What we do




The organisation is now known nationally as Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) and every year presents the Simon van der Stel Gold Medal to individuals who have done outstanding work in the field of conservation. In 2003 the award went to Mr David Jack previously CEO of V & A Waterfront. The award was given to him for the outstanding guidance and concern he had for historical issues relating to the Waterfront. In 2010, the award was given to Prof ‘Kay’ de Villiers for his efforts in establishing the Cape Medical Museum and for his historical research on the medical aspects of the Anglo Boer War.

Other Cape Town recipients who have been honoured with this award are - Mrs Gwen Mills, Mr E Vertue, Judge S E Diemont, Mr Gawie Fagan, Dr Hans Fransen, Mr Dirk Visser, Mr Marthinus van Bart, Mrs Gwen Fagan, Dr Dan Sleigh, Mrs Wenda Melck, and Henry and Linette Louw.



In Cape Town we run the Blue Plaque Programme which commemorates sites where various events took place or famous people lived.  Currently there are 19 plaques within the Cape Peninsula. In addition to those we have also awarded Blue Plaques to a number of schools.



We run educational programs for the youth, by promoting interest in historical culture via educational projects in various schools, including some of those that were previously disadvantaged. This includes guided tours by committee members to familiarise learners about the historic value of their immediate surroundings.



We promote an interest in heritage conservation by organising visits to historic places, farms and houses – many not normally open to the public, with walking tours, lectures and talks. From these our members are able to widen their interest in conservation.



We are a heritage body registered with Heritage Western Cape. Hence we are invited by the City Council to comment on development proposals which touch heritage aspects. Examples are the YMCA building in Queen Victoria Street and the new cathedral in Darling Street. We are also invited to comment on heritage impact assessments such as the development in Strawberry Lane, Constantia and the “leiwater” furrow on the Sillery Farm, Constantia.



When we become aware of a heritage site in danger due to neglect or unwarranted alterations we alert the necessary authorities. We also provide the authorities with the correct historical information regarding the specific site.



Contributions are welcome. When drafting your will, please keep the SVDS in mind, as your bequest/contribution will ensure that the SVDS can continue its valuable conservation task. We are tax exempt and a bequest to us is a tax relief for your estate.



The Conservator Trust is a trust fund, based on donations and bequests from the public. In part, this assisted in the development of the Blue Plaque programme, which is ongoing. In addition, the Trust provides the funding of small conservation projects.



The sole objective is to engage or promote the conservation and restoration of the built cultural environment:  

  • Education of the public and creation of public awareness
  • Interesting individuals and organisations in the conservation, restoration, study and wise use of our cultural heritage
  • Acquisition of moveable and immovable property of historical value
  • To publish
  • To grant loans, subsidies or awards for restoration or preservation of our cultural property

Guidelines for grants:  

1.      The trustees of the Conservator Trust will consider on an annual basis applications for grants from the interest accrued by the Trust

2.      Applications must be made in writing and include all details of the project

3.      Grants will only be made to projects undertaken in the Peninsula area as defined in the Constitution of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (Cape Town)

4.      The project must be completed within 12 months of the year in which the Grant is made

5.      Grants will be allocated to tangible visual heritage projects which can be viewed physically

6.      Grants will not be made for study or travel purposes or the purchasing of equipment

7.      All grants will be specific and may not be used for other or general purposes

8.      The appointment of architects, professional consultants, heritage consultants or other advisors is subject to the approval of the Trustees as is the appointment of builders and contractors

9.      Payment to be made incrementally at the Trustees discretion depending on the progress of  the project

 There is a restriction on the amount available for a grant.

If you are of the opinion that your project meets the above guidelines, please send an     e-mail to the Foundation with a detailed description thereof.



The Tokai Manor House built by Louis-Michel Thibault in 1796

 Blue plaques commemorate 
historic persons or sites


All enquiries or completed application forms to be directed to:

The Secretary
Simon van der Stel Foundation - Cape Town
Postal Address: PO Box 366
Plumstead 7801
Email : simonvdstel@outlook.com
Telephone : 021 794 7464
Facsimile :   021 794 5480

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