17 januari 2018 | 19.30 uur | DutchCulture, Amsterdam
Deel dit bericht:

In times of Industrialisation European technologies spread around the globe. Mining technology as well as railway technology was exported by Dutch engineers to Indonesia and South Africa. Local application generated new insights to be utilized in European practise. An interesting and hardly known triangle of technical dissemination came into existence between Indonesia, South Africa and the Netherlands. This ICOMOS-evening three current researchers on the topic will present their provisional findings.

ICOMOS Netherlands presents
Wednesday 17 January 2018

Venue: DutchCulture, Herengracht 474 Amsterdam


Speakers: Margaret Leidelmeijer, Nicholas Clarke, Siphiwe Semelane
(English and Dutch)


Searching the link: the Ombilin Coal Mining Company and the NZASM.
by Margaret Leidelmeijer

The Ombilin Coal Mining Company in West-Sumatra, Indonesia came into production in the early 1890-ies under Dutch colonial rule. It was a huge project involving not only coalmines, but also a railway line and a harbour. These three components were efficiently tuned to each other in a comprehensive technological system. After Independence the Indonesian Government took over its operation. Currently the Government of the Republic of Indonesia plans to submit the Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto to UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site. To give this submission more weight, it is important to show Sawahlunto’s global impact. Because of the available time the research was restricted to one case study: the Nederlandsch-Zuid-Afrikaanse Spoorweg Maatschappij (NZASM) in South Africa. Literature mentions that a number of engineers from West Sumatra also worked for the NZASM and that technology transfer took place with them.

In this lecture Dr. Margaret Leidelmeijer will deal with this relationship. Who were these engineers, what role did they play and which technology was disseminated? It appeared that in this relationship a crucial role was reserved for Delft’s civil engineer J.L. Cluysenaer (1843-1932).


The NZASM heritage of Waterval-Boven
by Siphiwe Semelane

Established in the late 1800’s as a supply depot for the Nederlandsch-Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorwegmaatschappij (NZASM) eastern line trajectory, Waterval Boven holds a significant position in the Transvaal period of South African history. Siphiwe will present a brief history of Waterval-Boven: its significance in the South African heritage narrative; its evolution from a company town to present as well as the challenges facing the town from an architectural, heritage and urban perspective.


A Future for a near-forgotten Heritage
by Nicholas Clarke

The 2017 Footsteps Along the Tracks research project established that a lot more valuable built heritage of NZASM still exists than previously thought,. This raises the question: what is the future of this inheritance? The Stichting Zuid-Afrikahuis Nederland, the custodians of the NZASM heritage in the Netherlands, therefore commissioned a South African intern to investigate what the potential is for future re-use of NZASM built structures. Nicholas, who served as supervisor to the intern, Lehlogonolo Mkhonza, will present the methodology and results and sketch scenarios in which the NZASM past can generate a brighter future.



Margaret Leidelmeijer (1959) graduated from the Agricultural University Wageningen (now Wageningen University and Research) as a rural sociologist. At the Eindhoven University of Technology she completed her doctoral dissertation From sugar mill to factory. Technological innovation in the Java sugar industry in the nineteenth century (Amsterdam 1997). Subsequently, she participated in various research projects in the field of (post-) colonial history, among others at the NIOD and the Nationaal Archief. Since 2009 she has been working as an independent researcher and as an Indies (war-) heritage specialist/consultant and is available for commissions for exhibitions, educational websites and family stories.

Siphiwe Semelane is a Masters student at the Department of Architecture from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Throughout his training Siphiwe has had a strong focus on projects dealing with heritage, architecture and urbanism. The result of these interests have led to his participation as a research assistant in the NZASM Footsteps Along the Tracks publication with Nicholas Clarke and Roger Fisher. During his studies, Siphiwe worked for GAPP architects and urban designers based in Johannesburg South Africa where he acquired field experience in urban design through participatory processes and local engagement strategies. Siphiwe has spent the last three months in the Netherlands – on a scholarship from the Stichting Studiefonds Zuid-Afrika of the Stigting Zuid-Afrikahuis Nederland – to study adaptive reuse strategies for built-, as well as urban, industrial heritage – a topic he will pursue further during his Masters degree.

Nicholas Clarke a South African-born architect, obtained his professional degree from the University of Pretoria in 1999. He continued his studies at the University of Cambridge, funded through a Commonwealth Scholarship, where he earned a master’s degree in Environmental Design in Architecture in 2005. He has practiced as an architect in South Africa and served as full-time lecturer at the University of Pretoria from 2007 to 2013. He now teaches at the section for Heritage and Architecture at the Faulty of Architecture at the TUDelft where he is also completing his doctoral studies.

Nicholas has been instrumental in highlighting the plight of the near-forgotten NZASM heritage in South Africa, and with Roger Fisher and assisted by Siphiwe Simelane, undertook an inventorying the still remaining NZASM rail heritage, published as report in: Clarke, NJ, and Fisher, RC, (assisted by Simelane, S.) 2016. NZASM Footsteps along the tracks : The identified extant built residue of the Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (1887–1902). Pretoria: Visual Books, available at: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/57875.



Date: 17 January 2018

Address: Dutch Culture
Herengracht 474 Amsterdam

Time: The ICOMOS-lectures take place from 19h30 till 21h30.
Drinks and informal meal are served from 18h30.

Entrance: ICOMOS-members pay no entrance fee.
non-members pay a € 5,00.entrance fee
Meal and drinks are € 10,00 per person (members and non-members alike).

Attendance of lecture and meal/drinks is only possible by application at