In 1972 it was no secret that the residents of La Lucia saw the amalgamation with uMhlanga Rocks as a threat to their independence, but, 45 years later, business is booming.
The Borough of uMhlanga was formed when uMhlanga Rocks and La Lucia were amalgamated in 1972. Named after Lucia Michel, the wife of the owner of the original sugar farm, La Lucia was clearly the premier suburb to the north of Durban. In 1974 it welcomed the development of a new mall – one of the first such prestigious shopping centres in South Africa.
By 1987 when the construction of Seaview Interchange on uMhlanga Rocks Drive and the M41 had been completed, fortunes had begun to change. The development of the La Lucia Ridge Office Estate to the south of the M41 was being planned and successful marketing saw the cream of South Africa’s professional and commercial companies deciding to make the Office Estate and the future uMhlanga Ridge their new Durban home.
Taken in August 2017 (below), the aerial view of uMhlanga Ridge now shows a complete Office Estate clustered around the forest of fever trees on uMhlanga Rocks Drive and the original Tongaat Hulett "Glasshouse". The communities of Somerset Park and Ilala Ridge can be seen in the background with the La Lucia Ridge residential community abutting the old Durban boundary in Addison Drive.