History of Oranjezicht

Province; Western Cape
Coordinates ;33°56′30″S “18°24′50″E
Area; 1.13 km2
Municipality: City of Cape Town

Produce for settlers and passing ships

Oranjezicht means orange view in Dutch. Oranjezicht was a farm established on the slopes of Table Mountain. The farm stretched all the way to the Mount Nelson. The farm was established to supply people at the Castle of Good Hope with fresh produce.
Oranjezicht farm was originally planted in 1708, by Nicolaus Laubscher, a Swiss man who arrived at the Cape in the 1670s. He called the farm Oranjezicht because of the excellent view of the Oranje bastion of the castle. When he died the farm passed to Pieter van Breda who arrived here from the Netherlands in 1719. It ran as a working farm for the next two centuries. Terraces were also built for grapevines but the main source of income was vegetables and fruit. At the height of the enterprise, about 300 slaves were employed on the farm.

The slave bell was rung to notify the residents of sales

On sale days the slave bell was rung and a flag hoisted to signal people to come and purchase produce. It could be heard all the way to Woodstock. The bell is on display at the Koopmans de Wet House in Strand Street in Cape Town. The tower still stands today, as do some of the other original farm buildings. In the 1960s the area was remodelled to build a bowling green. This eventually fell to disrepair and was replaced in 2013 by a community farm.

Water supplies for the district.

The Molteno dam was built in 1877. This dam stores water to supply Cape Town with natural spring water from Table Mountain. Oranjezicht grew and the dam is now in the middle of the suburb. Right next door is The Graaff Electric Lighting Works which was commissioned in 1877. This was the first municipal electrical power plant in Cape Town.

The Hurling pump

On the corner of Prince and Sir George Grey Streets, a little piece of history survives. it was erected in 1812, when everyone in Cape Town had still to collect their water as there was no household running water.

The pump was built for the owner of the farm Zorgvliet, JF Hurling, in the 1790s. This structure was  part of an improvement to Cape Town’s water supply. It was fed by water from the Platteklip Stream
 (This paragraph and pictures, courtesy JP Hanslo Cape town historical society)

Old Oranjezicht

Things to see and do in Oranjezicht:

The postcode for Oranjezicht is 8001


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Useful Numbers in Oranjezicht

  • Police: 021 467 8000
  • Traffic department: Gallows Hill Traffic Department-0860 103 089
  • Fire: Central Fire Station -021 444 8963
  • Water: 0860 103 089
  • Electricity: 0860 103 089
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office;Mill Street Post Office-021 465 1013
  • Library : Hiddingh Hall Library-021 650 7135
  • Closest hospital; Mediclinic Cape Town – 021 464 5500
  • Pharmacy; Zetler Pharmacy – 021 465 4217
  • SPCA: Cape Of Good Hope 021 700 4140
  • Schools:
    St. Cyprian’s School-021 461 1090
    Stepping Stones Montessori School-021 465 4003[/vc_column_text]

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