Aliwal North (officially Maletswai) is a town in central South Africa on the banks of the Orange River, Eastern Cape Province. It is a medium-sized commercial centre in the northernmost part of the Eastern Cape. The Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1855.

Aliwal North
Maletswai
The old Post Office building constructed from sandstone.
The old Post Office building constructed from sandstone.
Aliwal North is located in Eastern Cape
Aliwal North
Aliwal North
Aliwal North is located in South Africa
Aliwal North
Aliwal North
Aliwal North is located in Africa
Aliwal North
Aliwal North
Coordinates: 30°42′S 26°42′E / 30.700°S 26.700°E / -30.700; 26.700
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceEastern Cape
DistrictJoe Gqabi
MunicipalityWalter Sisulu
Government
 • TypeMunicipal Council
 • Mayor(ANC)
Area
 • Total24.18 km2 (9.34 sq mi)
Elevation
1,325 m (4,347 ft)
Population
 (2011)[1]
 • Total3,992
 • Density170/km2 (430/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African48.1%
 • White43.74%
 • Coloured5.66%
 • Indian/Asian0.95%
 • Other1.55%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans40.31%
 • Xhosa29.63%
 • English7.16%
 • Sotho5.39%
 • Other17.51%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
9750
PO box
9750
Area code051 (−633- / -634-)

History edit

Sir Harry Smith,[2] Governor of the Cape Colony from 1847 to 1852, formally founded the small town of Aliwal North in the Cape Province of South Africa in 1850. He named the town "Aliwal North" in memory of his victory over the Sikhs at the Battle of Aliwal during the First Sikh War in India in 1846.[3] The town was laid out in 1849 on ground acquired by the government. This was auctioned and 38 lots were sold for £972.

The park in the centre of Aliwal North, the Juana Square Gardens was named after Smith's wife Juana María de los Dolores de León. One of the first white settlers in the area, Pieter Jacobus de Wet built a house at the nearby Buffelsvlei around 1828. Municipal status was attained in 1882.

The railway line from Molteno reached Aliwal North on 2 September 1885.

On 8th January 1901, following the evacuation of Smithfield during the Second Boer War, Major Kendal Pretyman Apthorp established the Aliwal North concentration camp, which at its height housed approximately 2,000 Boer refugees. The camp was closed by November 1902 after the inmates had been repatriated to their homes.[4]

 
Entering Aliwal North from the west on the R58

Education edit

Aliwal North has 10 Primary Schools and 6 High Schools and a technical and vocational training college.

Primary Schools are:

  • Alheit van der Merwe Primary School
  • Holy Cross Primary
  • Flamingo Primary School
  • Laerskool Aliwal-Noord
  • Maletswai Primary School
  • Nchafatso Primary School
  • Nkosi Sikelela' Private Primary School
  • Pelomosa Primary School
  • Vulamazibuko Primary School
  • Vumile Primary School

High Schools:

  • Malcomess Senior Secondary School
  • Hoërskool Aliwal-Noord
  • Bishop Demont High School
  • Egqili Senior Secondary School
  • Faith High School
  • Joe Gqabi Secondary School

Geography edit

The settlement of the area and its development into a town probably is connected to the presence of good water, thermal springs and a good fording place ('drift') across the Orange River, just below its confluence with the Kraai River. The Frere Bridge was opened in 1880 and later replaced with the General Hertzog Bridge, leading to Bloemfontein, 206 km to the north. To the south-west of the town, the Kramberg raises to 2000 m above sea level.

Aliwal North has the following suburbs:

• Aliwal North CBD

• Arbor View

• Buffelsbaden

• Bird's Eye View

• Dukathole

• Hilton

• Joe Gqabi

• Area13


Layout edit

The central business district is surrounded by the following suburbs: Dukathole, Hilton, Joe Gqabi, the Springs (where the well-known Aliwal Spa is situated) and Arborsig. Many residents and staff of the Goedemoed Correctional Services facility (situated on the Free State side of the Orange River) use the town's many businesses, hospital, churches and schools.

The town is connected to neighbouring towns via a good roads system, and serve as a thoroughfare for tourists en route to resorts in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg. Unfortunately, the railway station had to close, due to lack of rail usage. The town also has a good airfield with three grass runways, safe for use during daylight.

Notable people edit

Tourism edit

The principal attractions of Aliwal North are two hot mineral springs, both of which have extremely high concentrations of minerals and gases.

The thermal springs resort, named Aliwal Spa, is located within the municipal area. During 2010–2014 the resort underwent re-construction by Maletswai Local Municipality's contractors, and opened again for public use in 2015.[5]

Climate edit

Köppen climate classification: subtropical highland climate (Cwb).

Climate data for Aliwal North
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 23
(73)
21
(70)
20
(68)
18
(64)
14
(57)
12
(54)
10
(50)
11
(52)
13
(55)
16
(61)
19
(66)
21
(70)
23
(73)
Daily mean °C (°F) 21
(70)
21
(70)
18
(64)
15
(59)
10
(50)
7
(45)
7
(45)
10
(50)
13
(55)
16
(61)
18
(64)
20
(68)
14
(57)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 11
(52)
10
(50)
7
(45)
4
(39)
2
(36)
−2
(28)
−3
(27)
0
(32)
1
(34)
4
(39)
6
(43)
10
(50)
12
(54)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 76
(3.0)
83
(3.3)
83
(3.3)
48
(1.9)
27
(1.1)
13
(0.5)
11
(0.4)
16
(0.6)
23
(0.9)
40
(1.6)
54
(2.1)
61
(2.4)
535
(21.1)
Source: [6]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Sum of the Sub-Places Aliwal North SP1, Aliwal North SP2 and Arbor View from Census 2011.
  2. ^ "Sir Harry Smith – An autobiography showing him to have seen warfare in four continents" (PDF). The New York Times. 24 May 1902. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
  3. ^ Raper, Peter Edmund: Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. Lowry Publishers, Johannesburg 1987 (second edition), S. 34.
  4. ^ "British Concentration Camps of the South African War 1900-1902". www2.lib.uct.ac.za. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Retrieved 27 July 2016". Archived from the original on 22 December 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
  6. ^ Weatherbase.com Retrieved 6 June 2014.

External links edit