Dorpsondernaam : 'n kultuurhistoriese ondersoek na die dambouersgemeenskap wat aan die einde van die 19de eeu op Tafelberg ontstaan het

Beukes, Wynand J. (2011-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Table Mountain is one of the world’s most well-known natural landmarks. For more than a half million years the mountain played a role in human cultural activities. The water flowing off Table Mountain resulted in the establishment of Cape Town in 1652. During the first 240 years of the city’s existence until 1891, everything possible was employed to make the most of the water cascading down the northern slopes of the mountain. In 1891, the city commenced with the utilising of the mountain’s water running southwards to waste. This course of action to maximise the supply of water from Table Mountain to the city, extended over a period of more than seven decades and included the construction of dams, tunnels and pipelines. Towards the end of the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth century, two dams were built in the Disa Stream to the east of Kasteels Poort’s upper end. The construction work on the Woodhead Dam commenced in 1892 and continued until 1897. Building operations on the Hely-Hutchinson Dam started shortly after the completion of the Woodhead Dam and was concluded in 1904. The dam builders were settled as a community in the vicinity of the construction sites. The housing comprised permanent as well as temporary structures. The dwellings did not form a unit, but were scattered in the proximity of the construction terrains. The majority of the structures were demolished after the completion of the work. Only four dwellings still exist today. A feature of the accommodation was the separate housing for the white and black workers. The dam builders’ backgrounds were very diverse. Some of them were highly skilled artisans from Britain whereas the majority of the untrained labourers were black people from the Eastern Cape. Also included in the work force, were people from Cape Town and environs. The number of workers on the mountain varied to a high degree. The largest number at any stage totaled 470. Information on the mountain dwellers’ material culture, for example their clothing, foodstuffs and compensation, and spiritual life, for example religion, communication and leisure-time activities, is analysed in this study. Fragments of the dam builders’ cultural heritage is preserved in the Waterworks Museum next to the wall of the Hely-Hutchinson Dam. The exhibition of implements and equipment is disorganised and neglected. The transfer of the museum to another more efficient building in the area is vitally important in order that proper justice can be done to the dam builders who rendered an essential service to Cape Town in difficult circumstances.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tafelberg is een van die wêreld se bekendste natuurbakens. Die berg speel al langer as ‘n halfmiljoen jaar ‘n rol in menslike kultuurbedrywighede. Die water wat vanaf Tafelberg vloei, het in 1652 tot die ontstaan van Kaapstad gelei. In die eerste 240 jaar van die stad se bestaan tot 1891 is alles moontlik gedoen om die water wat aan die noordekant teen die berg afvloei, ten beste te benut. In 1891 is begin om ook die berg se water wat onbenut suidwaarts vloei vir die stad se gebruik aan te wend. Dié proses om Tafelberg se water maksimaal tot die beskikking van die stad te stel, het oor ‘n tydperk van meer as sewe dekades gestrek en het die konstruksie van damme, tonnels en pypleidings ingesluit. Twee damme is aan die einde van die negentiende eeu en die begin van die twintigste eeu in die Disastroom ten ooste van die bo-punt van Kasteelspoort gebou. Die bouwerk aan die Woodhead-dam het in 1892 begin en het tot 1897 geduur. Die konstruksie aan die Hely-Hutchinson-dam is net ná die voltooiing van die Woodhead-dam van stapel gestuur en is in 1904 voltooi. Die dambouers is as ‘n gemeenskap in die omgewing van die dambouterreine gevestig. Die akkommodasie het uit stewige en tydelike wonings bestaan. Die wonings het nie ‘n eenheid gevorm nie, maar is verspreid in die nabyheid van die konstruksiewerk opgerig. Die meeste van die geboue is na afhandeling van die bouwerk gesloop en net vier wonings bestaan vandag nog. ‘n Kenmerk van die akkommodasie was dat die blanke en swart werkers apart gehuisves is. Die dambouers se agtergrond was baie uiteenlopend. Sommige van hulle was hoogs geskoolde vakmanne van Brittanje, terwyl die meeste ongeskoolde arbeiders swart mense van die Oos-Kaap was. Die res van die werkspan het uit mense van Kaapstad en die omgewing bestaan. Die getal werkers op die berg het baie gewissel. Die grootste getal werkers wat op een tydstip betrokke was, het 470 beloop. Inligting oor die bergbewoners se materiële kultuur, byvoorbeeld hul kleredrag, lewensmiddele en vergoeding, en geestelike kultuur, onder meer godsdiens, kommunikasie en vryetydsbesteding, word in dié ondersoek ontleed. Fragmente van die dambouers se kulturele nalatenskap word in die Waterwerke Museum by die wal van die Hely-Hutchinson-dam bewaar. Dié uitstalling van implemente en toerusting is baie ongeorden en verwaarloos. Dit is noodsaaklik dat die museum na ‘n doeltreffender gebou in die omgewing skuif sodat behoorlik eer betoon kan word aan die mense wat in moeilike omstandighede ‘n onontbeerlike diens aan Kaapstad gelewer het.

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