CEO’s 2021 Easter Message

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Good Day Castle Friends

I bring you this update with a healthy mixture of emotions:  On the one hand, there is optimism that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines will steer us towards some form of normality, especially in our tourism and hospitality sector, which is showing moderate signs of recovery.  On the other hand, the structural, political, and other weaknesses in the global vaccination roll-out regimes coupled with talks of a third wave are dampening our spirits.  But let us never despair: humanity faced and overcame even the worst trials and tribulations.


President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Defence
& Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's,
visit to the Castle of Good Hope on 21 February 2021.

Human Rights Month 2021

As we approach Human Rights Day in South Africa (21 March), we are reminded of the sacrifices of millions of women, men, and children to improve others' rights.  Our Constitution has a special section, the Bill of Rights, focusing on our inalienable rights like freedom of expression, movement, religion, association and many others. But we need to be brutally frank with ourselves: how much did we (you and I) do to ensure that these rights are equitably and fairly applied to all 58 million inhabitants of our beautiful land?

Here at South Africa's Castle of Good Hope, I must remind you of the human rights atrocities committed in the name of past oppressive systems like colonialism, slavery, and apartheid; the legacies still clearly visible in towns and townships surrounding us.

Easter Season 2021: Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay alive.

The Easter holiday season, traditionally a family affair was severely disrupted by the pandemic last year.  It is up to every responsible citizen to avoid the calamity this year.  Third-wave or not, let us practice the health and safety protocols as a matter of principle and save lives.  We owe it to humanity in this month of human rights.

When you visit the Castle, the permanent and temporary exhibitions and collections that carry the coming season's messages are at your disposal.  The William Fehr, Secunde House, Military Museum, Cape Muslim Heritage Art, Ceramic, Posterity, and Rhino poaching exhibitions echo the greed, selfishness, and general disrespect for the other.  But these exhibitions also carry stories of resilience, heroism, and hope – vital ingredients required during today's trying times.  Please engage with the collections and feedback your invaluable comments. They mean a lot to us.

Opening Soon: The Camissa Museum at the Castle

We are currently putting the final touches on arguably one of the most significant permanent exhibitions in decades, the Camissa Museum. The following excerpt from the Camissa Prospectus (2020) sums up the project:

"The Camissa Project's objectives are to inform all South African communities about history and heritage they know little about because unhealthy friction and even violence have come to dominate relations between Camissa Africans and other African communities. In some ways, this is a peace-building project as much as it is about the restoration of memory, leading to restorative justice. Teachers and school pupils, students, and the general public will find the museum exhibition and challenges exposed to be fascinating and enhance inter-community discourse in South Africa. It will also contribute to healing and finding African unity. It will also expose white South Africans to many contradictions within their history of the Cape and South Africa and contribute to understanding and healing. For the tourist community, for the first time, they may better understand the history and peopling of the Cape."

I am indeed looking forward to the opening of this virtual museum in the next month or so. Watch this space.

Stay safe, healthy, and hopeful.

Castle Greetings...

Chief Executive - Castle Control Board

 

South African Museums Association

Recommended Norms & Standards
For The Operating of Museums
During COVID-19

08 July 2020

- Click here to view the document -

Castle Of Good Hope: Turning History Into Our Story

12th April 2018.

 

Constructed in the mid-17th century out of rock hewn from Signal Hill and slate gathered from Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa and one of the best-preserved examples of Dutch East India architecture. Originally perched on the coastline of Table Bay after land reclamation, the erstwhile fort is now a sprawling landmark on the corner of Darling and Castle Streets on the way to Cape Town’s bustling Foreshore.

 

 

We discovered the Cape Doctor certainly lives up to its name as we cross the moat and enter the Castle’s precincts to meet Doreen Hendricks, the Castle’s powerhouse Tourism & Marketing Manager. The interview becomes a fascinating journey about the possibilities of transformation and how the colonial past can be transformed into a reimagining of our future.

“The Castle was exclusive for many years, whether to a particular racial group or individuals on a particular career path. It was specifically designed and built to keep people out, but as a tourism heritage site we want to invite people in. We can’t change the structure of the building, but we can change the perceptions of people.

“Everything in the Cape started here at the Castle. Our slogan is, ‘The beginning of everything’. We also position ourselves as the centre for shared heritage in South Africa. Here you have the culmination of so many things and so many people. We are all connected in some way, and the Castle played a major role in that.

“We aim to bring people together and not only recognise differences, but also commonalities and move forward from there. That’s what we started doing in 2016 during our 350-year commemoration and what we are continuing to do going forward.

 

 

“How do we do that? A lot of people talk about deconolising history, but in the words of our good friend Professor Denis Goldberg, we do deconolisation of history. We give people a platform to have a voice, to tell their stories and to be recognised. We want them to remember, heal and learn through this process; whether it be via an exhibition, a debate, a community forum or a traditional ceremony.

“The Castle of Good Hope is a self-sufficient public entity. We generate income via our commercial tourism and event activities, which in turn help us fund community heritage initiatives. We rely heavily on partnerships to do development work and appeal to corporate South Africa to support us in order for us to grow our heritage, culture and education department. The fact that our Department of Defence is looking after the maintenance of the Castle, is a huge bonus.

Recently we launch a 350-legacy project, focusing on the passing of the history onto the youth of today. Even though the 350-commemoration was concluded in 2016, the story has actually just begun.We have created a timeline of the inclusive history of the Castle – from when it was first built up until 2016. The timeline, as seen above, includes untold stories of the past as well as the recognition of unsung heroes and warriors. These timelines have been rolled out in 72 schools nationwide with the aim of getting them rolled out into 400 more throughout the country. We want our kids to feel included and become excited about their heritage.

 

 

“We also know that the youth nowadays learn through technology, so we have developed an interactive website, virtual tour and video which would speak to them in a language that they understand. We are in the process of developing an app that they would be able to download onto their phones and tablets, which makes history available to them immediately and in a fun way.

“We are positioning ourselves as an exciting, forward-thinking heritage site. People – whether they are locals or tourists – want an experience. They don’t want to stand at a glass window looking in; they’re looking for interaction – touching, feeling, talking, engaging. We are therefore working hard to ensure our product is interactive.

“Over and above all the exhibitions, we also host a variety of events…. from flower shows to lifestyle markets, from music festivals to conferences and weddings.

“We want to open our doors to not only tourists, but to locals, to Capetonians. People whose lives have links here – and who may not even know it.”

 

 

SA Tourism Services Association
Frequently Asked Questions For Tourists Travelling To SA [PDF 2MB]
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Tourism Industry Standard Protocols
For COVID-19 Operations

DOWNLOAD the document here.

Updated Lockdown
Level 2 Regulations
25 August 2020

 

ccb SATSA FAQs

Answering your questions on filming procedures during COVID-19 lock down.

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An infographic with tips and emergency contact numbers.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

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Contact Number:
021 487 6552

Four steps for visitor safety.

DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

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DOWNLOAD the infographic here.

 

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Latest Events

To see the latest upcoming events at the Castle of Good Hope, click on a day or the month title to display the event(s).

April 2021
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Key Ceremony

TIMES
10:00|12:00 

This showcases the unlocking of the Van der Stel entrance of the Castle of Good Hope by the ceremonial guards of the castle. It is a past practice that is still practised today.

Canon Firing

TIMES
10:00|11:00|12:00 

The firing of the signal cannon was used to indicate that a ship had been sighted at sea and to relay the message to people inside the fort. You can view the firing of an old cannon, performed by the Cannon Association of South Africa.

Guided Tours

TIMES
11:00|12:00|14:00|15:00|16:00 

Unearth the hidden history of the Castle with a guided tour led by an experienced guide. Tours operate seven days a week.

 

Please note that the Key Ceremony, Cannon Firing & Guided Tour activities have been suspended due to COVID-19 protocols at this time.

 

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