Malmesbury, Western Cape

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Malmesbury
The Dutch Reformed Church in Malmesbury
The Dutch Reformed Church in Malmesbury
Malmesbury is located in South Africa
Malmesbury
Malmesbury
 Malmesbury shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 33°27′S 18°44′E / 33.450°S 18.733°E / -33.450; 18.733Coordinates: 33°27′S 18°44′E / 33.450°S 18.733°E / -33.450; 18.733
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
District West Coast
Municipality Swartland
Established 1745[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 18.8 km2 (7.3 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 35,897
 • Density 1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 24.9%
 • Coloured 55.3%
 • Indian/Asian 0.5%
 • White 18.4%
 • Other 0.9%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Afrikaans 73.9%
 • Xhosa 16.3%
 • English 3.8%
 • Sotho 3.1%
 • Other 2.8%
Postal code (street) 7300
PO box 7299
Area code 022

Malmesbury is a town of approximately 36,000 inhabitants in the Western Cape province of South Africa, about 65 km north of Cape Town.

The town is the largest in the Swartland (‘black land’) which took its name from the Renosterbos ('rhino bush'), an indigenous plant that turns black in the warm, dry summers. The area is especially known for its grain and wine cultivation as well as sheep and poultry farming.

Malmesbury was named after Sir Lowry Cole's father-in-law, the Earl of Malmesbury. Settlers were encouraged to make their homes here because of a tepid sulphur chloride mineral spring that was renowned for curing rheumatism. The first farms were allocated in 1703. When the fifth Dutch Reformed congregation in the Cape was established here, it became known as Zwartlands-kerk (Black Land Church) but was renamed Malmesbury in 1829. The town acquired municipal status in 1860.

The town no longer attracts the ailing because this aspect was never developed by the local authority, and today a shopping centre is located on top of the site with only a decorative fountain marking the location of the original spring.

Notable people from Malmesbury[edit]

Demographics[edit]

The following statistics describing Malmesbury are from the 2011 census.[2]

  • Area: 18.8 square kilometres (7.3 sq mi)
  • Population: 35,897: 1,909.3 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,945/sq mi)
  • Households: 9,473: 503.9 per square kilometre (1,305/sq mi)
Gender Population %
Male 18,016 50.2
Female 17,880 49.8
Race Population %
Coloured 19,868 55.3
Black African 8,929 24.9
White 6,588 18.4
Indian or Asian 192 0.5
Other 319 0.9
First language Population %
Afrikaans 24,564 73.9
isiXhosa 5,433 16.3
English 1,251 3.8
Sesotho 1,044 3.1
Setswana 148 0.4
Sign language 77 0.2
isiZulu 64 0.2
isiNdebele 57 0.2
Xitsonga 26 0.1
Sepedi 22 0.1
Tshivenda 21 0.1
siSwati 18 0.1
Other 511 1.5
Not applicable 2,658

References[edit]