This collection comprises the records of some of the land companies within the massive Schlesinger organisation, with the focus, through sheer volume, being on Zebediela Citrus Estate.
Numerous problems arose when trying to devise a cataloguing system: on the one hand were the citrus estates themselves and on the other, their financial underpinning of the real estate and investment companies that formed part of the Schlesinger Organisation. This was further complicated by the mergers, purchases and liquidations of the holding companies.
Was one then to organise the material in terms of holding company - African Realty Trust, African Irrigated Land Company and so on - or citrus estate? While Zebediela was obviously the focus of the collection, it could equally have been catalogued as merely one of the larger African Realty Trust concerns.
A compromise was therefore struck between chronological and substantive coherence and commercial accuracy. Thus sections A-C are concerned primarily with Citriculture, and are classified according to estate - Zebediela, Letaba and Nuden respectively. By 1962, Muden, Letaba and Zebediela had all been consolidated Into one company - Consolidated Citrus Estates, and thus form section D.
There is an artificial distinction between Sections A and E - Zebediela and African Realty Trust, respectively; however, in the interests of coherence, this was felt to he justifiable.
Unfortunately, few records remain to document events at Zebediela beyond the early 1960s. Zebediela then fell within Lebowa, having been taken over by the South African Bantu Trust in the mid 1970s. The latter, in turn handed it over to the Bantu Investment Corporation in 1976 for the sum of R1. 2 million.
Other records in this collection document, in bare outline, developments in other land companies owned by the Schlesinger Organisation.