The school was founded in 1894 in the historic Rustenburg House, which dates from the early years of the Dutch settlement at the Cape. The terms of surrender of the Dutch to the English after the Battle of Muizenberg were signed in it on 16 September 1795. Rustenburg House was declared a National Monument in 1941. Rustenburg was specifically founded to provide education for girls equal to that given to boys. It is our belief, supported by research, that girls develop their potential more fully when educated in a single-sex environment.
The house system was introduced in 1930 and names were given to honour those who had played an important role in the history of the school. Originally the houses were:
Bleby, after Miss Alicia Bleby, the founding headmistress.
Wiener, after Mrs Jean Wiener (nee Donaldson-Wright), the second headmistress.
Van der Stel, after Simon van der Stel, one of the early governors of the Cape, who developed the Rustenburg estate significantly.
Marchand, after Rev BP Marchand, chairman of the School Committee from its founding in 1894 to 1917.
Michiel Vos, who was chairman of the School Committee from 1925 to 1939.
Innes, after Sir James Rose-Innes, Chief Justice of South Africa from 1914-1927, a distinguished member of the School Committee.
Cambridge, after Lady May Cambridge, for her generosity to and interest in the school.
Muir, after Sir Thomas Muir, who was the Superintendant-General of Education at the Cape when the school was founded.
Rustenburg Junior has simplified the system to four houses, now known as Cambridge (green), Innes (blue), Michiel (red) and Wiener (yellow). Girls have a house shirt in these colours, which are worn on house days and at house sports events, as well as for sport practices.