History

In the mid-1800s a church was to be built on the farm of Casper Coetzee, who died before its completion. The church was named Coetzee-Rust (Coetzee's Rest).

The town of Zeerust

DR NGAKA MODIRI MOLEMA DISTRICT

Zeerust

Location

Zeerust is on the N4 past Groot Marico on the way to Gaberone, Botswana.

Zeerust, ± 80km from Lichtenburg, a town founded among the tall grasses and acacia trees of the beautiful Klein Marico River Valley in 1867.

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History

In the mid-1800s a church was to be built on the farm of Casper Coetzee, who died before its completion. The church was named Coetzee-Rust (Coetzee's Rest).

The town that grew around the parish became known by the abbreviated form of its original name - Coetzee's Rust.

Mixed farming and mining of minerals like lead and chrome are the backbone of the economy in this bushveld town.

Zeerust was originally Coetzee-Rust, named after Diederick Coetzee, the owner of the farm Hazenjacht. On 20 March 1867, the first erven of the newly established Coetzee-Rust were sold per public auction in Potchefstroom. The name Coetzee-Rust was later abbreviated to Zeerust. Municipal status was however only obtained on 18 March 1936.

Zeerust is situated in the farthest western section of the old Transvaal (north-west in the current Northwest Province), 1 187m above sealevel, 241 km west-north-west of Johannesburg of Johannesburg and on the main railway line to Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Deposit of several types of semi-precious and base metals are found in the district and crown, manganese, fluorspar, lead and andalusite are mined to a greater or lesser extent. With the improved mining and processing methods, the district is destined to become an important producer in this area.

The district is known for its cattle farming whereas the level region to the south and west is suitable for corn and sheep farming. Corn, tobacco, fruit and vegetables are cultivated under irrigation from three irrigation dams in the district.

Zeerust has a well-equipped library that is in great demand. In addition to that, there are two Afrikaans medium schools with modern hostels for boys and girls.

Tourist Information
Public Library, PO Box 92, Zeerust 2865
Te1 (018) 642 3713

Major Attractions

Church of St John the Baptist. Built in 1873, this was the third Anglican church in the country to be built north of the Vaal. A national monument.

Dinokana Mission Lehurutshe. A lutheran Mission built in 1889. Its altar is an original, a painting of Christ dating back to the foundation year of the church.

Hermannsburg Mission Lehurutshe. Established in 1859 to serve the Bahurutshe of Chief Moiloa. According to the chief's wishes, the mission became both church and school.

Ikalafeng Monument. A ZAR Government representative asked the Bahurutshe to demolish a fortification and pile the stones 5m high to form what became, and still is, monument of peace.

Kaditshwene Village Ruins. The remains of the Hurutshe headquarters, confirming the occupation of this land by the Tswana from the early 1800s.

Kleinfontein Memorial. Marking the site where Boers temporarily halted a relentless western advance by the British during the Anglo-Boer War. The British ended up losing almost ten times as many men as the Boers.

Livingstone Mission Lehurutshe. Livingstone established his first African mission here, at Mabotsa. The house, church and dam built by him are visible as ruins half a mile from the main road. A bronze plaque marks the spot.

Marula Kop. An intact Iron Age settlement 50km north of Zeerust featuring an unusual stone wall construction and evidence of iron smelting and terracing.

Mosega Monument. Commemorating the punitive raid against the Matabele at Zendelings Post in 1837.

Zeerust Library. A fascinating cultural history exhibition featuring artefacts and memorabilia of the Marico district. Tel (018) 642 3713.

The Great Outdoors

Dams. Lovers of water activities and idyllic afternoons should visit the Maricobosveld and Kromelmboog Dams near the town.

Madikwe Game Reserve

90 km north of Zeerust, not open to day-visitors).