De Aar Environs
Tourism & Information Bureau
Explore De Aar In The Upper Karoo
More about the town:
The name De Aar refers to the underground water supply occurring in arteries. The name De Aar was given to a property first surveyed in September 1837, and subdivided in 1839. The subdivision, purchased by Jan Gabriel Vermeulen, was named De Aar for a strong perennial spring there. Surveys carried out in 1881 identified this piece of land as suitable for the primary junction for interior railways on the Cape Government Railways system. All the water used in De Aar comes from bore holes of which a major part comes from Burgerville. Burgerville was a flourishing town in the early 1930's, but the town council of De Aar wanted the water from the area on which Burgerville sited. The whole town was thus bought out. 54 Bore holes in areas surrounding the town, ensures the water supply.
In 1902 the brothers Isaac and Wolf Friedlander, who owned a shop and a hotel at the station, bought the farm De Aar for £11 000 and subdivided it, providing land for churches, a town hall and sports fields. Residential and commercial erven (plots) were sold by auction in December that year, and on 20 May 1904 the town was declared a municipality. De Aar, true to its motto SEMPER PROGRESSUS – "Always striving ahead", has since its founding on 20 May 1904, developed into the main town of the Upper Karoo. The headquarters of the Central Karoo show is also situated in De Aar with a major show during January / February each year. The show draws entries from the whole country and is a red letter event every year.
Despite the perennial spring that gave it its name, De Aar had insufficient water until 1936, when the municipality purchased the village of Burgerville 34 km away, which is blessed with subterranean water. Four springs and 10 bore holes at Burgerville provide 63 megalitres a month, while a further 72 Ml a month comes from seven bore holes on abutting farms. A more than adequate water supply was ensured by the Orange River Project in the 1970s. The town is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop. A bilingual weekly newspaper, the De Aar Echo, was founded in 1918.
As a declared industrial growth point, with ample, very reasonably priced industrial sites, affordable labor and the necessary infrastructure, De Aar is the ideal place to establish an industry in the Northern Cape. Various major industries have already taken advantage of De Aar's central location and excellent rail and road links to establish themselves here. Several chain stores have opened branches in De Aar.
Back to Main Menu...
Coat of Arms
Almost every part of this device alludes to the town's importance as a railway junction, and to the water available there which was indispensable to the operation of steam railways.The silver pale would seem to be a reference both to the railway line, linking Cape Town to Gauteng, and the reputed underground river which gave its name to the town. The wheels are clearly railway wheels, typical of those used on both passenger coaches and goods trucks of the Cape Government Railways. The ram's head is that of a merino sheep, and represents the wool and mutton production that is the mainstay of the district's farmers indeed, it is typical of much of the Great Karoo. The water budget (a charge derived from a yoke on which a pair of leather water sacks was carried) and the fountain (a roundel barry wavy argent and azure, the conventional symbol for a water source) in the crest both allude to water. The water budget may refer to the water obtained from Burgerville, or to the necessity of carrying water on trains, both for steam generation and to slake the thirst of passengers in the Karoo.
Back to Main Menu...