Name change of Heritage Site – Swartkop Air Field

The original site selected for military aerodrome was the eastern portion of the farm Zwartkop. Farm number 476, Pretoria District, and was owned by the property magnate, Mr Dale Lace of Johannesburg. The Farm was named Zwartkop after the prominent hill of the same name in the area.

Initially Zwartkop Air Station retained the Dutch spelling, but increasingly it was referred to as Swartkop, even in official correspondence. On 1 April 1949, the title was officially changed from Zwartkop to Swartkop. This was in line with many name-changes following the change of government in 1948, subsequently a new era began in the history of the SA Air Force.

The National Monuments Council declared Swartkop Air Base a heritage site through Government notice 52 as published Government Gazette No 20820 dated 28 January 2000. This meant that none of the original buildings etc., could be changed but should be maintained in their original state. As the site has been declared as a heritage site and houses the SAAF Museum, surely the original name should be re-instituted to comply with the originality of the area.

All the institutions such as the local high school Hoërskool Zwartkop, the Zwartkop Golf Club are correctly named as they were also part of the farm Zwartkop. In the light of the above, we from the SAAF Museum, would like to petition for the name to be changed from Swartkop back to its historically correct name of Zwartkop.