Friday, February 19, 2016 - 18:04

Every day thousands of people pass Sandton's first monument without realising it is there. On a small piece of land tucked away near the top of South Road lie the graves of some of the original settlers in the area and the monument erected in their honour. The Esterhuysen family owned the farm Zandfontein in the middle of the 19th century. It is on a portion of this farm that the modern skyscrapers of Sandton have emerged. Below are a few passages from various old Sandton Historical Association journals providing some background on the heritage site.

"Just as we go to press comes the news that the graves of the Esterhuysen Family in Sandown, Extension 24, are finally to become Sandton's first historical monument . On October 30th [1982] there will be a ceremony at the Monument, when the Mayor of Sandton will receive from the developers Schahat Cullum, the deeds to the stand on which are buried Jan Christoffel Esterhuysen and his wife Maria Buitendag and others."

 

The Monument from a distance (The Heritage Portal)

 

"Eight years have passed since our association first started trying to ensure that these graves were preserved for posterity, and we can justly claim credit for helping to bring this campaign to a successful conclusion."

"The Esterhuysens came to the farm Zandfontein in 1836 and we hope that their monument will stand for many more centuries." [this date needs to be checked]

 

Another shot of the monument (The Heritage Portal)

 

"October 30th, 1982 was an important day for Sandton! This was the day when the Esterhuysen Monument in Sandown was finally handed over to the Sandton Municipality. We had been hoping for this, often in despair, for eight years, and now at last Sandton has its own historic monument as a tribute to its Voortrekker pioneers. Many members of the Esterhuysen family travelled to Sandton to be present on the occasion."

It would be interesting to find out if there are any family members that still visit the graves.

 

Location of the heritage site (Google Maps)

 

At least one other Esterhuysen grave is located in the area. It can be found on the Glazer Family Estate a short drive from the monument. Again very few people are aware of this. The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation has been fighting for its preservation in the face of increasing development pressure.

 

Esterhuysen Headstone on the Glazer Estate (The Heritage Portal)

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