DR NGAKA MODIRI MOLEMA DISTRICT

Delareyville

Location

On the N14 between Barberspan and Vryburg. Delareyville is 100km south west of Lichtenburg and 40km south west of Sannieshof.

Delareyville is named after the famous General Koos De la Rey and was founded in 1913 (after the Anglo-Boer War). The town is situated in the north western corner of the maize triangle, 96 km from Lichtenburg, 82 km from Vryburg and 114 km from Wolmaransstad.

The town is the centre of a rich and progressive farming community. Salt pans, that can be found all over the district, make a major contribution to the salt production of the country.

Agricultural activities in the area is mainly maize, sunflower, sorghum and groundnuts. Cattle and sheep farming is also practiced in the area.

The Dutch Reformed Church in Main Street is a national monument and was designed by Gerhard Moerdyk. The Earth Satellite Station was erected in 1998 to improve telecommunications in southern Africa.

There are facilities for golf, tennis, bowls, rugby, netball and swimming.

The residents number ± 1600.

There is also an olympic swimming-pool with adjoining caravan park.

Accommodation

Delareyville offers guest house and self-catering accommodation.

Attractions

Barberspan Nature Reserve

Barberspan is approximately 15 km from town. The dam is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and covers an area of approximately 2,000 ha. It is considered a fishing, boating and birding paradise. The rally club which hosts annual events.

The Henk Joubert Game Reserve

Home to numerous antelope species.

Rooiwal monument

This monument, 25 kilometres out on the Ottosdal road, pays tribute to the burghers who fought and died during the Anglo-Boer War.

Boschbult memorial

About 30 kilometres out of town on the Ottosdal road, there is a monument erected to commemorate the Battle of Boschbult.

Battle of Roodewal

This is a community grave for Boer soldiers and also holds the grave of Commander FJ Potgieter. Roodewal is about 10km out of Delareyville. Turn left on the Migdol Road, left at a T-junction and left again. The turn off to the monument is about 1 km on the left.

Gestoptefontein

This is the house where Cieneral Methuen was nursed after the battle of "De Klipdrift". The famous big game hunter van Zyl also used to live here.

Strydom Square

It is adjacent to the municipal offices and comprises an effigy of General De la Rey and a Heroes' Acre where a number of persons involved in the battles from the surrounding areas were rebuned.

Dutch Reformed Church

The Mother Church of Delareyville, is situated in Delarey Street and was proclaimed a national monument in 1994. The architect was Gerard Moerdyk

Henk Joubert Game Reserve

The reserve houses several game species such as bleshok, springbok, impala, zebra, ostrich and kudu. It is situated just outside town on the Ottosdal road.

Salt Pan

In summer, the pink-coloured salt pan attracts thousands of flamingoes - surely one of the most awe-inspiring attractions in the province.

More Information on Delareyville

The farm "Zoutpan or Bospan", upon which Delareyville was established, was the property of the State until 1913. Negotiations with the then Department of Land took place during 1912 to establish a government town on this ground. A request was submitted by a certain Field-Cornet AP Visser for a site inspection, with the purpose of establishing the town.

The Town Commission was met by Field-Cornet AP Visser and 15 other members who were mostly representatives of the Church Council. Interesting is the fact that the Commission left Pretoria early that day and only arrived at there at nightfall.

The only activity in the area, other than farming, was the collecting of salt from the pans situated behind the old railway station. The Town Commission was not very sympathetic to the establishment of the town as the salt-pan provided jobs for only 4 white people.

Field-Cornet Visser explained that the main purpose of establishing a town was to establish a church community. At that stage at least 150 church members had indicated that they would purchase a stand in the proposed town. On the 23rd June 1913 permission was granted to establish the government town, where it is today.

Field-Cornet Visser suggested that due to the involvement of General (Koos) De la Rey during the Anglo-Boer-War the town should be named "De la Rey". But a town by the name of "Delarey" near Krugersdorp already existed, and the then Minister of Lands decided upon the name "Saltwaters" because of the salt-pans in the area.

Due to further petitioning the Minister of Lands gave permission on the 1st September 1914 that the name be changed from "Saltwaters" to "Delareyville".

A monument erected to commemorate the "Battle of Bosbult" lies approximately 30 km out of town on the Ottosdal road.

On "Strydomplein" adjacent to the municipal offices is an effigy of General De la Rey and a Heroes' Acre where a number of persons involved in battles in the surrounding areas were laid to rest.

Taken from:
Information obtained from long standing residents and also documentation available.

History

'Enough is enough', a group of farmers decided one day, as they came back from yet another five-day journey, to attend a communion church service at the nearest town.

How ever, to get a reverend to come and stay among them, they needed a church, and to get a church, they needed a town. So they set about getting the farm Zoutpan (salt pan) divided into erven. There was only one snag. The Town Commission, was not at all sympathetic to their request, seeing that the salt pans provided jobs for only tour white people. So about 150 members ot the Dutch Reformed Church, signed a pledge to buy property in the proposed town. On June 23, 1913 permission was granted to establish a government town on the site where Delareyville stands today.

The community wanted to name it after General de la Rey, because of his involvement in the area during the Anglo-Boer War. However, a town called Delarev near Krugersdorp, already existed. And the Minister of Lands decided on the name "Saltwaters" because of the salt pans in the area. After further petitioning, the Minister gave permission on September 1, 1914, that the name be changed from Saltwaters to Delareyville. It was in the same year that General De la Rey was shot and killed at Langlaagte, Johannesburg.

A manse was immediately built and Reverend Ci.R. du Toit took up the position and the task of leading the stubborn flock. For the first 12 years members of the congregation met in a corrugated iron and wood building with some extra shading during communion services.

"Where there's a will, there's a way". A very apt description of the establishing of Delareyville, among the vast mane crops of the old Far West Transvaal.