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View of Nieu-Bethesda
View of Nieu-Bethesda
Nieu-Bethesda is located in Eastern Cape
Nieu-Bethesda is located in South Africa
Nieu-Bethesda is located in Africa
 Nieu-Bethesda shown within Eastern Cape
Coordinates: 31°52′S 24°33′E / 31.867°S 24.550°E / -31.867; 24.550Coordinates: 31°52′S 24°33′E / 31.867°S 24.550°E / -31.867; 24.550
Country South Africa
Province Eastern Cape
District Sarah Baartman
Municipality Dr Beyers Naudé
Established 1875
 • Type Ward 7
 • Councillor Arthur Ronald Knottcraig
 • Total 34.05 km2 (13.15 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,540
 • Density 45/km2 (120/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 25.1%
 • Coloured 65.2%
 • Indian/Asian 0.6%
 • White 8.7%
 • Other 0.5%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 92.0%
 • English 6.4%
 • Xhosa 1.0%
 • Other 0.6%

Nieu-Bethesda (Dutch and Afrikaans for New Bethesda) is a village in the Eastern Cape at the foot of the Sneeuberge, approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Graaff Reinet. It was founded in 1875 as a church town, like many other Karoo villages, and attained municipal status in 1886. The name is of biblical origin (John 5:2-4) and means "place of flowing water".[2]

Originally established as congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church on the farm Uitkyk in 1875, it became a municipality about 1886. It now falls within the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality.

It is known for the Owl House, a museum dedicated to the eccentric artist Helen Martins, and the nearby Kompasberg, the highest point in the Eastern Cape province.

The town is also the focal point in Athol Fugard's play, "Road to Mecca".


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Nieu-Bethesda". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ Raper, P. E. (1989). Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. Jonathan Ball Publishers. p. 332. ISBN 978-0-947464-04-2 – via Internet Archive. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Nieu-Bethesda at Wikimedia Commons