Riebeek Kasteel Population:
An inspection of the proposed site for the new coloured area does not go off well.
The inspector from the Department of Coloured Affairs, Mr Pretorius, is not pleased and states the following in a letter:
- The location of the new land is too far from the town and too close to the wine cellars.
- White employers are already complaining about drunkenness.
- The coloured community have indicated that they are not willing to live there because it is a swamp and too far from town. No one wanted to buy the land when it was up for sale.
- The soil gets very wet in winter and is not suitable for sanitation and gardening.
- The wine cellar has a “moerwater” (waste sediment water) dam located close-by and it smells.
- The only positive aspect is that the modern and well-equipped school is nearby.
The inspector agrees that the current location does not have space for an extension as the surrounding land is used to farm export grapes. He recommends an alternative area to the northeast of the town be declared as a coloured group area. He also states that the Village Management Board cannot really afford to buy new land for a coloured neighbourhood but is under pressure from the white community in the town. This is also driven by an influential supporter of the Dutch Reformed Church. New members on the Village Management Board admits that the proposed area is not approved by all and the previous management had a contract in place [with the Dutch Reformed Church]. The new management agrees with his findings. The new management have their eyes on another piece of land to the north of the town. Reference: Cape Town Records Centre: KUS 288 85/5/260 Cape Town Records Centre: KUS 388 85/5/260