History of Retreat

Province: Western Cape
Coordinates;34°03′18″S 18°28′32″E
Area ; 5.27 km2
Municipality City of Cape Town

Retreat from the Battle of Muizenberg

Retreat was where the Dutch retreated after losing the battle of Muizenberg. The Dutch named it ‘Terugtrekking van de Nederlandse 1795’ retreat of the Netherlands 1795.
Although the battle of Muizenberg was a pivotal event in South African history, there were not too many casualties during the battle. Up to that point, the Cape colony had been ruled by the Dutch who also then held the vital sea route to the East.

News traveled slowly in the 1700s

To understand this event in history one needs to know what was going on in Europe at the time. Because of the remoteness of the Cape, the people in the colonies were not up to date with events there. France was at war with both England and Holland and in 1794 the Prince of Orange fled to England. General Abraham Sluysken who oversaw affairs at the Cape did not have this information, There was also some dissension amongst the burgers at the Cape. Months later a ship arrived with news from Europe. The ship had sailed before the collapse of the Dutch monarchy. So General Abraham Sluysken thought that the British were still allies and the French were in fact the enemy.

British control at the Cape

Admiral Elphinstone wanted to secure the Cape for Britain and a fleet arrived in Simon’s town in 1795 The Dutch found they were outclassed and they retreated. The British sent a delegation to the Castle who suggested that the British should control the Cape. Post this, the British took control of the Cape for 7 years, the Dutch took it back in 1804 but were then defeated by the British at the battle of Blaauwberg after which the British ruled the Cape and the rest of South Africa until 1961
Retreat was once one of the largest “locations” where black people lived. During the forced removals of the 1950s in the apartheid era, many people were moved to Nyanga. In 1961 Retreat was declared a “coloured area.

The postcodes for Retreat are 7945 (Streets) and 7965 (Boxes)

Things to see and do in Retreat


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Useful Numbers in Retreat

  • Police: Saps Steenberg-· 021 702 9000
  • Traffic department: Hillstar Traffic Department-0860 103 089
  • Fire: Lakeside Fire Station-021 480 7700
  • Water: 0860 103 089
  • Electricity:0860 103 089
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office;021 712 0242
  • Library:021 701 1156
  • Closest hospital;Retreat Day Hospital-021 713 9800
  • Pharmacy;Medicare Pharmacy-021 712 8689
  • SPCA: Cape of Good Hope SPCA-021 700 4140
  • Schools:Blouvlei School-021 712 0857
    St Mary’s RC Primary School-021 712 4611
    Floreat Primary School-021 701 2303
    Crestway Secondary School-021 701 1551
    Thomas Wildschutt Primary School-021 715 4720
    Thomas Wildschutt Junior Primary School-021 715 4720
    Zwaanswyk Academy-021 712 205
    Sibelius High School-Phone 0217127606
    Square Hill Primary-021 712 1592
    St Marys RC Primary School-021 465 1115                                                                          [/vc_column_text]

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