Iziko Slave Lodge
Slavery in South Africa

Life was not easy in the Lodge. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) controlled every aspect of the slaves’ lives. They received instruction in the Christian religion and all children were baptised whether the parents of the child were Christian or not. On the other hand, all the children received formal schooling, a privilege that few children of free parents enjoyed. The VOC also tried to regulate the personal behaviour of the slaves in the Slave Lodge.


Despite the VOC’s concern for the personal behaviour of the slaves in the Slave Lodge, they allowed the Lodge to be used as a brothel. The doors of the Lodge were open to free men between eight and nine every evening. Not all the resulting relationships constituted prostitution. Some of these relationships led to marriage.


In general, life in the Slave Lodge was unhealthy. The Slave Lodge was wet, dark and dirty. The high death rates could partly be attributed to three smallpox epidemics during the 18th century, but the unhygienic conditions must also have played a significant role.



The slave lodge had a school for slave girls and school for slave boys. Most slaves, particularly those outside of the slave lodge, did not receive schooling.