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In the wake of one of the worst social experiments in the history of mankind, 'I'm not Black, I'm Coloured' is one of the first documentary films to look at the legacy of Apartheid from the viewpoint of the Cape Coloured. A people who in 1994, embraced the concept of Desmond Tutu's all encompassing 'rainbow nation', but soon thereafter realized that freedom, privilege, economic growth and equality would not include them. A people who for more than 350 years has been disregarded, ignored, belittled, and stripped of anything they can call their own enduring a complex psychological oppression and identity crisis unparalleled in South African history.  


'I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured' explores the rich history of the majority population of Cape Town, the Cape Coloured, and their complex existence in a country still stratifying its soul in regards to racial identity. Local elders, community leaders, members of Parliament, pastors, educators, and college students give first hand accounts of their past experiences under Apartheid and discuss their concerns for the future as tensions continue to build. Witness the discovery of their ancestral roots through a ground breaking genetic DNA project in South Africa.


Film is 52 minutes (TV network version). All South African cast and crew.   


(2009) I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured - Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope

(2009) I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured - Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope

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Cast and Crew


Executive Producer:

Brad Bauer

Kiersten Dunbar Chace



Kiersten Dunbar Chace



Kiersten Dunbar Chace   



William Diedericks  |  Wheels Productions South Africa


Original Film Score:  

Todd Kmieciak | Lost Rain Productions


Original Songs performed by:  

Wilmot Fredericks


Other Music: 

Brendon Adams


Graphic Design:

Antoni Commodore -



Crash and Sue's Minneapolis


Sound Rerecord Mixer:

Patrick Green





Various cast members





Rothea Jacobs

 Sabrina Adams

 Cynthia Edwards


Special Thanks


Bennett Greenspan - Family Tree DNA

 C. Sunny Martin - C. Sunny Martin & Associates

 Coldwell Banker Burnet

 Varde Partners

 Melody Gilbert - Frozen Feet Films

 Daniel Pierce Bergin - TPT Minneasota / PBS

 Nick Gumm - Editor

 Ericka LeRoux - Western Cape Archives

 Jonathan Western - Author 'Outcast Cape Town'

 Vernon Chico Rowland - Jacynth Productions

 Donna Johnson - Graphics



 Other Thanks

Robyn Alexander

Angela Andrist

Andrea Beack

Clive Cairns - Cape Town

Kenneth Fox

Lyndall Johnson

Marie Jonkers

Lynette Lewis

Dawn Mikkelson

Glenn Strand

Gina Szafraniec

Mary Ray

Jesse Roessler

Sharon Apollis





Press Conference

Johannesburg, South Africa

November 18, 2015



Geneva, Switzerland

September 2015




February 19, 2015

Minneapolis, MN




September 10, 2014

Hanover, Germany

Herrenhausen Palace



October 5, 2013

Eagen, MN



August 29, 2011

London, England



Mayme Clayton Library and Museum

Sponsored by Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West

MAY 23RD, 2011



Columbus Public Library

Columbus, Ohio

February 16, 2011


Special Guest Appearance

Radio Taxi FM (Soli Philander)

Cape Town South Africa

Mar 03, 2011 


Africa World Documentary Film Festival 

Cavehill, Barbados 

Feb 20, 2010 


Africa World Documentary Film Festival 

Bermuda Int'l Film Fest

Hamilton, Bermuda 

March 21, 2010      


Oberlin College 

Oberlin OH 

November 19, 2010 


Film Sneak Peek

Riverview Theater

Minneapolis, MN 

Feb 5 2009 


St. Stephen Lutheran Church 

Bloomington, MN 

Feb 8, 2009 


St. Cloud State University

Black History Month 

St. Cloud, MN 

Feb 9, 2009 


Macalester College

Black History Month 

St. Paul, MN 

Feb 11, 2009 


Northwestern University School of Law 

Chicago, IL 

Feb13, 2009 


Aslan Institute 

Eagen, MN 

May 9, 2009 


Berry Theatre / Private 

Bloomington, MN 

Oct 3, 2009 


Anoka Ramsey Colleges 

Coon Rapids, MN

Cambridge, MN   








April 2010... an engaging, informative and emotional examination of the legacy of Apartheid in the South Africa from the viewpoint of the Cape Coloured, the majority population, in Cape Town.



APRIL 2011



APRIL 2011






April 2010



February 2009

...the movie is brilliant. As a South African I was deeply touched at the accurate and very moving way in which you presented the intergenerational suffering and identity crisis of The Cape Coloureds. The historical background was concise and accurate and so well done and provided such a good context for the present suffering. My daughter and I both wept at the end - those scenes of people finding their genetic roots was beautiful - what a wonderful gift. And it was fun to meet Dr. Michael Adams and speak Afrikaans and feel my bond to him as a SOUTH AFRICAN. We all long for the day when we can all call ourselves South Africans, like Americans call themselves Americans instead of feeling in our psyches the difference more than the common unity of our humanity.Blessings on you Kiersten for this wonderful consciousness raising gift to the world.


CHRIS NAVAVIE GREENLAND - Retired High Court Judge - Zimbabwe

May 25, 2011

... the importance of what you have done cannot be over emphasized. People simply lose their dignity when they are not accepted for who and what they are. The artificial classification of people by governments subverts their humanity and always leads to injustice. Social justice rests on the proposition that people are free ... including the freedom to accept, love and revere their own kind. The "social construct" of all non-whites being classified as "Black' had its place in history. it was, after all a product of rejection by the dominant White group. That time has long passed. White folk have abandoned this rejection and voted a Coloured man to the most powerful position in the world ... seeing and accepting him for what he is ... and exceptional human being ... free to become President.


September 22, 2011 (Christ Navavie Greenland)

In May, 2011 a film was screened titled “I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured”, Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope” by Mondé World Films depicting the plight of Coloured folk in the new South Africa, on account of an inherently racist Affirmative Action transformational model. Mondé World Films was quickly vindicated when it was revealed that a chief government spokesman had insisted there was an “oversupply” of Coloureds in the Western Cape and suggested they “spread in the rest of the country”. He said their “over-concentration” in the province “is not working for them”. The comments were made in April during a debate about affirmative action that appeared on KykNet’s Robinson Regstreeks show. "Chris Navavie Greenland


Be sure to read Mr. Greenlands recent book -  'The Other: Without Fear, Favour or Prejudice




I’m Not Black, I’m Coloured: Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope is an insightful look at the history of the Coloured community in South Africa. The film delivers on many levels and those with no prior information about South Africa as well as those with much background, benefit from this smartly constructed documentary.  Kiersten Dunbar Chace sheds light on the struggles for full citizen status that South Africa’s Coloured community waged under apartheid, as well as the disappointments that community has experienced under ANC governments. By juxtaposing interviews with those in the Coloured community with historical footage, Dunbar Chace has created a thoughtful and important film about a people still struggling for equal rights and equal access. 



MAY 21, 2011

I really like the comprehensive history lesson at the beginning of the film. It gives Americans a great overview of how South Africa got to this point. There are so many parallels to historical events in the states. You'd be surprised how many teachers we see that have either forgotten or blocked from their minds America's history in that regard. Many chalk up the achievement gap to some phantom "cultural differences" without ever acknowledging the role of100's of years of institutionalized racism.




Having been brought up in the Home Counties of the UK during the 60s and 70s RSA, its history and my culture was always an exotic mystery. It’s been difficult to come to terms with some of the secrecy with which my mother’s family seemed to need to surround our family history - why did my grandfather have such a strong reaction against my brother growing an afro, my Aunty Clarie’s nickname ‘plum-bum, the story of the pale cousin with blue eyes that would force her mother to walk the opposite side of the street because she was dark and had brown eyes. My mum (Cape Coloured) and dad (white european) taught us about black power, we adored 70s black music, my older brother became a fan of Steve Biko. I’m proud to call myself black here in the UK, in a western political context. Having seen Kiersten’s incredible film, for the first time I can begin to stop being guilty about calling myself coloured as well despite the risk I still take of being misinterpreted. I cried throughout this film. Partly very selfishly and partly because my mum adored South Africa but died in 1985 never having seen her country become democratic, something she longed for (she left as a teenager in 1949 and never saw RSA again). “I’m not Black I’m Coloured” is essential viewing all over the world. A tale of how we as people had imposed upon us boundaries that never should exist, but that do. And because they do we need to find a way to be proud of who we are, and others need to find a way of not dismissing us or simplifying the politics involved. Thank you so much for changing my world view. Sophie Talbot (daughter of Sybil Stevens originally from Wynberg)


REGINALD DANIEL - Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

“I’m Not Black, I’m Coloured” is a marvelously nuanced examination of the complexities that underpin the formation of Coloured identity in South Africa, particularly the often challenging and contradictory forces involved with forging identities in the pursuit of racial equality. That said, some important historical details were missing, particularly the active engagement on the part of Cape Coloureds in forming a separate Coloured identity in the early part of the 20th century as a means of circumventing, if not completely, forestalling the racial proscriptions that were gradually making their way toward apartheid. This was particularly the case with the African Peoples Organization (APO), which was very proactive in this regard. Moreover, the DNA testing at the end of the documentary left me with some unanswered questions. Yet these “caveats” provide an excellent starting point for further discussion. Indeed, this is an invaluable teaching tool for courses on race and ethnic relations. It is also a superb addition to the growing number of resources available for understanding the struggle for identity, agency, and self-determination on the part of multiracial individuals in our increasingly interconnected globalized society. BULLS EYE!

G. Reginald Daniel, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of More Than Black?: Multiracial Identity and the New Racial Order (2002), Converging Paths?: Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States (2006), and Machado de Assis: Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist (2012).


KAYLENE LEVACK - C.E.O. Joshua Heritage Practitioners South Africa

November 2010

I'm Not black - I'm Coloured is pioneering. It's an important catalyst for dialogue amongst the Coloured people of South Africa which also deepens the viewers sense of the impact of our slave history, our imposed identity and our struggle which is founded within the cruel and oppressive Apartheid state and inherited by a democratic South Africa. Until today we still face age old social and economic injustices as Coloured people within South Africa, and perhaps the universal reach of this film will assist us within our plight to find our voice, our true citizenship, and our freedom. Thank you Kiersten for a thought provoking journey, a film produced with integrity - and above all a generous gift to our people and the world.



April 2011

As an African American I was skeptical about this film thus attended the screening at the Minneapolis Int'l Film Festival a few nights ago. I want to say thank you for opening my eyes to a South Africa I never knew about. The way you laid out the structure of Apartheid was very helpful and the ending... what can I say... it was moving. Please tell the cast and crew I said 'thank you' for sharing their stories otherwise we would have never known.



March 2009

"This film (I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured: Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope) fills a critical gap in our understanding of people known as Cape Coloureds -- both their history and their present reality as they struggle to define their social identity and place in the new South Africa. As someone who teaches South African history and culture and frequently takes students to South Africa, I especially appreciate filmmaker Kiersten Chace's focus on letting people tell their stories in their own voices. The film has become an invaluable teaching tool for me and I highly recommend it to teachers and others who want to understand this important but often overlooked group of people in and around Cape Town."



March 2009

"I'm not Black, I'm Coloured" reveals the complicated ways people of mixed heritage in South Africa were used, are marginalized, and can be trapped in an endless cycle of invisibility and exclusion through internal ambiguity about identity and external indifference about their welfare. This film also shows the importance of learning one's DNA and how it can free individuals from the psychological and multi-generational shackles that miscegenation through colonization produced in those who are not valued by Black or White South Africa. This film reminds us that no one is free until everyone is free when those who were dominant and subordinate free themselves from apartheid without recognizing the rights of people who sprang from common ancestors.



June 2009

I'd like to extend a sincere thanks from myself as founder of, for the amazing initiative and commitment you've shown to the Coloured community of South Africa by investing time, effort, energy and resources into your documentary. Your compassion for the community is commendable and deeply appreciated.



July 2009

Having lived in exile for many years I was surprised when many coloured I met were unaware of their heritage. I have also been made aware by "black Africans" that I am not black enough! fortunately my father kept us well informed of our heritage. I know that my mother's side is African Dutch and Polish. and on my father's side African Dutch and Asian. So because I have an Asian surname I am not African. But I really am my ancestral mother was L1 the oldest Africans in the Western Cape 150.000 years and I am sure many cape coloured will be the same. And Now that i live in Cape Town again I am aware of how marginalised they feel. Unfortunately this happens in lots of countries where Black and white have mixed. I know blacks were marginalised during apartheid but so were coloured people. And it was blacks coloured and whites who fought for the end to Apartheid. Yes coloured people need to be represented more in the media both TV and radio. If we hadn't had apartheid think how many more South Africans would be coloured! no more them and us.



March 2009

Central to cinema is giving voice to the voiceless. Your film does that to such a degree that you can see the pleasure, pain, and visceral need to ‘tell’ on the faces of your characters. The telling was that important to them. And the safe space and healthy process you offered seemed greatly appreciated by this community.As you originally conceived, the story offers a never before seen account of the Coloured peoples of Southern Africa. But it also holds up a fascinating mirror for the rest of the world – including biracial African Americans like myself.Your voice (literally and figuratively) is also key in this telling. Smart and sensitive, your storytelling structure and style makes the piece work on several levels.



February 2009

Because of our close relationship with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa, St. Cloud State University’s Multicultural Student Services office was very happy to sponsor a screening of I’m Not Black, I’m Coloured: Identity Crisis at the Cape of Good Hope for the university and community in February 2009. The film was well done covering both historical and contemporary issues facing the Coloured people of South Africa, in particular, those from Cape Town. We were extremely fortunate in that filmmaker Kiersten Chace as well as the subject of the film, Dr. Adams, were both able to attend and facilitate a spirited discussion following the film. Both Ms. Chace and Dr. Adams (from Cape Town South Africa) fielded questions following the film from both faculty and students and covered many areas. As facilitators of the discussion, they handled even the most sensitive questions with professionalism and open-mindedness.Working with Ms. Chace to schedule and bring the film to SCSU was a very easy process. She worked with us to find a date and time that met our needs. We received from her publicity information which allowed us to promote the event to the campus audience. The entire process of arranging, promoting and hosting the event was simple, due to the professionalism of Ms. Chace. We were able to provide a space for Ms. Chace to promote the book upon which the film was based, adding to the context of the film for the audience.By including a historical component the film informs the audience of the bearing of the past upon the present, helping to explain the present-day challenges faced by this particular group of South Africans. We highly recommend this film for college audiences interested in a global understanding of other parts of the world.



March 2009

The racial make up in South Africa is so complex and for many years, not talked about issues. It never used to bother me but on my first travel to the US people asked me whether I am Zulu or Xhosa and we had to respond we are black South Africans. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but if one looks a little closer you will find that black in south Africa is what the government of the day determines as "black". Some of us that grew up in the black consciousness movement learned and were made to believe that black is beautiful and everyone not white is black. Not so.... the blackness a South African has nothing to do with pigmentation or language. It has to do with who has the power in government. Even in the first elections when all of us cried and we became one and we sang bind us together Lord.... our first black president uttered those terms we have learned to hate... To all South African, blacks, whites and Indians...etc.The struggle for the liberation of coloured people in SA is far from over. We first have to free ourselves from the thought that we are always in the middle and to let others decide on our behalf. We have numerous visits of USA tourist and as soon as they land on the motherland they insist to see the "real African' We have decided to stand up for our people and for our course........ Its cool to be coloured and anyone that did not grow up in Cape Town will not understand the reality of being a coloured and not black. Thank you Kiersten for your contribution.



October 2009

I have watched the Film 5 times and have enjoyed it every time I watched.  ps.. Good job.



July 2009

I'm not Black, I'm Coloured, a stirring and thought provoking film by Kiersten Chace, examines the historical and present day experience of South Africa's Cape Coloured. The documentary film succeeds in engenderingin its audience an ambivalence about the socioeconomic and civic standing of the Coloureds of Cape Town not dissimilar to that at times conveyed by interviewed members of the very marginalized population. However suchambivalence settles, the film's American audiences will never think of the term coloured in quite the same way.LAURA S - MINNEAPOLISFebruary really went above and beyond my expectations. I loved it and it even brought some tears to my eyes at the end. I had no idea about the Coloured people in S. Africa....thank you for teaching me!!!



May 2009

I just watched the film (for a second time)... first time, I watched it alone, and then again this morning with my boyfriend (who is Black American). I already knew quite a bit about our community through conversations with my folks in Australia, but your film put many things in context.The historical overview was very interesting - I learned more here than I ever did attending primary school in SA... as you might know, our history lesson comprised of Jan Van Riebeck, Vasco da Gama and the Bushmen (it was funny, I caught myself reciting the arrival dates of the first fleets before you mentioned it in the film).My Dad's mom grew up in District Six and was relocated to Bonteheuwel (which we also laughingly call 'Beverly Hills'). She died last year, and along with her, any chance of finding out anything about her parents - she refused to talk about it.My mom's mom passed in 1988, she too would not tell us anything about our ancestors, other than, they were British (sound familiar)! I remember seeing a picture of my mum with an elderly black lady when I was just a child... I was to find out years later, that this was my great-grandmother. My grandma had me believe she was the maid... We think this great-grandmother was from Mozambique... but we have not been able to substantiate it.For years since leaving South Africa, I have always searched for my identity - and this was probably my most compelling reason to move to the US (from Australia) - to be apart of a culture and feel as though I belong to something.Your film really helped me understand that I actually AM apart of something, not just some mixture of black and white.I too have noticed that the Cape Flats has not changed much at all since the end of apartheid. What is most frustrating is that I do want to help, but really don't know how to?Anyway, THANK YOU for doing this - it was a wonderful documentary and you certainly have started to show the world our wonderful culture and our struggle for our identity and place in South Africa.



I will say that I was aware of the Coloured issues in South Africa on a minimal scale. I felt like your film did a lot to expose how much is going on in the Coloured community, which seems to have been misunderstood quite a bit in South Africa and ignored everywhere else. I want to say, that like many in the crowd, I was amazed with what you put together. I walked away knowing so much more and thinking about and looking to uncover the stories of people with similar issues to the Coloured people of South Africa. AMAZING JOB! On a personal note, I found it incredibly inspiring that you were able to complete this, let alone while maintaining a job. You are an inspiration. I work with an organization called History Day, which is quite a bit like a science fair, but for history. Grades 6-12. I know of many students that are working on projects about Nelson Mandela and now I have a whole new dimension to discuss with them. So, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was so inspired.I wish you all the best and thank you and everyone you have worked with to accomplish this. Please let your subjects know that I am appreciative of their openness too! Way to go!


SELWYN IVOR HOLT - Johannesburg, South Africa

May 17, 2011

Just watched the doc, thank you for letting the world know about Coloureds, not to sure how feel about the DNA testing to determine how mixed or native they were, but I guess it was their choice. Anyway it was a good documentary and I'm glad to see that its getting international attention.



March 2009

Being a Coloured man from Cape Town South Africa, I am deeply moved by your accurate and true documentary. I was very frustrated when a group of Americans came to South Africa a few years ago and walked through the coloured neighborhoods and said: "This isn't Africa!" I could not believe my ears when I heard this.And YOU, Kiersten, have made this (film) possible. Of course the people involved too.



February 2009

I enjoyed the film so much, I can't begin to tell you. I have been to South Africa a couple of times, and whilst there became very aware of the Black/White issues and learned an awful lot - but your film opened my eyes to a whole new area.



February 2009

...following the premiere, the resounding, standing ovation and sharing of stories was testament that this documentary not only stirred the soul, but suddenly became a voice of awareness for a people who have not been heard until now. The first question was from a lady who introduced herself as a "Coloured from South Africa." She was astounded that her history was so accurately depicted by a woman in Minnesota. Thank you Kiersten Chace for making this Documentary.

Anchor 2
Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor

Judge Chris Greenland

Judge Chris Greenland

Sybil Stevens

Sybil Stevens

Daniel Pierce Bergin

Daniel Pierce Bergin

Lyndall Johnson

Lyndall Johnson

G. Reginald Daniel

G. Reginald Daniel



Departments that may benefit from this film:

African and African American Studies
Ethnic Studies
International Studies
3rd World Politics

Topics of Interest in the Classroom

Affirmative Action / Equal Rights
Cross Cultural / Racial Identity and Self Esteem
Bi-racial / Interracial studies
Tribal vs Non-Tribal Identity
How Ethnic Identity is Constructed and Reconstructed
Ethnic Relations and Comparisons
Western Misconceptions of Africa / South Africa
Slavery - History of Slavery in South Africa - Cape Town
Slavery - Comparative Studies between

African American and South Africa Slave History
Genocide and the KhoiSan People
The Role African Americans have played in

the History of the Coloured People
Socio-genetic Marginalization / Genetic DNA Testing

Ethics / Blood Politics
Apartheid Studies
Importance of Heritage, Traditions and Culture
Human Rights
The Effects of Psychological Oppression
The Effects of Forced Removals
Intergenerational Suffering
Social Structure
White Dominance / Colonialism
Politics in the Western Cape Province
Afrikaans Language and the Coloured People





100 000 BC 

The southwestern Cape was inhabited by people who hunted and used stone tools and fire. 


18 000 BC

Even though the Ice Age had reached its peak, it is unlikely that the Cape was covered with ice, but winter temperatures were possibly 10°C lower than presently experienced. The sea was about 120 metres below its current level as a result of large parts of seawater being frozen elsewhere. As a result of a wetter climate, the Cape Flats were home to rich forests. 


2 600 BC

Phoenician mariners circumnavigated Africa on a mission by Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II. 


2 000 BC

Migration of inland tribes occurred, bringing agricultural skills to the Cape. 


300 AD

Some of the Cape inhabitants owned fat-tailed sheep, thought to have originated in East-Central Africa. 



Turkey closed off European trade routes to the East forcing them to find another route to the spice lands of the East.



Bartholomew Diaz, a Portuguese explorer, discovered the Cape. Vasco da Gama, also from Portugal, rounded the Peninsula in 1497. The goal was to find a trade route between Europe and the East. 



Table Mountain is given the name Taboa do cabo (Table of the Cape) by Antonio da Saldanha, a Portuguese admiral and explorer. The original name given by the first Khoi inhabitants was Hoeri ‘kwaggo (Sea Mountain).



The Netherlands defeats the Spanish Armada led by William of Orange



Jan van Riebeeck and other employees of the Dutch East India Company were sent to the Cape to establish a halfway station to provide fresh water, vegetables and meat for passing ships traveling to and from the East. Jan van Riebeeck's party of three vessels landed at the Cape on 6 April 1652. Jan van Riebeeck and his men erected shelters and laid out vegetable gardens and orchards. The Company Gardens are part of the original gardens and are situated at the top of Adderley Street in Government Avenue. Water from the Fresh River which descended from Table Mountain was channeled into canals to provide irrigation. The settlers bartered with the native inhabitants for their sheep and cattle. Forests in Hout Bay and south and east of the mountain provided timber for ships and houses. The Dutch East India Company had a monopoly on trade and prohibited any private trade. The indigenous people encountered by the settlers were short in stature and with yellow-brown skin. The Khoi San people. The first nation people of South Africa. 



The first Asians arrived at the Cape. They were banished here by the High Court in Batavia. These Asians contributed to the enlargement of the Cape Coloured population as well as the spread of Islam in the Cape. 



Farms were granted by the Company to a few servants in an attempt to increase productivity. The farms were situated on farmland along the Liesbeeck River and the Company still retained financial control of them. The first slaves were imported to the Cape from Java and Madagascar. 



Conflict erupted between the settlers and the Khoi San people, who had begun to realize that territory previously theirs had been lost to them. 



Jan van Riebeeck left the Cape on promotion to a position on the Council of Justice in Batavia. He later went on to become a Commander in Malacca. 



Work commenced on a fortress, known as the Castle, which replaced the previous wooden fort built by Van Riebeeck and his men. The Castle was completed in 1679 and is the oldest building in South Africa. It originally stood on the beach, and it is only since reclaiming the Foreshore began in 1943 that it is now a distance from the sea. 



Simon van der Stel arrived to govern in the Cape. The beautiful town of Stellenbosch is named after him. Simon van der Stel was the founding father of the Cape wine industry. He was a dynamic commander who promoted colonial-style expansion, as per his instructions from the Company. 



Simon van der Stel was granted a 900-morgen property by the Company. This home and wine farm was named Groot Constantia and was built by Louis Thibault, an architect whose name is associated with many early Cape buildings. Groot Constantia is thus the oldest wine estate at the Cape. It has been rebuilt after a fire and is a prime example of Cape Dutch architecture. The cellar is renowned for its sculptures by Anton Anreith. 



The Huguenots arrived at the Cape. They had fled from anti-Protestant persecution in Catholic France to Holland where they were offered by the Company free passage to the Cape and farmland. The Huguenots made an important contribution to the Cape's wine industry. 



Serious friction developed between the Huguenots and the Dutch. The Huguenots had not been recognized as a separate group and felt dissatisfied that they had been randomly placed among the Dutch. 



The road to Hout Bay via Constantia Nek was completed. 



William Adriaan van der Stel (son of Simon) was appointed Governor. His rule was harshly corrupt and discriminatory. 



Colonists, after a long struggle, were successful in having Willem Adriaan van der Stel recalled to Holland. The strong animosity between the French and Dutch colonists dissolved in the wake of the hardships equally endured under Willem's rule. 



On 21 May, nine ships were wrecked in a gale in Table Bay. 208 Lives were lost. 



The Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, Von Imhoff, visited the Cape. A site at Simon's Bay was chosen to be used as a harbor between mid-May and mid-August. This would reduce damage in Table Bay caused by the winter storms. 



There were 5,510 Europeans and 6,279 slaves in the Cape. 



England and France were at war, with the Netherlands on the French side. French troops were therefore sent to the Cape to guard it against the English. 



The French troops departed once again for home. 



The start of the French Revolution.1793: War declared by victorious French revolutionaries against the Dutch Prince of Orange. Britain went to war against France. 



The Cape Commissioner at the time, Sluysken, as a result of the long time it took to send news from Europe to the Cape, only knew that the French had been making headway into the Netherlands but the Dutch could at any moment change sides. News hadn't yet reached him of the latest events. British forces arrived at the Cape bringing with them a letter from the Prince of Orange asking Sluysken to allow the Cape to be protected from the French by the British until the war was over, and the British informed him that the Prince had fled to England, thus misrepresenting him to the Dutch. The Cape Council was Orangist but recognized its allegiance belonged with the mother country, and Sluysken thus procrastinated. The British won the Battle of Muizenberg after landing at Simon's Bay, taking the Cape. The start of free trade was announced. 



The Dutch East India Company was in financial ruins. The Netherlands was invaded by the French, and a republic was declared by Dutch revolutionaries. The Prince of Orange fled to England, and the way was cleared for the establishment of the Dutch Batavian Republic. The French and Dutch were united against Britain. 



The first British Governor, Earl Macartney, arrived at the Cape. As his wife stayed behind in England, Lady Anne Barnard, his secretary's wife, did his entertaining and started a social whirl in the Cape. 



A fragile peace was concluded between England and France. The Cape was handed back to the Dutch. Jan Willem Janssens, the new Governor, ruled the Cape for three years. 



France and Britain were at war again, and the British once again set sail for the Cape as the Batavians were still allied with France. 



The British landed at Losperds Bay, between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand. Governor Jan Willem Janssens capitulated. 



The British Governor, Caledon, declared that the KhoiSan had to have a fixed residence and could not migrate between regions without written authority. 



Taps and iron pipes were installed along the Cape's main streets. Water was still provided from wells or the Parade fountain. 


1814Holland had reverted to a monarchy and the French had been defeated by the British. Britain engineered a complex peace treaty, whereby various pieces of real estate and amounts of money were exchanged for various countries. The Cape was permanently taken from the Dutch by The British in return for a large sum of money. The British saw the Cape as a key to India. The Dutch were too impoverished and depleted and agreed to be allowed to continue to use the Cape for repairs and refreshment. The new governor was Lord Charles Somerset. 



A program was inaugurated by Somerset to abolish Dutch and make English the only official language. 



The first newspaper was published - The South African Commercial Advertiser - and Somerset became involved in tussles with the paper about freedom of the press and clashed with missionary Dr. Philip, who preached freedom for the KhoiSan. 



Governor Somerset left the Cape under a cloud of bad feelings. 



The vagrancy and pass laws were abolished. The Khoi, in theory, shared equality with the Europeans. 



The emancipation of the slaves was estimated to be in the region of 39 000. However, slaves had to serve 4-year apprenticeships to 'ready themselves’ for freedom. This led to the establishment of Bo-Kaap, or 'upper city', by a Muslim community after being freed from slavery. This year also saw the start of a Legislative Council. 



The start of the Great Trek. About 10 000 Dutch families, unable to adapt to the progressive changes brought about by the freedom of the slaves and the new authority, went north in search of new land, thereby opening up the interior. Elected municipal councils were provided for by the Legislative Council. 



Slaves were officially free after serving a 4-year apprenticeship. A municipality was formed covering the Green Point-Sea Point area. Battle of Blood River was fought between Zulus and Boers. 



The Cape Town Municipality was formed. The population stood at 20 016, of which 10 560 were Whites. 



The road to Stellenbosch through the Maitland area was completed. 



Bloemfontein founded 



The proposal by the British to send a ship of convicts to the Colony was strongly objected to by the Cape population. The shipment was successfully stopped and the name of the Heerengracht was changed to Adderley Street, after a British MP who had supported their cause. The convicts went to Australia. The first Jewish Congregation was founded in Cape Town. 



The first Afrikaans book was written by an imam (Muslim prayer leader) of slave descent. 



Jewish congregation founded in Port Elizabeth. 



The first railway in South Africa was started in Cape Colony. Its route was from Cape Town to Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Wellington. 



Construction of the first of the Table Bay docks, Alfred Dock, was started. 



Griqua trek under Adam Kok III from Philippolis to Nomansland. 



The first tramway company in Cape Town, the 'Cape Town and Green Point Tramway Company', commenced operations with a horse-drawn service running on rails from the foot of Adderley Street and out along Somerset Road to Green Point. 



India officially stops sending Indian laborers to Natal. 



The Cape Town Municipality Amendment Act, granting full municipal government, was enacted by the Cape Colonial Parliament. It made provision for 18 town councilors and a council chairman, elected by the Council as Mayor. 



Completion of Alfred Dock. 



College was founded at Stellenbosch. 



The Cape Town City Council authorized a second tramways company, the 'City Tramways Company Limited', to operate a similar horse-drawn service, initially out to Green Point and Sea Point, and later to the Gardens and the southern suburbs. 



Cape Town was linked telegraphically to Europe using an overseas cable. First Anglo Boer war. Boers defeat Britain.Formation of DeBeers Company. 



The Dutch language was once again admitted as an official language alongside English. 



The official inauguration of the Houses of Parliament was designed by Charles Freeman. 



Victoria Road to Hout Bay was completed. A toll-house was erected where Victoria Road joined up with Kloof Road from Sea Point. A toll was collected until about 1900. 



Cecil Rhodes amalgamates Kimberley mining companies as DeBeers Consolidated Mines Ltd. 



The ambitious project of paving the streets of Cape Town was started. 



The Cape Town City Council granted the right to a local businessman, Henry Butters, to build and operate the first electric tramway company through the city.Glen Grey Act passed in Cape to control African labor and land. 



The Metropolitan Tramways Company was formed. The inauguration of the Graaff Electric Lighting Works at the Molteno reservoir was held, followed by the official switching on of the street lights at the Town House, Greenmarket Square. 



The first electric tram service in Cape Town was officially inaugurated by Lady Sivewright when she started the first tram on its maiden run through a flag-bedecked Adderley Street to Mowbray Hill. 



Green Point Common was established as a military camp. Beginning of the Anglo-Boer War. 



Sir Alfred Milner was appointed Governor of the Cape Colony. 



The extension of the electric tramline between Camps Bay and Sea Point was opened. Bubonic plague in Cape Town. 300 foreign teachers were brought to South Africa to teach in the British concentration camps. Some 30,000 women and children ultimately died in the horrible camps. 



The electric tramline public service was extended to a Kloof Nek line. Work commenced on the new power station in Dock Road, near the docks, known as the Central Power and Lighting Station.

End of the Anglo-Boer War



The official opening of the Central Electric Station in Dock Road. Chinese laborers recruited for the Transvaal mines. 



Cape Town was declared the legislative capital of the newly-formed Union of South Africa. The Cape Province retained voting rights for non-Whites. On Darling Street, the Cape Town City Hall was built with its impressive opulent decorated marble facade, which is combined with Italian renaissance features and the English colonial style. 



Asiatic Registration Act passed in Transvaal, Indians oppose it. 



The construction of a pier at the bottom of Adderley Street was completed. It contained an amphitheatre, restaurant, observation tower, bathing cubicles and a landing stage for sailing and rowing boats. The City of Greater Cape Town was formed by the union of Central Cape Town, Green Point and Sea Point, Woodstock, Maitland, Mowbray, Rondebosch, Claremont and Kalk Bay.

Natives Land Act restricts black ownership of land.



Afrikaans used for the first time in Church. 



Herzog appointed Prime Minister of South Africa 



Afrikaans becomes the second official language, after English 



The first Town Planning Ordinance was passed by the Cape Town City Council. The Greater Cape Town area was extended to include Wynberg.  



White women receive the right to vote. 



Airmail service between South Africa and Britain begins. 



Cape Town City Council authorized the use of trolleybuses, or trackless trams as they were called. 



The Slums Act of 1934 was passed. This gave municipalities and the government the authority to acquire slum properties. It could have encouraged landlords to improve their buildings but effectively resulted in areas being more easily demarcated for development. District Six presented special problems in this regard.

SABC South African Broadcast Company is established.



The reclamation of 480 acres of land on the foreshore was started. This included the expansion of the harbour and the expansion of the central city by some 270 acres. 



The first of a series of laws were promulgated in National Parliament which diminished the voting rights of non-Whites in the Cape (Representation of Natives Act). 



National Party wins the general election and remains in power until 1994. This year saw the ending of the ambivalence towards residential segregation. The National Party had apartheid (separate racial development) as its central theme. This also marks the beginning of the Apartheid era. 



The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act was promulgated. Post Office apartheid also started: Europeans and non-Europeans had to stand in separate queues in post offices and were served at different counters.  



Some of the acts passed by the Government: The Immorality Act, the Group Areas Act, the Suppression of Communism Act, and the Population Registration Act (which officially divided South Africans into White, Coloured, Asian or Native). It was compulsory for all Capetonians over 16 to carry ID cards specifying their race. 



An enormous road construction project was started, including Table Bay Boulevard, Settlers Way, Eastern Boulevard, Liesbeeck Parkway and Black River Parkway. Verwoerd serves as Prime Minister of South Africa. 



South Africa becomes a republic and leaves the Commonwealth. 



Robben Island was used as a 'maximum security institution' and thousands of black political prisoners were sent there. 



Nelson Mandela was sentenced to imprisonment on Robben Island. 



District Six was declared a "White Group Area". This meant that all buildings except religious ones could be demolished ('slum clearance'). About 65,000 people (mostly Coloureds) were forced to move to residential areas on the Cape Flats. 



The Nico Malan Theatre, now called Artscape, was completed. 



The early 1970s saw the emergence of various shanty towns - Unibel (1972), Crossroads (1974), KTC (1975), and Modderdam (1975). 



Development of Mitchells Plain started – 40 000 home-ownership dwellings for 250 000 people. 



The Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch was completed. 



The Golden Acre Complex in Strand Street, and the Cape Town City Council's new Civic Centre complex on the Foreshore were completed. 



Coloureds and Asians given right to vote. 



The State of Emergency declared by government conferred almost limitless powers on the security forces and restricted media coverage. Thousands were detained, some without trial. Coloured schools were temporarily closed. 


1986The pedestrianization of St George's and Church Streets starts. 



The redevelopment of the historic docklands begins by the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront company, a subsidiary of Transnet. 



The start of repealing apartheid laws. President FW de Klerk unbans all political organizations. Certain political prisoners were released, including Nelson Mandela.



The Group Areas Act was abolished. 



First national and provincial democratic elections. 

Nelson Mandela becomes SA's first democratically elected president.Internet invented.



The removal of statutory discrimination from state schools begins. Cape Town hosted the opening game of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, with SA playing against Australia. SA won the first game and the series. 



First democratic local government elections were held. Greater Cape Town was then split into six municipalities, with a total of 174 wards within an umbrella Metropolitan Council. The NP won 5 of the 6 municipalities. 



The Unicity Commission was established as a temporary political body to manage and ensure a smooth transition from the current seven municipal councils into one structure.

Thabo Mbeki becomes SA president



Helen Zille (DA party) elected Mayor Cape Town 



Xenophobic rioting due to ongoing controversy of immigration. The High Court in South Africa rules that Chinese South Africans are to be reclassified as black people. Filming begins for I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured in the Western Cape. 



Jacob Zuma was elected president of South Africa. Helen Zille (DA Party) elected Western Cape Premier. First Mandela Day organized.Helen Suzman, Anti Apartheid activist dies.



September - The Hangberg Hout Bay uprising. Residents of this predominantly coloured community and the council clash over housing shortages. Three residents lose their eyes from rubber bullets. 



NOV 9 Coloured workers took their Dept of Correctional Services discrimination case to Constitutional Court. Judgment rules in favor of the workers and are compensated according to law.


The Cape Coloured Congress political party, led by Fadiel Adams, was formed in August 2020 and focuses on issues affecting Coloured South Africans in the Western Cape. In 2021, the party won seven council seats in Cape Town and one seat in the Saldanha Bay Local Municipality. 



Outcast Cape Town - John Western


The Mind of South - Alistair Sparks

Anglo Boer War


Washing of the Spears

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