From rural to bustling suburb

The Barn was the old meeting place for Kenridge residents.

An old barn in Kenridge was used back in the day as a meeting place for residents, be it to discuss issues or simply to socialise.

This is one of the first things that pops into Kenridge resident Brian Hynes’s mind when he thinks back to the early years of the area.

Mr Hynes and his family moved to Kenridge in 1964. He was working for a wine distillery in Cape Town at the time, and when word got around that the distillery would have to move, he simply asked his boss if he should go looking for a home in the northern or southern suburbs.

His boss told him to go north and he hasn’t looked back since.

He fondly recalls the day he moved in and how “rural” the area was.

“I remember when we just moved in. I woke up to make a cup of coffee and at the time we hadn’t put up the curtains yet. As I looked out the window, all I saw were cows grazing. There were bluegum trees planted all over the area and it looked like a forest.”

He also remembers how close-knit the community was at the time, when Kenridge Primary School only had four classrooms and when there was only one road into Kenridge.

Mr Hynes said Kenridge had eventually started to grow, and by 1974, the top area, towards the hills, and the lower area, towards Bellville, had opened for development. This was the year residents called a meeting to decide whether they wanted to fall under Bellville or Durbanville.

“After meeting, most of the residents agreed that they wanted to be part of Durbanville. We then formed committees to represent our interests at the Durbanville and Bellville councils.”

This gave rise to the Kenridge Ratepayers’ Association (KRA), which was formed during the early 1980s. The committee consisted of Lukas Olivier, Eddie Fivaz, Julie Shaw, Denise Robinson,Taki Amira and Mr Hynes.

These members subsequently went into politics. Mr Oliver became the mayor of Durbanville and later Bellville, Mr Fivaz became mayor of Durbanville, Ms Robinson is now a member of parliament and Mr Amira is Ward 21 councillor.

“We were never politically affiliated and addressed issues which affected ratepayers in the area and still continue to do this today. Our goal was always to protect the interest of residents and maintain the integrity of the area,” said Mr Hynes.

In 1993, the KRA committee approved a name change to Kenridge The Hills Ratepayers’ Association (KHRPA) to include Durbanville Hills.

Mr Hynes has since stepped down from KHRPA as he is getting older, but he still attends big meetings regularly and is kept abreast of local issues.

Mr Hynes said the area’s demographics had changed in recent years with the older people moving out and younger couples and families moving in.

He has called Kenridge home for the past 52 years and has raised four daughters there.