A classical example of how inclusivity in urban spaces fostered between vendors and the Municipality have allowed for improved structural development within this market, enabling more optimal working conditions for the traditional healers and herb sellers who trade within this vicinity. This visually captivating market is unique to Durban and highlights the differences between Western and Africa medicine. Have the opportunity to grind herbs and potentially find a cure for any ailment….and YES a little love potion to find the right partner?
The Herb market provides trading space for approximately 700 vendors, but in addition there are thousands who supply this market.
Originally the market traders were located along David Webster Street, but in 1998 were relocated after shelters were specifically built for this trade. The Herb Market gets locked every night allowing the traders to safely leave their produce in the market. Part of the construction to make this new market location a success, was to build a foot bridge linking the Herb market with the Music Bridge Market. The steel bridge is a noteworthy architectural design and was selected as “a building of the century” by a national Sunday newspaper in its review of South African buildings at the time of the millennium. The market functions much like a western pharmacy. Customers approach the herb sellers and traditional healers with their complaints and the healers supply them with medicine accordingly. Aside from the Herb vendors there are many who support the Market, for example, herb grinders. These men are temporarily employed for hours at a time to grind the herbs into a fine powder that can be consumed by customers. The grinding of the herbs is a very physically demanding job. The herb grinders always remain within eye-sight of the trader themselves to ensure that no one tampers with the medicine.