Anyone who drives up the Franschhoek Valley will not fail to notice that many farm names are French.  When they arrive at the village itself, they are virtually bombarded with French names. Restaurants, guesthouses and even some shops proclaim an allegiance to France, traditionally confirmed by red, white and blue on high days and holidays.
We thank the French Protestants (Huguenots) who were settled here in the late 1680’s and who named their farms after their places of birth. It follows that, as a tour guide, I invariably get asked if French is still spoken here. Sadly not.  The Dutch East India Company who brought them here insisted on a policy of integration and their language was lost within two generations.  Or so it was thought.
Many years ago I was paging through a book written by a Cape Town journalist who had visited Franschhoek in 1919. On a farm he met a grandmother who spoke only French!   Here was a fascinating link with the valley’s history. I have no details, but it would be of considerable interest if anyone out there can verify or even add to the story.