in the Cape Archives is a beautiful example of early Victorian cartography.
It is about 3m long and one metre wide. It is hand-drawn on cartridge
paper, backed with cheese-cloth, rolled on to two wooden standards
and tied with faded red-tape. It is in excellent condition. Its
state of preservation is without a doubt due to the lack of public
interest in it, which in turn points to a strong strain of conservatism
in Jakkalsfontein history. “The best kept secret” indeed.
The cartographer did not put his name to his work. The map was drawn
year 1844 falls in a particularly interesting period of local history.
In the eastern parts of the sub-continent the Great Trek was almost
over, while the emancipation of the slaves in 1834 brought about
revolution in labour relations and production systems. Queen Victoria
began her long reign in 1838. The local governors during this period
were D’Urban, Napier and Maitland.
map shows about 25 farms in the coastal strip known as the Slagters
Veld (Butchers’ Field).
Those farms with a sea front are, from north to south, Yzerfontein,
Tyger Fontein, Jakkals Fontein, Rondeberg, Krans Duinen, Modder
Rivier, Ganze Kraal, Bocke Rivier, Buffels Rivier, Spring Fontein
and Duine Fontein (now site of the nuclear power station).
that the whole Slagters Veld used to belong to the government, who
leased it to the contracted butchers, it is interesting to see that
by 1844 most of the coastal farms were in private hands. The government
still ran a much diminished Agricultural Estate, with its headquarters
on Groote Post at the foot of the Kapokberg and the source of the
Modder Rivier. Here there were three buildings, a windmill and a
dam. The rest of the estate consists of Rondeberg, Smalle pad and
Drie Papen Fontein, All lying side by side from West to East. Only.
had a building on it. The estate was a total of 7743 morgen in extent.
The activities, other than agricultural, on the estate could have
included hunting in the winter months and providing fresh meat and
dairy products for favoured officials.
remainder of Slagters Veld has been privatised. Yzer Fontein was
given out to J.H. Blankenberg in 1842, as well as neighbouring Tyger
Fontein in 1844. It is the next going south that really interests
us: Jakkals Fontein was first granted to Pieter Ulrich Fischer on
25 may 1837. Its area was 1313.25 morgen. Its registration number
was CF4.59. No building of any kind is shown on Jakkalsfontein on
the 1844 map, but it is not necessarily uninhabited. There are several
springs on the farm. The northern and bigger one is Groot Jakkals
Fontein and the southern (smaller) one is Klein Jakkals Fontein.
There are two smaller springs in the north and eastern corner of
the property that are marked with a pencilled note:- 17 February
1898 discovered by his Hottentot Okkert. Five small salt pans on
the eastern portion of the farm were leased to J.F. Ehlers on 25
September 1838. Coarse salt was always in demand, by butchers, fishermen
Pieter Ulrich fisher, first owner of Jakkals Fontein was a great-grandson
of his German ancestor Major Johan Fischer, Artillery Chief of the
Dutch East India Company, who passed away in 1795 and whose coat
of arms is still displayed in the Groote Kerk, Cape Town. Pieter’s
grandmother was Sophia le Sueur, and an uncle and a brother were
both named Ryk le Sueur. The absence of a building on the farm suggests
that Pieter was a grazier and possible a butcher, or was contracted
to one. And that it was Okkert the Shepherd, who had the privilege
of the scenery, the solitude and everything else that we like about
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