserve with picnic sites, braai areas, wonderful trails and a hide at a waterhole provides sightings of zebra, nyala, impala, samango monkeys and others as well as a wonderful aviary.
The Supermotard National, through the streets of Pinetown, is a spectacular annual event, that draws huge spectator crowds and involves blocking traffic on main streets, to make way for the riders. Supermotard racing involves putting slick tyres on scramblers and racing them on a tight tar circuit – a fun event for the whole family.
In the early 1960s, Pinetown had an excellent motorsport racetrack, known as Westmead. In the late 60s and early 70s, Pinetown started thriving as an industrial town and the racetrack area became the Westmead Industrial Park.
Another suburb, New Germany, on the outskirts of Pinetown, is also known for its industries.
Coordinates: 29°49'S, 30°51'E