From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Bela Bela)
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Bella Bella (disambiguation).
Coat of arms of Bela-Bela
Coat of arms
Motto: Salus et vita (Latin)
Bela-Bela is located in Limpopo
 Bela-Bela shown within Limpopo
Coordinates: 24°53′S 28°17′E / 24.883°S 28.283°E / -24.883; 28.283Coordinates: 24°53′S 28°17′E / 24.883°S 28.283°E / -24.883; 28.283
Country South Africa
Province Limpopo
District Waterberg
Municipality Bela-Bela
Established 1873
 • Total 23.29 km2 (8.99 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 45,001
 • Density 1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 89.1%
 • Coloured 1.7%
 • Indian/Asian 0.7%
 • White 8.2%
 • Other 0.3%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Northern Sotho 43.0%
 • Tswana 18.1%
 • Tsonga 12.4%
 • Afrikaans 9.4%
 • Other 17.1%
Postal code (street) 0480
Area code 014

Bela-Bela (Tswana: The pot that boils[2]) is a town in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Deriving its name from the geothermic hot springs around which the town was built, it is widely known by the name Warmbaths, officially changed to the current name in 2002. Likewise, the Afrikaans name for the town was Warmbad before the name change. It was also previously called Hartingsburg until the early twentieth century.[3]

The town is situated in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province. It lies off the N1 road between Pretoria and Polokwane (Pietersburg). Its hot springs produce 22,000 litres per hour at 52 °C (126 °F).[4]


Slides and pools in the hot springs resort

When the Tswana tribes first moved into the region in about the 1800s, they discovered hot springs in the area.[5]

The Voortrekker Carl Van Heerden established the first farm in what is now Bela-Bela and called it Het Bad. In 1873, President Burger's Transvaal government bought the land and established a resort called Hartingsburg after the prominent Dutch biologist Pieter Harting.[3] The British occupied the town during the Anglo Boer War, and renamed the post office Warm Baths in 1903, and proclaimed the boundaries of Warmbaths to be the entire farm of Het Bad.[2]

In 1920 Warmbaths was proclaimed a township (in the legal, not racial sense) and the township was designed by architect John Abraham Moffat[6] in that year. In 1950, it became a magisterial district. In 1932 Warmbaths became a village town and got a town council in 1960.[2]

On 14 June 2002[7] the South African government officially renamed the town to Bela-Bela (meaning "boiling boiling").[8]

Incorrect variations on this spelling can also be sometimes found, such as "Bella Bella"[9][10] and "Bela Bela".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Bela-Bela". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of Warmbaths/ Bela-Bela". Marula Marketing. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Warmbaths". ArteFacts. Retrieved 14 December 2009.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Warmbad / Bela Bela Information and Accommodation". Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Bela Bela, Limpopo | By South Africa Channel". Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "MOFFAT, John Abraham". ArteFacts. Retrieved 14 December 2009.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ "OldPlaceNames". South African Geographical Names System. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  8. ^ "Bela-Bela Tourism". Bela Bela Tourism. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  9. ^ "Minister says refugee children in SA must attend school". Mail & Guardian. 21 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Residential and Commercial Property in Bela-Bela Limpopo South Africa". Sa Property Showcase. Retrieved 31 October 2009.