In 1657 a group of four free burghers were granted land in an area south of Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope. Jan van Riebeeck, the Dutch commander at the Cape, referred to the area as "Het Ronde Doornboschjen", after a curious clump of thorn trees on the banks of the Liesbeek River. By 1670 this had been contracted in the Dutch East India's (VOC) records to Rondeboschje.

Despite its early origins Rondebosch did not achieve recognition as a separate village, or as a suburb of Cape Town, until after the 1830s. The 1875 census indicated that Rondebosch had a population of 1 902. In 1891 this number had risen to 3 378, and by 1904 it stood at 6 035, of whom 4 312 were literate.

By Franco Frescura

 

Rondebosch is one of the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa. It is primarily a Residential Suburb, with a medium-size Shopping Area, a small Business District as well as the Main Campus of the University of Cape Town. The leafy Suburb of Rondebosch is perhaps most sought after for its incredible views of Table Mountain, but also because of its Architectural beauty and easy access to the City of Cape Town.

Rondebosch was where the very first Permanent Title of land in Africa was issued by Van Riebeeck. He named the area after a clump of thorn trees - ‘Het Ronde Doornbosjen’ - which over time, evolved into Rondebosch (round tree). Most of the sSudents of the University of Cape Town live in Rondebosch. The Campus, which sits on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, stretches up the slopes - a landmark of the City. Other Buildings of note and Historical consequence include Mostert’s Mill (the landmark windmill) and the Presidential Home, where Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk co-signed the ‘Groote Schuur Minute’, as a commitment to a peaceful negotiation process in 1990 - the beginning of the end of Apartheid. Rondebosch Fountains lie in the Centre of the Suburb, where Belmont Road meets Main, and it’s here you can pick up, a bunch of fresh-cut flowers from the Local Flower Seller's. Rondebosch is only 5 km from the centre of Cape Town, close to the M5 and M3, and access to Cape Town's Beaches and Kirstenbosch is easy.

Further Reading
 
https://www.sahistory.org.za/archive/the-groote-schuur-minute
https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/mowbray
https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/onze-molen-durbanville
https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/newlands
https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/plumstead
https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/kenilworth
http://www.sahistory.org.za/place/rondebosch-fountain-main-road-rondebosch

Rondebosch