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The South African College Schools is a primary and secondary education institution in Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 1829,[1] it is the 19th oldest school in South Africa.[2] SACS is one of four schools expressly named by Cecil John Rhodes to offer an annual Rhodes Scholarship to one of its graduating students.[3] The schools are a combination of the South African College Junior School and the South African College High School.

South African College Schools (SACS)
SACS opt1 large.jpg
Badge of the South African College Schools, based on the original South African College badge, which was replaced by the badges of the South African College Schools and the University of Cape Town.
Newlands Avenue (High School)
Dean Street (Junior School)


, ,

MottoSpectemur agendo
(Let us be judged by our deeds)
Founded1 October 1829
HeadmasterBrendan Grant (High School)
François Nel (Junior School)
Enrollment780 (High School)
650 (Junior School)
LanguageEnglish (primary)
HousesHigh School:

Junior School:
van Holdt
School colour(s)              
SongThe S.A.C.
AccreditationSenior Certificate, GCE A-levels
TuitionGrade 8 R40,700 Grade 9-12 R38,900 (High School)
R 35 500 (Junior School)



Rosedale House
SACS Badge

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.[4]

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,[5] former home of the mining magnate Sir Max Michaelis, after a decade-long negotiation with the Cape Administration.

In 2012, the school grounds were used to film Spud 2: The Madness Continues.

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

School buildingsEdit

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).

High School SportEdit

SACS offers a wide variety of summer and winter sports for boys to partake in during the year. Boys are made to partake in at least one main summer and winter sport and may also partake in other secondary sports, provided they are involved in a main sport first.

High school clubs and societiesEdit

Culture plays a large role in the SACS High School community. Many clubs, societies and bands are situated within the high school and are largely run and coordinated by the boys, with each club or society being supervised by a teacher. As of 2016, there were active clubs, societies and bands operating within SACS. These are the:

  • History Society
  • Marimba Band
  • Debating Society
  • SACS Choir
  • SACS Big Band
  • SACS Junior Jazz Band
  • SACS Concert and Marching bands
  • SACS Clarinet Ensemble
  • SACS Flute Ensemble
  • SACS Brass Ensemble
  • SACS Saxophone Ensemble
  • Muslim Students' Association
  • Christian Union
  • Science Club
  • RCL
  • Interact Club
  • Photography Society
  • First Aid Society
  • Multimedia Society
  • Film Society
  • Chess Club
  • Waterpolo Table Officials
  • Afrikaans Society
  • Mountain Club
  • French Club


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.[6]

Today the High School uniform consists of a summer and winter uniform. During summer, boys wear khaki shorts with long khaki socks and brown shoes. In winter the basic uniform consists of long charcoal pants, black socks and black shoes. Both the summer and winter uniforms are accompanied by the SACS navy-blue blazer, white school shirt and school tie. Both these uniforms can be worn at any time during the school year, except for certain formal school functions where a certain uniform is required.

The Junior School uniform consists of a white shirt, charcoal shorts, a SACS Junior belt, charcoal socks with thin light and dark blue stripes at the top, black shoes and the Junior School tie, which is similar to the High School tie, apart from one minor difference. The Junior School uniform includes the same blazer as the High School, with the exception of the Junior School not modifying blazers for Blues (colours) awards, as is practiced by the high school.

Rhodes ScholarshipEdit

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.[7]

Old Boys' UnionEdit

Notable Old BoysEdit

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Everhardus Cornelis Gode Molsbergen (2009). A History of South Africa for Use in Schools. BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009. p. 186.
  2. ^ "This list with 200 of South Africa's oldest schools may surprise you". Parent. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  3. ^ Rhodes, Cecil John. "Will and Condicils of the Rt Hon. Cecil John Rhodes" (PDF). Rhodes Trust, University Press Oxford. p. 10.
  4. ^ Standard encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Volume 10. NASOU. 1976. p. 96.
  5. ^ Honikman, A. H. (1966). Cape Town, city of good hope. H. B. Timmins. p. 63.
  6. ^ van der Fort, Fouzia (11 May 2005). "School uniforms - what purpose do they serve?".
  7. ^ Nuttall, Tim (3 January 2009). "Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa".
  8. ^ sahoboss (17 February 2011). "Dr. Abdullah Abdurahman". South African History Online.
  9. ^ Clingman, Stephen (1998). Bram Fischer: Afrikaner revolutionary. David Philip Publishers. p. 8. ISBN 0-86486-677-1.
  10. ^ "Dylan Lewis - Biography".
  11. ^ "RIP Dr Cecil Moss, 1925-2017 - - - Rugby News, Live Scores, Results, Fixtures".
  12. ^ "Sebastien Rousseau - Men's Swimming & Diving". Florida Gators.
  13. ^ "Record for Rousseau". 14 April 2009.
  14. ^ "Sebastien Rousseau". Commonwealth Games Federation.
  15. ^ Sachs, Albie (1992). Advancing human rights in South Africa. Oxford University Press. p. iii.

Further readingEdit

Veitch, Neil (2002). SACS 175 - A Celebration. Cape Town: SACS 175 Book Committee. p. 260.

External linksEdit