Child labour was used in a shed erected on the corner of Plein and Spin Street which served as a “factory” for silk spinning. The industry experiment failed however when the eggs and silkworms died on route here. A later attempt by the Frenchman, Francois Guillaumet, entrusted with the spinnery in 1753, did not succeed either. The only relic of van der Stel’s silk-spinning endeavours is to be found in the name Spin Street, one of Cape Town’s oldest streets. He is often remembered as the governor who was recalled in disgrace.

“tell the children stories about themselves

so their feet may root in the palace of dreams fulfilled

tell the children stories about skin

without adjectives like black, white, coloured, albino, cripple, muslim, christian, jew…

so their minds savour the human being and their eyes stay open to the things within”

GPS coordinates: 33.9256° S, 18.4213° E (Spin Street House)