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The week that was...

* Oldest towns of SA (Series)

* Uitenhage

* Arrival of the railway yards

* Quality Schools

* VW (you and me)

* Pass of the Week


Over the next few weeks these newsletters are coming to you pre-written whilst we are on tour along the Wild Coast, and as such do not follow our normal format.


9th oldest town in South Africa

This probably comes as something of a surprise to learn that the 8th oldest town in South Africa is Uitenhage. It's the second oldest town in the Eastern districts of the former Cape Colony. Founded in 1804 by Jacob Glen Cuyler, the town was named in honour of the Cape Commissioner-General Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist. It was originally part of the Graaff Reinet district, and was known as the administrative border for the Cape Colony. 

When the Cape Commissioner-General split the two districts in half, Uitenhage was named a prime location for timber farming. Its abundance of water and picturesque setting made it quite popular, and the climate was regarded as so healthy that Cape Town patients were recommended by their doctors to recuperate there.

Over the next few decades the town grew steadily as English-looking and Georgian white houses sprung up accompanied by beautiful little gardens and a number of important buildings like the post office. The town’s first Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1843, and the Zwartkops River became the epicentre of the area’s wool washing industry.

Uitenhage became a municipality in 1877. Soon after, the construction of a railway line and station began, connecting the town to other parts of the Eastern Cape and beyond.

A proper town hall was erected in 1882, as well as a library and new school building. A number of new religious buildings also sprang up in the 1890s, including St Katherines Anglican Church, St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, the Congregational Church and the Wesleyan Jubilee Chapel.


Vee Double U and me

By 1910 Uitenhage was a thriving town with a healthy economy built on agriculture and railway industries.

Uitenhage is known for the large industries situated there. The largest of these industries are the Volkswagen of South Africa and Goodyear factories. An automotive supplier park, Alexander Park Industrial, has also been created directly next to the Volkswagen factory, thus allowing automotive component manufacturers to construct their manufacturing plants close by.

 (Read more) ....

 

Published in Mountain Passes News

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