The Early Cape Farmsteads World Heritage Site Nomination
Explore the site to find out more about the international significance of the Early Cape Farmsteads and how to make your comments related to a draft Integrated Conservation Management Plan which will accompany the World Heritage Site nomination.
The purpose of this website is to disseminate information and to facilitate public comment on a draft Integrated Conservation Management Plan that must accompany the World Heritage Site nomination of “Early Cape Farmsteads of the Cape of Good Hope”. The proposal was placed on the World Heritage Site Tentative List of the Republic of South Africa in 2015. The historic farmsteads of Groot Constantia and Vergelegen were selected as representational sites. They are located within the City of Cape Town of the Western Cape Province of South Africa.
The selection of Groot Constantia and Vergelegen as representational sites has already been through an extensive process and does not form part of the scope of work of the Integrated Conservation Management Plan. The Integrated Conservation Management Plan clarifies and expands on the Justification for World Heritage Site Inscription to assist with the preparation of the World Heritage Site Nomination Dossier. However, its primary focus is identifying the boundaries of the World Heritage Site, assessing the State of Conservation of each site, and providing an implementation plan to ensure best heritage conservation practice, and that the proposed World Heritage Site is protected, managed, enhanced and sustained for future generations.
You are now invited to comment specifically on:
- The proposed boundaries of the World Heritage Site, including buffer areas.
- The performance risk assessment of the State of Conservation of the World Heritage Site.
- The proposed strategies for mitigating risks and improving performance.
- The proposed protection and management of core and buffer areas including protective mechanisms, management structures and institutional arrangements.
The Integrated Conservation Management Plan was drafted by a team of heritage consultants appointed by Heritage Western Cape in association with the Provincial Western Cape Department of Arts Culture and Sport. It has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of the World Heritage Convention Act (Act 49 of 1999) and Schedule published in the Government Gazette 39347 dated October 2015 for the Format and Procedure for the Nomination of World Heritage Sites in the Republic of South Africa, the Convention for the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) and its Operational Guidelines, and the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999).
A full copy of the Integrated Conservation Management Plan can be downloaded from this website or the website of HWC; www.hwc.org.za. It can also be viewed at the offices of Heritage Western Cape, 3rd Floor, Protea Assurance Building, Greenmarket Square, Cape Town.
SUBMISSION OF COMMENTS
Comments on the draft Integrated Conservation Management Plan must be submitted to Heritage Western Cape on or before the xxx 2019.
Comments must be addressed in writing to:
Heritage Western Cape
Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: 021 483 9598
Postal Address: Private Bag X9067, Cape Town, 8000
dOWNLOAD THE DRAFT INTEGRATED CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN
Set in a unique natural environment at the southern point of Africa, and enriched by influences from various continents, a unique cultural landscape evolved at the Cape over the past 350 years. With patterns of cultivation, farmsteads and outbuildings, nestling beneath mountains and along water courses, the Early Cape Farmsteads illustrate the impact of human settlement, agricultural activities, labour and slavery on the natural landscape since the late 17th century.
Representing the Early Cape Farmsteads are Groot Constantia and Vergelegen, which lie on either side of False Bay. In the 17th century these were remote outposts of the VOC where political leaders from the East Indies were banished but in time pioneer farmers also came to settle there. As the colonial settlement expanded, it steadily encroached on the grazing land of the indigenous pastoralists who were eventually displaced. While some Khoekhoe moved away others remained and ended up working on farms.
Groot Constantia and Vergelegen were owned by two consecutive governors at the Cape, the father and son, Simon and Willem Adriaan van der Stel. Their farms were granted in 1685 and 1700, respectively, and were much larger than others. While the normal grant was 60 morgen, Constantia was 891 morgen and Vergelegen 400 morgen. Grievances such as these led to a settler uprising in 1706 and brought an end to the van der Stel era.
As the settler way of life became entrenched, a vernacular architecture emerged well suited to the Cape. Wine farming in particular was labour intensive and depended on slaves from the Indian Ocean basin. Although slavery was abolished in 1838, its legacy lives on in the rich mix of people, cultures and religions at the Cape.
During the latter half of the 19th century, wine farmers endured a series of setbacks that culminated in the phylloxera epidemic and caused devastation throughout the Cape. Meanwhile the discovery of diamonds and gold to the north would have a profound effect on the region and in 1910 the Union of South Africa was formed. After decades of racial strife and political struggle, the first democratic government of South Africa was elected in 1994.
The local wine industry continued to expand and supply wines to the international market. The Cape, with its historic farmsteads, is recognised as one of the foremost wine regions in the world.
dESCRIPTION OF THE PROPERTIES
Who are we?
Sarah Winter (Archaeo-Adventures cc) has been appointed by Heritage Western Cape (HWC) in co-operation with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) to draft an Integrated Conservation Management Plan (ICMP) to accompany the World Heritage Site (WHS) nomination of the Early Cape Farmsteads of Groot Constantia and Vergelegen. The ICMP is to be prepared in accordance with the provisions of the World Heritage Convention Act (Act 49 of 1999; WHCA) and Schedule published in the Government Gazette 39347 dated October 2015 for the Format and Procedure for the Nomination of World Heritage Sites in the Republic of South Africa, the Convention for the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention; WHC) and its Operational Guidelines, and the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act 25 of 1999; NHRA). Sarah Winter is working on this project in association with a team of heritage specialists:
Urban and conservation planner
Historian and curator
Architectural and spatial heritage specialist
Environmental and heritage attorney
Johan van Papendorp
WORLD HERITAGE SITE NOMINATION
As farmsteads of outstanding historic and architectural significance, Groot Constantia and Vergelegen have been chosen to represent the Early Cape Farmsteads in a World Heritage Site nomination.