Victoria West

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For other uses, see Victoria West (disambiguation).
Victoria West
Victoria-Wes
Dutch Reformed Church, Victoria West
Dutch Reformed Church, Victoria West
Victoria West is located in South Africa
Victoria West
Victoria West
 Victoria West shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 31°24′11″S 23°07′14″E / 31.40306°S 23.12056°E / -31.40306; 23.12056Coordinates: 31°24′11″S 23°07′14″E / 31.40306°S 23.12056°E / -31.40306; 23.12056
Country South Africa
Province Northern Cape
District Pixley ka Seme
Municipality Ubuntu
Established 1844[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 78.95 km2 (30.48 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 8,254
 • Density 100/km2 (270/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 23.7%
 • Coloured 69.3%
 • Indian/Asian 0.4%
 • White 5.6%
 • Other 0.9%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Afrikaans 82.1%
 • Xhosa 13.8%
 • English 1.1%
 • Other 3.0%
Postal code (street) 7070
PO box 7070
Area code 053

Victoria West is a town in the central Karoo region of South Africa's Northern Cape province.

History[edit]

The town was laid out on the bank of the Brakrivier watercourse in 1843,[3] when the Dutch Reformed Church bought the farm Zeekoegat from a local farmer. It was named Victoria in 1844, after Queen Victoria, though amended to Victoria West in 1855 to distinguish it from an Eastern Cape district.[4] The Cape Government Railways oversaw a massive expansion in the Cape Colony's railway system in the 1870s, though the route to Victoria West was only completed in 1881. The railway connection spurred economic development and the town's demographic growth over the following decades.[5]

Government and Infrastructure[edit]

It is situated on the main N12 route, at an elevation of 1,300 metres (4,300 ft). It is the seat of the Ubuntu Local Municipality within the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality.[6]

The town has a small airport (ICAO: FAVW), used only by light aircraft, but until the 1970s when they stopped operating piston engined airliners such as the Douglas DC-3, it was a refueling stop for South African Airways between Cape Town and destinations to the north.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)". pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Victoria West". Census 2011. 
  3. ^ Victoria West history, retrieved 2009-02-02 
  4. ^ Raper, P.E. (2004). South African Place Names. Jonathan Ball, Jhb & Cape Town. p. 211. ISBN 1-86842-190-2. 
  5. ^ Burman, Jose (1984). Early Railways at the Cape. Cape Town. Human & Rousseau, p.62. ISBN 0-7981-1760-5
  6. ^ Victoria West, Heart of the Karoo, retrieved 2009-02-02