Hewat shut down after 55 years

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THE colour photograph depicts the Hewat senior men’s 4x100m, 4x400m and medley relay team who participated at an athletics meeting at the Dal Josaphat Stadium in Paarl in 1984.

The Hewat team often competed under floodlit athletics meetings on the clay track of the Dal. The meetings would start in the late afternoons and culminate with the relays in the evenings. Lanes were at a premium, as ‘teams’ often mixed and matched to boost their chances of a victory.  Hewat had specialist runners.

From left: Bernard Adams, Nazeem Smith, Clement du Plessis, Naziem Moos and Johnny Braaf.

Johnny Braaf was the 4x400m and medley runner in the team while Naziem Moos set the team on its way in the 4x100m. The medley runners were 800m – Braaf, 200m – Clement du Plessis, 200m – Bernard Adams, and 400m – Nazeem Smith.

They held the relay records at Western Province colleges’ level and held the South African Amateur Athletic Board’s 4x100m relay record of 42,1 seconds as a college and club team in 1985 (see main, featured black and white photograph, from left: Smith, Adams, Du Plessis and Moos)

Fertile ground

Smith and Du Plessis also held the SA Teachers’ Training Colleges Sports Association’s (SATTCSA) 4x100m record of 41,8 seconds set in 1986, together with Gwynne Stevens (third leg, Bellville) and Fred Adams (first leg, Songe).

The now closed down Hewat Training College was fertile ground for athletics, netball, rugby, football, cricket and the college even had swimmers in Carol and Graham Ritchie!

Hope Lodge Primary

From left: Jowa Abrahams, Rowland Palm and K Knoesen.

Hewat produced national champions across the different codes of sport, including a multitude of professional, provincial, and board players since it was established in 1941.

Hewat was first housed in Hope Lodge Primary School, a primary school for white pupils, at present the site of Harold Cressy High School in Roeland Street, Cape Town. The college had an intake of 56 students in 1941 when South Africa was governed by the United Party under its leader Jannie Smuts.

Dr Abdurahman

Doctor Abdullah Abdurahman (born in Wellington, Cape), the first Coloured city councillor of Cape Town, and leader of the anti-segregationist movement, the African Political Organisation, established in 1902, rejected a proposal to establish a university [correct not a college] for post-matric Coloured students at the Wilcocks Commission in 1938.

The plan of a segregated Coloured teachers’ college, too, had been strenuously opposed by the Teachers’ League of South Africa (TLSA) during the 1930s. The TLSA was a breakaway body from the African Political Organisation.

From left: Dr De Vos Malan, Mr J.E. Strong, Mrs E Hewat and Dr B Hewat.

The commission was established in 1934. Dr Abdurahman died in February 1940 – one year before ‘Hewat’ opened its doors in Roeland Street on 27 January 1941.

First principal

The first principal was Mr J.E. Strong, a retired teacher and former headmaster of Sea Point Boys’ High School on the Atlantic seaboard near central Cape Town. Strong was, in fact, the first acting-principal of the Cape Town Coloured Training Centre (‘Hewat’).

The first head student was Rowland N.[Nowell] Palm – for two years. S [Stanley] Dramat was the head student in 1943.

Name changes

As from August 1941, the Cape Town Coloured Training Centre had changed its name to Hewat Training School.

Hewat was named after Dr Benjamin Hewat, chairman of the Cape School Board, who established the school under the Cape Education Department in 1941.

Hewat Training College received its new premises in Crawford in 1962.

The name of the school in Roeland Street was changed to Hewat Training College on 10 July 1942.

Universities Bill

By 1957, Parliament introduced the separate Universities Bill.

Hewat would undergo another name change; the University College for Coloureds. The name was never formally adopted for the intended new college building five years later.

Two properties; one next to Livingstone High School known as Clareinch in 1945 and another in 1952 at present-day Garlandale Primary School had been chosen as the sites for the new Hewat college building.

New premises

However, Hewat opened its new college buildings in Crawford, Cape Town in 1962. The ‘principal’ of the college was Mr E Hogwood.

The college closed its doors in 1996, and with it 55 years of history.


2 thoughts on “Hewat shut down after 55 years

  • January 24, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Dear Publisher,

    Glynis, you may not remember me but I attended Silverlea Primary School and Athlone High School in the 1960’s and 70’s. I have recollections of your Dad and other teachers of that era but would like your input as to what happened to them career-wise and where and what they eventually ended up doing. I would also appreciate info on some of my past fellow classmates who you may still be acquainted with.

    Yours sincerely
    Eric Palm
    Unit 83, 2-12 College Road
    Gympie QLD 4570

  • October 16, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Dear Publisher, My father Alfred Fester trained at Hewat and was one of the 100 yards athletes. We lived opposite the college on the corner of Thornton and Crawford Roads.


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