Archive for the ‘Mitchells Plain History’ Category

Introduction

This research itself is a basic support to the scholar or anyone to better understand the geo-political background of the area called Mitchell’s Plain. It is filled with rich information showing the historic era of the area and also where the whole thing started.

The 3 magnets in Mitchell’s Plain

1. ENVIRONMENTAL

2. HISTORICAL/POLITICAL

3. RECREATIONAL

  • ENVIRONMENTAL

On the outskirts of Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha, running along Baden Powell Drive on the False Bay Coast Line, lays Wolfgat Nature Reserve .A natural jewel just waiting to be discovered. It got its name in 1962, when a fossil site of a hyena den was discovered in the cliffs. Covering over 228 hectares it was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1986. Wolfgat Nature Reserve offers breathtaking views of False Bay, awesome sights of multicoloured bird species, and over 100 plant species which transforms into kaleidoscope of colour in spring  (Sept- Nov).

  • LOCAL FAUNA

The cliffs offer an excellent vantage point for whale viewing. Whale sightings can be virtually guaranteed between August and the end of November .The Southern Right Whales frequent these waters, during the period June to November, when they come here to calf. Other species include the Humpback Whale and the Bride’s Whale. Seals and dolphins can also be seen. More than 80 bird species can be seen here including the spotted-eagle owl, the black-shoulder kite, the African black oyster catcher and Egyptian geese .It is also one of the three mainland breeding colonies in Southern Africa of the kelp gull. Large animals are a rare site, but there is a wealth of smaller animals including snakes, lizards, tortoises, porcupines, moles etc. The area truly has something truly unique and spectacular all year round.

  • HISTORICAL/POLITICAL

The history of Mitchell’s Plain is documented as far back as 1824 when it   consisted of two farms known as Joseph de Kock’s Kraal and Pampoene Kraal.

  • THE GROUP AREAS ACT OF 1957

The need for “a Mitchell’s Plain Model “ was exacerbated by the implementation of the Group Areas Act of 1957. The government had to find a big enough pool of land to relocate the victims of forced removals from areas like District 6 (now declared “Whites Only). In October 1971 the then council’s city engineer, Jan Brand, proclaimed the area south of the farm Philippi for coloured housing. Research identified 3 100 hectares of land as the only area suitable for the massive development of a low-cost housing schemes for the coloured (indigenous) people of the Cape.

  • OFFICIAL OPENING

In a city council memorandum dated 23 June 1972 to the then minister of Transport, Ben Schoeman; it was recommended that it be named “Goeie Hoop”. It is unclear from council archives why the name was never adopted .In March 1976 the then Prime Minister BJ Vorster, Mayor John Tyers & Jan Brand City Engineer (pictured below) opened the new development called Mitchells Plain. By April 1976 the first families moved into Westridge.

  • THE DESIGN

Designed as a dormitory township for the coloured people of the Cape. It brought together the people from over 250 various communities. Its main objective was to house the mass of the working class so called coloured people who would then have to travel to places of industry to work for whites. Following the European concept of a garden city with free standing and semi-detached townhouses this new township boasted wider roads and communal neighborhood parks. This made the Mitchell’s Plain Project different to all former township developments for non-whites.

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