Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal

Hillcrest is a suburb of eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and forms a part of the Upper Highway Area.


Hillcrest was formerly a sleepy village on the outskirts of Durban that has now become a booming suburb incorporated into the greater Durban area known as the eThekwini Municipal Area (EMA). Hill Crest (as the town's name was variously spelt until 1969) was founded on a rise in the main road from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in 1895 as a farming or "weekend" village a then good distance from what was the emerging port of Port Natal. The village was laid out as leasehold sites on portion of the farm Albinia owned by William Gillitt, one of the main pioneer family of the area and after which the nearby suburb of Gillitts is named. One of the other early families to set up in the area was the Acuttswho had already established the well known in Durban estate agents firm of that name. In 1903 the first school in the village was established in a wood and iron cottage in Hospital Road leased to a Mrs McMillian the principal of the the first Highbury School by Horace Acutt. When the first Hillcrest Health Committee was established in 1943 the total all race population was 1135 persons and only the Main Road was hardened. Nkutu Road was hardened in 1947 with klinker! This was followed in 1951 with the first portion of Inanda Road hardened. In 1962 blacktopping of selected roads in the central area began followed by further roads in 1965. By 1971, when Town Board status was obtained, the total population had grown to 2799 persons.The Hillcrest Waste Water Treatment Plant was finally established in the 1990s, then serving only the central commercial area of the village with phased extensions planned in time, with other areas continuing on septic tanks.

The town celebrated its centenary in 1995 and has since then seen an incredible increase in inhabitants migrating from more central areas in Durban

Hillcrest Today

Hillcrest lost its independent Town Board status in 1996, i.e. after the 1994 fully democractic elections, and was made subject to administration by the Outer West Local Council - a substructure council of the then Durban Unicity. Subsequently in 2000 this body, i.e. the Outer West Local Council, along with other local councils, were disestablished and were replaced by the single eThekwini Municipality encompasing the entire Durban metropolitan area.

The suburb of Hillcrest had become known as a middle-income residential area however the new influx of capital has, in the past 10 years, spurred on the construction of many shopping and lifestyle centres all around. The town centre is barely recognisable from the way it was a decade ago. It has taken over and surpassed Kloof as the major commercial centre for the Upper Highway area. Large secure gated estates such as Camelot, Manorfields, Kirtlington, Le Domaine, Plantations, Clifton Hill, Langford, Cotswold Downs and the nearby Augusta golf course estate in Gillitts and the PheZulu Safari Park in Assagay a little beyond Botha's Hill have seen the character change to more of a high-income area. House prices in all areas of Hillcrest have boomed in recent times while average incomes have increased dramatically. Boasting a very clean and pollution-free environment as well as a country feel to it and also being 30 minutes away from the Durban central business district via two freeway links, the area has become one of the most lucrative in KwaZulu-Natal. The town is also in relatively close communting distance to Pietermaritzburg situated some 40 kilometres away on the main freeway system to the interior.

Places of interest


A public school system is provided in Hillcrest that includes: Hillcrest High School and Hillcrest Primary School and Winston Park Primary School in nearby Winston Park.

Private schools include Highbury Preparatory School and Hillcrest Christian Academy with Kearsney College and the Roseway Waldorf School in nearby Botha's Hill and Alverstone respectively.

Famous residents


  • Lest We Forget - The Story of Hillcrest 1895 - 1995, Elizabeth Camp, circa 1996
  • Hillcrest Gillitts Activity Corridor Local Development Plan - Outer West Local Council, 2000

See also

Hillcrest, Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada

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