KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Burger Street Jail
The Burger Street Jail was closed in 1989 and sections of the jail are open today for tours. The building is now run by Project Gateway, a Christian self-help project, and features a craft shop and coffee shop.
Where? 4 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3201, Natal Midlands
When? Please phone to enquire.
Who? +27 (0)33 845-0400
The original jail was built in 1862, replacing the Voortrekker jail on market square in Pietermaritzburg. It is one of the oldest government buildings and is unique because of its red brick and sandstone construction. The jail housed some 1800 prisoners, many of whom were awaiting trial.
A somewhat more gory feature is its gallows, with each block housing its own set. Those of E block were apparently used for public executions. Some of the more recent inhabitants included ANC leaders Harry Gwala and Archie Gumede, while King Dinuzulu was incarcerated at Burger Street after the Bhambatha uprising of 1906.
The intention of Project Gateway is to uplift and empower local communities, with the coffee shop providing an opportunity to train in hospitality.