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In 1970 a road embankment near Pietennaritzburg began to subside severely. This paper descriptionbes the site investigation and assesses the stability of the embankment before and after reconstruction. It was found that the failure took place along ancient geological shear surfaces in the existing foundation soil, which is derived from landslides of Ecca Shales from the escarpment above the site. It is also noted that most of the known cases of instability in embankments in Natal have occurred in similar geological areas.