The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is officially a provincial heritage site after the Heritage Western Cape (HWC) approved a report from the City of Cape Town’s (COCT) Environmental Management Department.
The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve situated just off Melkbosstrand Road and the R27 in Blaauwberg represents one of the most intact and diverse lowland vegetation habitats in Cape Town, marking the beginning of the West Coast flora region.
The reserve contains approximately 1 445 hectares of rich biodiversity, and protects three threatened vegetation types, including the endangered Cape Flats Dune Strandveld, on the coastal plain, critically endangered Swartland Shale renosterveld on the hill, and critically endangered Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, inland from the hill.
According to the COCT, Blaauwberg Hill, which is part of the nature reserve, offers one of the few viewpoints in the world from which two World Heritage Sites – Table Mountain and Robben Island – can be seen.
The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve also presents a rich cultural and historical heritage of various periods in history, dating back to approximately 15 000 years ago. The reserve also conserves the site of the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806, where the British took the second occupation of the Cape and retained ownership until South Africa’s independence.
The Muslim community of Cape Town, many of whom were slaves, were granted their own burial ground (Tana Baru) in recognition of their contribution in the defence of the Cape against the British during the Battle of Blaauwberg.
Meanwhile, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Marian Nieuwoudt encourages residents to visit the reserve and enjoy its benefits, as there’s a lot to see and do.
“This nomination is a milestone and will place the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, with its rich history and heritage and the most spectacular views, in the same league with other important heritage sites. A special word of thanks to the Friends of Blaauwberg Conservation Area for the role they played, as members of civil society, in the establishment and development of the nature reserve and for advocating to proclaim it as a provincial heritage site,” Nieuwoudt said.