Ballito is situated roughly 40 kilometres north of Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal. It forms part of the KwaDukuza local Municipality, and iLembe District Municipality and is only 15 minutes away from King Shaka International Airport. Dolphins are common on this stretch of the North Coast shoreline, hence the nickname Dolphin Coast.
The town was established in 1954 as a private township, by the Glen Anil Development Corporation/Investments which was headed up by Dr Edward (Eddie) Rubenstein (1903–1972). The word “Ballito” translated from Spanish means “little ball”. The town’s name was borrowed from a glossy advert for Ballito hosiery made by Ballito Hosiery Limited of St. Albans, England. The area was originally portion of a sugar cane farm at Compensation Beach owned by Basil Townsend.
Today it is a thriving community of its own with ties to primary and high schools in and around Ballito, Umhlanga, Stanger and Tongaat. Ballito has grown exponentially in recent time and has three shopping malls, Lifestyle centre, The Junction (which is being expanded to make it a Regional Mall) and The Ballito Bay Mall. It is a holiday destination with hotels and self-catering accommodation, swimming (Willard) and surfing beaches (Boulder). A promenade about 2.5 kilometres long along the beach front allows for walking and jogging. The Gunston 500 surfing contest, renamed to the Billabong Pro, has shifted from Durban’s North Beach to Ballito where it is held annually.
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