Nicolaas Cleef House unveiled as Provincial Heritage Site | Western Cape Government


Nicolaas Cleef House unveiled as Provincial Heritage Site

22 November 2023

One of the oldest buildings in Stellenbosch was officially unveiled as a Provincial Heritage Site on Tuesday 21 November 2023.

Nicolaas Cleef House, located on De Zalze Wine Estate, was unveiled by Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, during a ceremony attended by current owner Thys du Toit and officials from Heritage Western Cape.

Minister Marais said, “The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is delighted that the historically significant part of this structure will now be preserved. It adds to our heritage portfolio in a way that pleases me greatly. I hope that the communities of De Zalze, and of greater Stellenbosch, will take ownership of the preservation of this important window on our past.”

Nicolaas Cleef, a German immigrant, built the home during the 1680’s after receiving a land grant from Simon van der Stel, then governor of the Cape, on January 01, 1680.

Graham Jacobs, a member of the nomination team, explained that the building’s “layered history” made it significant.

“It’s not just the building. It’s the history associated with the building, it’s the people who stayed here, the people who were here before the building, the way the farm was granted, all these circumstances. What makes this particularly important is that there has been this uninterrupted occupation of the site. First by our indigenous first nation people who were drawn by the river, then you get the first settlers because this was one of the very earliest land grants in the Stellenbosch and Western Cape. Then there is also the way in which the land grant was shaped. Then you’ve got the people who have stayed her and their role not only in local Stellenbosch church and political affairs. I mentioned the Uys family for example. The progenitor of the Uys family in South Africa lived here,” he said.

The property will now be protected under the National Heritage Resources Act.

Media Enquiries: 

Tania Colyn
Head of Communications: Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Tel: 076 093 4913