|• Total||25.15 km2 (9.71 sq mi)|
|• Density||620/km2 (1,600/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||12.7%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||7280|
Bredasdorp is a town in the Southern Overberg region of the Western Cape, South Africa, and the main economic and service hub of that region. It lies on the northern edge of the Agulhas Plain, about 160 kilometres (100 mi) south-east of Cape Town and 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa.
The town of Bredasdorp was founded with the building of a Dutch Reformed Church in 1838 on the farm Langefontein. The town was named after Michiel van Breda, the first Mayor of Cape Town, who was also known as the father of South Africa's merino sheep industry. Van Breda and Pieter Voltelyn van der Byl could not agree on a location for the church; as a result two churches were built, and two towns, Bredasdorp and Napier, were established.
Bredasdorp is located in the Cape Agulhas Local Municipality; as the largest town in the municipality, Bredasdorp is divided between its second, third and fourth wards. The local municipality in turn forms part of the Overberg District Municipality; Bredasdorp is the location of the head offices of both municipalities.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Bredasdorp is situated at an elevation of between 40 and 120 metres (130 and 390 ft) on the slopes of the Heuningberg (Afrikaans for "Honey Mountain"). There is no significant watercourse flowing through the town, although the Kars Rivier flows past a few kilometres to the east.
Bredasdorp shares in the Mediterranean climate experienced in most of the Western Cape. Its proximity to the ocean, which is less than 25 kilometres (16 mi) away at Arniston, moderates the variation of temperature. Bredasdorp is mostly surrounded by farmland, chiefly grain, cattle and sheep farming; on the south-west side of the town the Heuningberg Nature Reserve protects the indigenous fynbos vegetation.
In the census of 2001, the population of Bredasdorp consisted of 12,749 people living in 3,558 households. 68% of the people described themselves as "Coloured", 26% as "White" and 6% as "Black African". 92% spoke Afrikaans as their first language, 5% spoke Xhosa, and 3% spoke English.
Besides the sheep farming, the town also boasts other agricultural activities, including wheat, canola, milk, and indigenous fynbos cultivation. The town is also the location of the offices of Kapula Candles, an international candle company that exports hand-painted candles to Europe and the United States. The population of the town got a boost during the middle 1980's with the establishment of both the Test Flight & Development Centre (South African Air Force) as well as the Overbreg Test Range (Denel) near the small coastal village of Arniston. Development in the town is very rapid,[original research?] with a number of prominent South African business franchises opening their doors during 2009 and 2010.
Surrounding towns in the Overberg region
- Arniston, South Africa, 24 km
- L'Agulhas, 34 km (Southernmost Town in Africa)
- Napier, 14 km
- Caledon, 74 km
- Swellendam, 69 km
- The Foot of Africa Marathon is (in)famous for being the toughest marathon in South Africa.[who?] The event takes place every year in early October.
- The town has a museum dedicated to the shipwreck of the Arniston, which is well worth a visit.
- The Merino Statue, located at the entrance to the Bredasdorp/Napier Co-operative, was erected in honour of the merino sheep which brought fame to this area, due to careful breeding by Michiel van Breda on his historic farm, Zoetendals Vallei, early in the 1900s.
- Audrey Blignault Room: Furnished in honour of Audrey Blignault who was born in Bredasdorp and who enjoys national recognition as a writer.
- The Heuningberg Nature Reserve is open to the public and views can be enjoyed of this rich fauna and flora area.
- "Main Place Bredasdorp". Census 2011.
- "Bredasdorp Climate Guide". World Climate Guide. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
- Chief Directorate: National Geo-spatial Information (1981). 3420CA & CC Bredasdorp (Map). 1:50 000. South Africa Topographic (3rd ed.).
- "Main Place 'Bredasdorp'". Census 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2011.