“Oranjezicht is far more than the history of a suburb. The authors have succeeded admirably in placing their story within the larger context of the city. They show us how and why the early farmers, and above all the Van Breda family, were able to expand their family fortunes to become some of Cape Town’s most successful early entrepreneurs.
On the surface Oranjezicht is a middle-class suburb, with its shady streets and gracious homes. Here the Van Breda family became noted for their generous entertainment and involvement in civic life. Here, too, in the twentieth century, the expanding middle-class population of Cape Town, English and Afrikaans, established a comfortable suburb. But Oranjezicht was originally home to South Africa’s ‘first people’ and they are not forgotten. The Van Breda family built their estate with the aid of slaves whose story is also told here.
Unlike most local histories Oranjezicht also looks to the future, for the book was inspired by the Oranjezicht City Farm that has been created on the site of the old Van Breda estate. This beautifully illustrated book is about building communities now as well as telling the story of communities in the past.”
– Elizabeth van Heyningen, co-author of Cape Town: the Making of a City