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eThekwini is a major tourism centre in South Africa and is the country’s busiest port. It is a significant regional service centre. “It is also an important industrial centre, although some sectors such as clothing and textiles have declined in the post-apartheid era. Very few large firms have their headquarters in the city, and it is often characterised as a branch plant economy” (Todes, 2014). The metropolitan municipality was created from the amalgamation of 60 municipal authorities, including Durban, smaller municipalities, former homelands, and land under national and provincial administration. eThekwini’s population was 3.4 million in the 2011 census. The coastal city is one the Rockerfeller 100 Resilient Cities.

Our case studies in eThekwini are Molweni and Crestholme in the west of the city, and Verulam, Waterloo and Hammond's Farm in northern eThekwini.