Chris Murphy

Around the town stone age tools are found on the disturbed, agricultural lands, and more so alongside the Diep River and streams, telling us of human occupation over many millions of years.

The San also left evidence, in paintings on nearby Kasteelberg, and even though a transhumant people, the Khoekhoe too left similar indications of their presence. In today’s aware world, these people altered the environment little and must be considered to have had a balanced existence.

 

Saldanha Bay, with its perfect setting for a harbour, was always constrained by the lack of fresh water. With the Khoekhoe's transhumant existence, the Vredenburg Peninsula formed part of seasonal grazing, which was dictated by the seasons, with summer providing little rainfall and winter being the opportunity to graze cattle and sheep. The early seafarers and explorers who entered the safe haven found that the lack of a permanent fresh water source restricted any concept of settlement.

A public meeting held at the Castle of Good Hope on Saturday 16 March, which, attended by residents and members of SAHRA to discuss the heritage declaration of the Bo-Kaap, was stimulating and productive.

 

On 8 August 1938, eighty years ago, a re-enactment of the Great Trek began at the foot of the Jan van Riebeeck statue in Cape Town, wending its way through many small towns and villages en route.

One of those was Riebeek Kasteel in the Swartland, where a team of riders with wagons was greeted enthusiastically, as they were everywhere they traversed. 

 

Standing beside a provincial road, the R44 just outside Wellington in the Western Cape, is a blockhouse, a remnant of the Anglo-Boer War, one of those erected on the instigation of Lord Milner. There are a number in the area which followed and provided security on the vital link for the British, the rail line between the Cape and the north.

The Wellington blockhouse is the southernmost in the chain. It was constructed of stone with three tiers of loopholes under concrete lintels, with an open, corrugated iron roof.

This group of structures still survives. But in what form? They came on my heritage radar more than a decade ago but I would like to review the situation now. Originally established as a mission church in the town, there was an attached pastorie, plus school building divided between boys and girls. In the grounds behind the group is one of the wells that helped sustain the early town.

In 2016 Tiger Brands celebrates 120 years of existence. The origins of the company are revealed in a highly significant yet neglected brick and stone complex of multi-storey industrial buildings in Moorreesburg in the Western Cape. In August 1998, Laura Robinson, then working for the old National Monuments Council (NMC), wrote the following:

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