The Challenge of Genadendal


Verhoef, L.G.W.,
Van Oers, R.,
Du Preez, H.,
Roos, J.

Publication date

# of pages




ISBN print


ISBN online



Delft University Press


“During our term in office as President of the Republic of South Africa, we decided to rename the presidential official residence in Cape Town from ‘Westbrooke’ to ‘Genadendal’ which means ‘Valley of Grace’. We also visited this historic little town on 10 October 1995. The renaming of the official residence was in honour of the oldest mission settlement in South Africa. Over the centuries it became a place associated with the coming together of people from different racial groups: in addition to being the first permanent Khoi settlement at the Cape, it was also a place of sanctuary for more than a thousand slaves when slavery was abolished in 1838. Genadendal is blessed with a rich tangible and intangible heritage. It boasts of vernacular architecture, musical traditions and language and a long tradition of humanitarian efforts and political struggle. It is with pleasure that we learned about the completion of the restoration project due to the assistance of the Dutch Government. The improvements that were effected provided the inhabitants with infrastructure to improve the quality of their lives. May the history of Genadendal continue to inspire especially during the 270th year of its existence.” – Nelson Mandela (former President of South Africa)

The Challenge of Genadendal presents the results of this important project.