Cradock, Eastern Cape
|• Total||125.96 km2 (48.63 sq mi)|
|• Density||290/km2 (750/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||61.8%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||5880|
Cradock is a town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in the upper valley of the Great Fish River, 250 kilometres (160 mi) by road northeast of Port Elizabeth. The town is the administrative seat of the Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality in the Chris Hani District of the Eastern Cape. The estimated population in 2015 was 35,000.
For thousands of years San hunter-getherers were the sole human inhabitants of southern Africa. About 2000 years BP the semi-nomadic Khoikhoi (or Khoekhoen or Khoikhoin) arrived with cattle, sheep and goats. These pastoralists migrated south towards the coast. Rock paintings and petroglyphs (engravings remain as evidence of the first people who lived here.
By the 4th century AD Bantu-speaking people had begun to migrate from central Africa down the east coast into southern Africa. The amaXhosa pressed further south to the banks of the Great Fish River where they met San hunter-gatherers and Khoikhoi pastoralists, and later still Dutch and then British settlers.
Lieutenant Governor and war leader Andries Stockenström established this spot as the magisterial seat for the surrounding region in 1812. The area was chosen for being strategically located for the frontier wars. It was originally located in the Western Cape.
The town was founded on 27 August 1818 when a Dutch Reformed church was built; it is named after Sir John Cradock, governor of the Cape from 1811 to 1813. Its design was based on that of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.
The Cape Colony received a degree of independence in 1872 when "Responsible Government" was declared and, in 1877, the government of Prime Minister John Molteno began construction of the railway line connecting Cradock to Port Elizabeth on the coast. This was officially opened on 21 November 1880, and led to significant growth and economic development in and around the town.
In the early 1900s, a boom in demand for ostrich feathers led to a massive rise in prosperity for the local ostrich farmers.
The Cradock Four
The Cradock Four — Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkhonto, Fort Calata and Sicelo Mhlauli — were abducted while travelling from Port Elizabeth to Cradock in 1985. They were then taken to Olifantshoek Pass and later to Port Elizabeth, where they were assaulted, killed and their bodies and the vehicle in which they were travelling burnt on 27 June 1985.
Three Security Branch policemen, a Sergeant Faku, Sergeant Mgoduka, and one Sakati who participated in the killing of the activists were later killed in a car bomb blast at Motherwell in 1989.
Economy and tourism
A notable attraction is the Mountain Zebra National Park just 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the town, where the once-endangered species together with lion, cheetah, buffalo and a range of antelope species are to be seen in magnificent surroundings.
Notable attractions in the town are the "tuishuise" (at-home houses), superbly restored Victorian era craftsmen's houses in Market Street which form part of the Victoria Manor Hotel; the Dutch Reformed Moederkerk which was designed after the style of St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, London; and Schreiner House where the renowned author of The Story of an African Farm lived as a young girl. The house, which is located at 9 Cross Street and is a satellite of the National English Literary Museum, contains a modern set of exhibitions portraying the life of Olive Schreiner.
||Middelburg 95 km||Steynsburg 96 km
Hofmeyr 63 km
|Burgersdorp, Aliwal North|
|Graaff-Reinet 140 km||Tarkastad 76 km, Queenstown 120 km|
|Pearston||Somerset East 100 km||Bedford 85 km|
- William Faulds, Victoria Cross recipient
- Douglas Gilfillan, lawyer and plant collector
- Olive Schreiner, author and human rights activist
- Guy Butler, author and poet
- Etienne van Heerden, author and poet
- Neville Alexander, author
- James Arthur Calata, cleric and activist
Coat of Arms
Municipality — Cradock was established as a municipality in 1840. By 1902, the town council had assumed a coat of arms. The arms were formally granted by the provincial administrator in May 1966 and registered at the Bureau of Heraldry in September 1969.
The arms were : Quarterly: I, Argent, a tree Vert; II, Gules, a beehive, Or; III, Gules, a fleece Or; IV, Azure, a garb Or. In layman's terms, this means that the shield was divided into four quarters displaying (1) a green tree on a silver background, (2) a golden beehive on a red background, (3) a golden fleece on a red background, and (4) a golden wheatsheaf on a blue background.
Until 1966, the shield was flanked by two ostrich feathers. They were replaced with two mountain zebras, as supporters. The crest was a cornucopia and the motto was Perseverantia vincit.
- Cradock South Africa Guide
- Cradock history and other information
- Panoramas of Cradock and further information on the area
- "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20–26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.
- "Main Place Cradock". Census 2011.
- Burman, Jose (1984). Early railways at the Cape. Human & Rousseau. p. 73.
- STATEMENT BY THE TRC: AMNESTY APPLICATIONS FOR CRADOCK FOUR KILLINGS, 16 February 1998
- The arms were depicted on a medallion issued in 1902.
- The arms were depicted on a cigarette card issued in 1931.
- Cape of Good Hope Official Gazette 3348 (27 May 1966).
- "Cradock". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.