Ventersdorp grew around a Dutch Reformed Church that was established in 1866. It was named after Johannes Venter who owned the farm Roodepoort and the land the church was built on. It was proclaimed as a town in June 1887.
The Afrikaner nationalist Eugène Terre’Blanche was born in Ventersdorp. The town is the base of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), the far-right secessionist political organisation and former paramilitary group which Terre’Blanche founded.
Ventersdorp is located in the fertile Vaal River Valley, at the centre of a large agricultural area. The enormous silos, with a two million bag capacity, stand as proof of farming successes.
Attractions in and around Ventersdorp include:
– The Eye of the Schoonspruit River is one of many river eyes in the area. It is 6km from Ventersdorp on the road to Koster. The town depends on its water for human consumption. The water level stays constant, even during dry seasons. It was from here that the first mineral water was bottled in South Africa, under the label “Schoonspruit”.
– The Water Mill in Roscher Street was built on the Schoonspruit River, on a farm the government granted to Mrs de Beer after the death of her first husband. Her next husband, a Welshman named Mr Richard Carew Wilson, built the mill in 1866. It still works today, although it has been electrified and the wheel has long since gone.
– Rietspruit is an angler’s paradise. It is 8km from town on the road to Klerksdorp, 10km from Ventersdorp. A variety of water sports may be enjoyed at this resort.
– Elandskuil Dam is ideal for a day out in the sun. Only 3km from Ventersdorp on the road to Klerksdorp.
– The Klerkskraal Dam is fed by the Mooi River – a beautiful spot and not to be missed. It is 22km from Ventersdorp on the road to Krugersdorp.
– The Swartrand Caves are on the farm of Willem Boshoff. The roar of water can be heard from deep within.
– Tarentaal Hiking Routes, information obtainable from the Tourism Information Office
– In the town cemetery is the grave of an Irish soldier, G. Shaw, who fought on the side of the Boers during the South African War. He was court-marshaled by the British authorities and executed by firing squad. Use the entry gate to the left of the old cemetery. The lonely grave is in the shade of a huge tree, next to the fence on the left.
– The NG Church is the red brick building on the main street of the town.
– The Anglo Boer South African War Memorial. It is near the Voortrekker Hall, next to the fire and ambulance services. In memory of Boer soldiers who died during skirmishes, and women and children who died in the concentration camps.
– The Boer Fort on the farm Elandskuil 4km out of town on the road to Klerksdorp. It is on the left side of the road, at the turn-off to the Rietspruit Dam.
– The Battle of Ventersdorp Memorial in memory of those who died on August 9, 1994.
|Country name||South Africa|