The KwaMuhle museum is housed in a double storey Union style building, which
was the former premises of Durban's notorious Native Affairs Department, where
every black South African was required to register during the Apartheid era. The
museum is dedicated to tracing the history of racial laws in Durban, and
highlights the Durban System, which became the framework for apartheid in later
The premises of the old Native Affairs Department was designed with the movement of large crowds in mind, and today the large open spaces have been utilized for housing the various exhibitions and educational activities within the museum. The KwaMuhle museum highlights a history experienced by the locals, and is portrayed without criticism or bias.
The museum houses many displays which document the Durban System, including an illuminating display which illustrates how the Municipality funded the system through a Municipal monopoly of brewing and selling sorghum beer. Another display showcases the Cato Manor riots, which resulted largely due to the monopoly. Other exhibitions featured in the museum include collections of large black and white prints which depict township life, a precise portrayal of the histories of black political trade union and cultural organizations and groupings, as well as representing various aspects of the municipality's role in Durban's history.
The primary intention of all the exhibits housed within the KwaMuhle Museum focuses on correcting the historical inaccuracies left by Apartheid, and to create a heritage and context for South Africa's new democracy that is both straightforward and honest.
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