Title ID 1447Collection ID275
Title[South Africa]
DateAugust - September 1955
CollectionH A Voss
KeywordsBuildings Airports Cars Dance Domestic Gardens Ethnic Groups Houses Holidays Monuments Travel Tourism Villages Urban Areas Landscape
LocalNairobi Johannesburg Durban Cape Town
NationalSouth Africa Africa
ProductionH A Voss
CameraH A Voss
FormatColour Silent
Duration31 min. 46 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


H. A. Voss tours Nairobi, Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula, after leaving Uganda, in 1955. He films residential and municipal buildings, built in a number of styles, non-Western and Western. Further footage includes Zulu Rickshaw drivers entertaining Western tourists.


Entebbe Airport by B.O.A.C. Argonaut Flight: A local man walks towards the camera, outside the Entebbe Airport building in Uganda. A group of tourists board a plane.

Nairobi, rapidly Developing Capital of Kenya: A house built in mock-Tudor style is seen. Views of Nairobi's multistorey buildings, some in Modernist style follow.

Out to the escarpment and the Brockenhurst Golf Hotel. Note look out tower of African village for protection against Mau-Mau raiders: A village of round huts is set into the landscape. Cows graze and locals carry large straw bales on their backs. Square houses with pitched roofs are also seen. Children run along a path and walk through a field of flowers. A watchtower stands on the highest peak, overlooking the village. A woman stands on a hill, overlooking the plains below, holding binoculars. She is also seen walking through the grounds of a large house.

Johannesburg. The modern business centre and some of the residential districts: Modern cars drive along newly built roads through the city. Tall buildings flank the road. A Palladian building, with tall columns and wide pediment, is seen, built in a classical style. Two men and a woman walk down its steps, stopping to look and smile at the camera. Residential buildings are also seen, built in a modern style. Larger single occupancy houses are also shown, built in brick and glass, set back from a road. The buildings are shown from fixed positions in sequence, seen from their driveways or gardens. Blossom grows on a tree. A woman and a man play with a dog in a garden.

Durban. Marine Parade and beach where Zulu Ricksha men entertain tourists: A harbour is seen from a distance. A Zulu Ricksha man leaps and swings his legs, holding up a rickshaw. A woman sits in the back, smiling at the camera. Two of the men dance for the camera. Another woman waves from a rickshaw, as others pass by behind. Electric buses pass down a wide and long road, attached to a network of power cables above.

City Hall and Memorial Gardens: City Hall is seen from below. Palm trees, statues and electricity cables are also seen. Residential buildings line a road. Birds nets hang from the branches of a tree. Landscape views follow, as cars pass through rolling hills on a newly built road. Dramatic mountain views are seen in footage shot from a series of fixed positions.

Cape Town. The legislative capital. Along the De Waal Drive to Cape Town with fine views of Table Mountain: Table Mountain rises up behind Cape Town, built on the flat plains below. Clouds have formed around the mountain, seen in panning footage. Table Mountain is seen in closer footage. A steam train moves along a track through the town. Panning views of the town from an elevated position follow.

Rhodes Memorial and Kistenbosch Gardens: The Rhodes monument reads '"Energy" The work of C.F. Watts R.A. and by him given to the genius of Cecil Rhodes'. A building, built in the style of a classical temple, is shown. Lions flank the steps. A

"Weltevreden", the old Dutch style home, some 200 years old, of the Garrood Family: A group stands with a dog at the entrance of the house on its curving brick steps.

The coast along Cape Peninsula has excellent roads: A settlement and harbour are seen from an elevated position, built at the foot of a steep hill. Two women sit on a rocky outcrop. A car is parked above the beach, where a man sits, smoking. Cows walk with calves down a mountain road. A South African family in Western clothes speak to the man. The road, cut into the rocky coastline, curves around the Peninsula. A Dutch style house is seen, whitewashed with a thatched roof.

Another old Dutch homestead still has the slave bench and slave bell, not occupied by the headmaster of native reform school: A further Dutch style house is seen. The Slave Bell stands in the grounds, its white paint peeling.

Strand on the bay facing the Indian Ocean: Lights are strung up between poles. The Hotel de Gama is seen, a new beach development.

From Somerset West to Hermanus with Mr. and Mrs. Liebenberg and a stop at Caledon Wild Flower Gardens: Flowers grow below trees, where a horse grazes. Further views of yellow flowers growing in a tree, and lilies and wildflowers follow. Two women and a man walk through the garden.

Further views of Sunset at Strand, where mountains are silhouetted against an orange sky above the water, Pretoria, the administrative capital, Voortrekker Monument and Government Buildings in the city, and the Union buildings, where the Union Jack flies in front, close the film.


A still from 'South Africa' (1955)A still from 'South Africa' (1955)