A colourful building emerges at the edge of Warwick Junction, with a heritage stemming back to the late 1800s. The Victoria Street Market made up of small shops where traders sell a unique and vast range of gifts, decor and souvenirs from South Africa - celebrating a melting pot of South African cultures and diversity.
The original traders in this area were Indian indentured labourers who traded along the street paving of Victoria Street between 1860 and 1910. In 1910 the municipality allocated this area and established the market to house these traders, and currently the market supports 180 traders. This market has small individually owned stores selling jewelry, spices, skinned products, traditional arts and crafts and bead work.
Between 1968 and 1973 there was a bid to move the Market so that a freeway could be built in that space but the traders resisted. However, in 1973 the Market was burnt down in a fire which some traders believe started under suspicious circumstances. The traders were then relocated to the Bulk Sales Hall, alongside the African Market, until 1990 and the hall became known as the Durban Indian Market. This relocation was significant because it created a melting pot of cultures between Indian and African traders that quietly defied the apartheid regime’s policies of racial segregation.
After much lobbying by the traders, and with the assistance of Senator Owen Horwood, the market was rebuilt and the traders were relocated back to the original market space along Victoria Street. Thus the market was named the Victoria Street Market. 90% of the traders are shareholders in the new development and have sectional title rights to their individual shops. Currently, the market traders comprise of third and fourth generation descendants from the initial street traders between 1860 and 1910.