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The Malgas cable ferry on the Breede River
The Malgas cable ferry on the Breede River
Malgas is located in South Africa
 Malgas shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 34°18′00″S 20°34′59″E / 34.3°S 20.583°E / -34.3; 20.583Coordinates: 34°18′00″S 20°34′59″E / 34.3°S 20.583°E / -34.3; 20.583
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
District Overberg
Municipality Swellendam
 • Total 0.77 km2 (0.30 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 44
 • Density 57/km2 (150/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 11.4%
 • Coloured 50.0%
 • White 38.6%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 74.4%
 • English 18.6%
 • S. Ndebele 2.3%
 • Xhosa 2.3%
 • Other 2.3%

Malgas is a settlement on the right (southwest) bank of the Breede River in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. It is situated 25 kilometres north-west of the Breede River mouth at Witsand, and 30 kilometres south-east of Swellendam. The name "Malgas" is probably an adaptation of the Portuguese mangas de velludo, "velvet sleeves", referring to the Cape gannet (Morus capensis) with its black-tipped wings.[2] According to the 2011 census, Malgas has a population of 44 people in 20 households.[1] It is well known for the "pont", a man-hauled pontoon cable ferry across the Breede River, which is the last of its type in South Africa.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Main Place Malgas". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ Raper, P. E. (1987). Dictionary of South African Place Names. Lowry Publishers. pp. 292–293. ISBN 0947042067. 
  3. ^ Brooke, Simon (19 April 2013). "However you spell it, Malgas is an oasis". Business Day. Retrieved 20 April 2014.