South African College Schools

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South African College Schools (SACS)
SACS opt1 large.jpg
SACS Badge
Let us be judged by our deeds
Newlands Avenue (High School)
Dean Street (Junior School)

Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape, 7700
South Africa
Founded 1 October 1829
Headmaster Kenneth Ball (High School)
François Nel (Junior School)
Grades R-12
Enrollment 780 (High School)
650 (Junior School)
Language English (primary)
Houses Baxter (High School)

Hofmeyr (Junior School)
van Holdt
School colour(s)               
Song The S.A.C.
Accreditation Senior Certificate, GCE A-levels
Tuition R 37 000 (High School)
R 35 500 (Junior School)

The South African College Schools is a primary and secondary education institution in Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 1829,[1] it is one of the oldest schools in South Africa. SACS is one of four schools expressly named by Cecil John Rhodes to offer an annual Rhodes Scholarship to one of its graduating students.[2] The schools are a combination of the South African College Junior School and the South African College High School.


Rosedale House
SACS Badge
Hofmeyr Hall

The concept of the South African College was first formed in 1791 when the Dutch Commissioner-General, Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist, asked for funding to be set aside to improve schooling in the Cape. After the British took over control of the Cape Colony the second colonial governor, Lord Charles Henry Somerset PC, gave permission for the funds reserved by de Mist to be used to establish the South African College in 1814.

The founding committee met in the Groote Kerk to discuss funding and accommodation for the school and on 1 October 1829, the inauguration of the South African College was held and classes began. The original location of the school was in the Weeshuis on Long Street and moved to what is now known as the Egyptian Building in the Gardens district of Cape Town in 1841.

It was decided in 1874 that the younger students should be separated from their older counterparts. The South African College was separated into the College which became the University of Cape Town and the College School.[3]

The College School moved to its own building on Orange Street, separate from the College, in 1896. For the next few decades, the school grew and the building became too small for the number of students attending.

In 1959 the school moved to its current home in the Montebello Estate in Newlands,[4] former home of the mining magnate Sir Max Michaelis, after a decade-long negotiation with the Cape Administration.

Coordinates: 33°58′13.45″S 18°27′36.38″E / 33.9704028°S 18.4601056°E / -33.9704028; 18.4601056

School buildings[edit]

The current school buildings are situated along Dean Street and Newlands Avenue in Cape Town.

The Junior School is located along Dean Street and is equipped with numerous fields for sporting activities, of which some are shared with the High School. The Junior School has a full length swimming pool with a smaller children's pool for the younger students. A number of tennis courts are also available to the students. The Junior School has a new Media Centre which hosts computer facilities, a new library and classrooms. The music department also has its own auditorium for cultural events and is also used for events with smaller audiences. The Junior School's boarding house is named after J E De Villiers.

The High School is closest to Newlands Avenue which also hosts a number of sport fields for the various sports which the school offers throughout the year. The swimming pool is mainly used for Water Polo and is also heated to facilitate training and usage in winter. The High School also recently had a new Media Centre constructed with air-conditioned computer labs and library. The school hall is named after one of its most famous students, Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr. The boarding houses for the High School are the Michaelis House (for the junior students) and Rosedale House (for the senior students).

Senior Choir in 2002
Commemoration Day 2003


The traditional school colour of navy blue was determined in the 1880s when SACS pupils purchased the only pattern available of alternating white, light- and dark-blue horizontal stripes from Porter Hodgson's Outfitters in Cape Town. Prior to this, the pupils wore what they could afford while still being presentable.[5]

Rhodes Scholarship[edit]

When Cecil John Rhodes died in 1902, he specifically named the South African College in his will as one of four schools in the Cape Colony where the Rhodes Scholarship would be awarded on an annual basis for a former student to study at the University of Oxford.[6]

Old Boys' Union[edit]

The SACS Old Boys' Union (OBU) is the oldest Old Boy (Alumni) group in the country. John Ince (1936–2010) — a notable Old Boy who was previously the Headmaster at Camps Bay High School, teacher at the High School, and Guidance Counsellor at the Junior School — served as Executive Director of the OBU until recently.

Notable Old Boys[edit]

Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr and former Prime Minister of South Africa, Jan Smuts

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Everhardus Cornelis Gode Molsbergen (2009). A History of South Africa for Use in Schools. BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009. p. 186. 
  2. ^ Rhodes, Cecil John. "Will and Condicils of the Rt Hon. Cecil John Rhodes." (PDF). Rhodes Trust, University Press Oxford. p. 10. 
  3. ^ Standard encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Volume 10. NASOU. 1976. p. 96. 
  4. ^ Honikman, A. H. (1966). Cape Town, city of good hope. H. B. Timmins. p. 63. 
  5. ^ van der Fort, Fouzia (11 May 2005). "School uniforms - what purpose do they serve?". 
  6. ^ Nuttall, Tim (3 January 2009). "Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa". 
  7. ^ Belling, Suzanne (December 2005). "Obituary: Solly Kessler". 
  8. ^ Barron, Chris (2010-10-17). "Obituary : John Ince: Legendary headmaster". 
  9. ^ Sachs, Albie (1992). Advancing human rights in South Africa. Oxford University Press. p. iii. 

Further reading[edit]

Veitch, Neil (2003). SACS 175 - A Celebration. Cape Town: SACS 175 Book Committee. p. 260. 

External links[edit]