Historically important Vergelegen Estate declared provincial heritage site
The historic significance of Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West will be protected for future generations after the property was declared a provincial heritage site by Heritage Western Cape on Monday, 28 October 2019.
Dr Mxolisi Dlamuka, CEO of Heritage Western Cape, explained the historic significance of the property at the unveiling on Monday.
“Who would believe that Simon van der Stel was the first owner of this farm. Who would also believe that it is on this farm that during the dark days at the end of apartheid, when the country was about to enter into a civil war, a map for the future was designed,” he said. “Because it was here that the national executive committee of the African National Congress met just after the unbanning of the organisation. They were looking for a safe space to map the way forward for South Africa. Nelson Mandela never forgot how this site contributed to our freedom and it was nominated as a world heritage site. World heritage sites are unique in the history of the world.”
Vergelegen will now be protected under the National Heritage Resources Act.
Anroux Marais, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, delivered the keynote address at Monday’s unveiling.
“The historical value of Vergelegen and its legacy lies in its socio-historical nature and is of outstanding significance for the memorialisation and acknowledgement of early practice and communities and their role and contribution to our democratic society as experienced today,” Minister Marais said.
“The Provincial Heritage Site status will communicate clearly and definitively that the heritage community and agencies consider this site to be a major and important heritage asset that warrants serious and focussed conservation attention from all parties.”
The Western Cape Government ensures that important historic sites are conserved for future generations. BETTER TOGETHER.
Dr Tania Colyn
Head of Communication Service
Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Tel: 021 483 9877 / 076 093 4913