Ermelo, Mpumalanga

Last updated
Station Ermelo Mpumalanga.JPG
Ermelo railway station
South Africa Mpumalanga location map.svg
Red pog.svg
South Africa adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Africa location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 26°32′S29°59′E / 26.533°S 29.983°E / -26.533; 29.983 Coordinates: 26°32′S29°59′E / 26.533°S 29.983°E / -26.533; 29.983
Country South Africa
Province Mpumalanga
District Gert Sibande
Municipality Msukaligwa
Established1880 [1]
  Total47.46 km2 (18.32 sq mi)
1,700 m (5,600 ft)
 (2011) [2]
  Density1,800/km2 (4,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
   Black African 82.6%
   Coloured 0.7%
   Indian/Asian 1.8%
   White 14.5%
First languages (2011)
   Zulu 70.8%
   Afrikaans 14.3%
   English 4.8%
   Swazi 4.1%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code 017

Ermelo ( /əməl/ ) is the educational, industrial and commercial town of the 7,750 km2 Gert Sibande District Municipality in Mpumalanga province, Republic of South Africa. It is both a mixed agriculture and mining region. It is located 210 km east of Johannesburg.



Some of the earliest inhabitants of the area were the Leghoya people. Not much is known about them, but ruins of their settlements dating back to c.1400 can be found in the area.[ citation needed ]

During the mid-1800s, the area prior to the formation as a village, was an outspan area for resting teams of draw animals transporting goods across the region mainly due to the water of the small lakes dotting the area. [3] :302 Modern Ermelo was founded by Dutch Reformed Church Reverend Frans Lion Cachet (1835–1899). [3] :303 He would minister to the many farms in the area. [3] :303 A congregation was started by Cachet in 1870, and was recognised by the 5th annual general meeting of the church in April 1872. [4] [5]

The town was formed on the farm Nooitgedacht purchased from P.J. Fourie in 1879 and proclaimed on 12 February 1880. [3] :303 It was managed by the church until 1895 when the government of the South African Republic took over its management. [3] :303 Cachet named it after a town in the Netherlands. [3] :303 Cachet was an outspoken preacher, who had a strong interest in evangelism to Jews, his own family having Jewish heritage. [6] Cachet had met and been influenced by Hermanus Willem Witteveen from Ermelo in the Netherlands as a young man, and named the settlement in honour of Witteveen.

In 1901, the town was reduced to a single standing home by the British during the Second Boer War. [3] :303 The town would be rebuilt in 1903. [3] :303



Mixed farming such as maize, cattle, potatoes, beans, wool, pigs, sunflower seeds, nuts, sub-tropical fruits, lucerne and sorghum take place around the district. [3] :303 The town is the home of the Nooitgedacht Agriculture Development and Research Centre that researches crop production and animal husbandry. [3] :303


Mining is important to the district with anthracite, coal and torbanite mined. [3] :303

Law and government


Ermelo falls under the Msukaligwa Local Municipality which is situated in the Gert Sibande District, of Mpumalanga. Ermelo is the seat of the municipality.

Coats of arms

Municipality (1) — A municipal board was established for Ermelo in 1903. By 1931, it had assumed a coat of arms. The arms were registered with the Transvaal Provincial Administration in January 1957 [7] and recorded at the Bureau of Heraldry as part of a municipal flag in 1967. [8]

The arms were : Per pale, dexter Or, a mining headgear Sable; sinister Vert, a sheep-shear and spade in saltire, handles upwards, Argent; on a chief Gules a phoenix on a nest enflamed, Or. In layman's terms, the shield was divided vertically, displaying a black mine headgear on a golden background and a crossed sheep-shear and spade on a green background, and across the top was a golden phoenix on a red horizontal stripe. (Note : these are not the colours shown on the cigarette card issued in 1931. Either the cigarette card is wrong, or the municipality changed the colours some time between 1931 and 1957.)

The motto was Stabiliter progrediens.

Municipality (2) — The Ermelo transitional local council which administered the town during the local government reorganisation in the late 1990s, registered its own arms at the Bureau of Heraldry in May 1998. [8]

The arms were: Per fess Or and Vert, charged over the partition line with five lozenges conjoined, per fess Sable and Argent; in chief a phoenix Sable issuant from flames Gules and in base sheep shears and a spade in saltire, blades to base, Argent. In layman's terms, this shield was divided horizontally into gold and green, with a black phoenix at the top and a crossed silver sheep-shear and spade at the bottom, and across the centre a row of five diamond-shapes divided horizontally into black over silver.

The crest was a green mural crown with the brickwork outlined in gold. The motto was Stabiliter progrediens.

These arms have been taken over by the Msukaligwa municipality, of which Ermelo now forms part.



It is also a railway junction between Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. The rail junction connects to Machadodorp which is on the Pretoria and Maputo railway line. [3] The town also lies on the railway line that connects the coalfields with the Port of Richards Bay on the Indian Ocean. [3] Coal trains shipping to the coast from the mines change electric locomotives here, as power converts from Direct current to Alternating current - a legacy of the British and Afrikaner histories of the area. [9]


Ermelo is the crossroads of three national highways, N2, N11 and the N17, only Pretoria and Johannesburg are crossed by more. The N2 freeway connects Ermelo south east to Piet Retief 105 km away and eventually Richards Bay 417 km from the town. The N11 South connects the town to Newcastle, 152 km to the south and Ladysmith 250 km away and the N3 to Durban. The N11 north connects it to Middelburg, 108 km away and the N4 freeway west to Pretoria. The N17 West connects the town to the southern suburbs of Johannesburg and N17 east to eSwatini.

Notable people from Ermelo

Related Research Articles

The lines of partition used to divide and vary fields and charges in heraldry are by default straight, but may have many different shapes. Care must sometimes be taken to distinguish these types of lines from the extremely unusual and non-traditional use of lines as charges, and to distinguish these shapes from actual charges, such as "a mount [or triple mount] in base," or, particularly in German heraldry, different kinds of embattled from castle walls.

Variation of the field Heraldic term

In heraldry, variations of the field are any of a number of ways that a field may be covered with a pattern, rather than a flat tincture or a simple division of the field.

Uitenhage Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Uitenhage officially renamed Kariega is a South African town in the Eastern Cape Province. It is well known for the Volkswagen factory located there, which is the biggest car factory on the African continent. Along with the city of Gqeberha and the small town of Despatch, it forms the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

Bethal is a farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The farms in the region produce maize, sunflower seeds, sorghum, rye and potatoes. The town lies 155 km (96 mi) east of Johannesburg on the N17 National Route.

Gert Sibande District Municipality District municipality in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Gert Sibande is one of the 3 districts of Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The seat of Gert Sibande is Ermelo. The majority of its 900 007 people speak IsiZulu. The district code is DC30. On 15 October 2004, the municipality changed its name from the "Eastvaal" to "Gert Sibande" District Municipality. The district is named after the ANC activist Gert Sibande.

Malmesbury, South Africa Place in Western Cape, South Africa

Malmesbury is a town of approximately 36,000 inhabitants in the Western Cape province of South Africa, about 65 km north of Cape Town.

The Diocese of Zululand is a diocese of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa which covers the part of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal that lies to the northeast of the Buffalo and Tugela Rivers. It is divided in ten archdeaconries.

Goodwood is a suburb of Cape Town in the Western Cape, South Africa and is situated in the Tygerberg region of the City of Cape Town. It is 10 kilometres from Cape Town and accessible from the N1, N7 and N2 highways.

Msukaligwa Local Municipality Local municipality in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Msukaligwa Local Municipality is a South African local municipality situated in the Gert Sibande District Municipality, of Mpumalanga. Ermelo is the seat of the municipality.

Richard "Gert" Sibande was a South African political activist. He was one of the ANC co-accused to stand trial in the treason trial of 1956-61 alongside Nelson Mandela and 154 others.

Hendrina is a town in Nkangala District Municipality, in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park. The town is 53 km (32.9 mi) northwest of Ermelo, 40 km (24.8 mi) southwest of Carolina, and 53 km (32.9 mi) southeast of Middelburg.

Trichardt is a town on the N17 National Route in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The village is 34 km west of Bethal and 32 km east-south-east of Leandra, adjacent to Secunda.

Leandra is a town in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Leslie is a town in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. It is part of Leandra. The village is 63 km west of Bethal, Mpumalanga and 56 km east-south-east of Springs, Gauteng. Administered by a village council, it was laid out on the farm Brakkefontein and proclaimed in December 1939, an extension being proclaimed in December 1957. The village is thought to be named after Leslie in Fife, Scotland.

Diepdale is a town in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Fort England Psychiatric Hospital is a government funded psychiatric hospital and drug rehabilitation centre for the Makana Local Municipality area in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape in South Africa.

Bettysgoed is a town in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Manaar is a town in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Tjakastad is a town in Gert Sibande District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Vusi Robert Shongwe, known as Vusi Shongwe, is a South African politician who served as acting Premier of Mpumalanga between August and November 2015 while then Premier and now deputy president David Mabuza was being treated for an alleged food poisoning. He has 3 children, one of which is known as Naledi Shongwe.


  1. "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Main Place Ermelo". Census 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Erasmus, B.P.J. (2014). On Route in South Africa: Explore South Africa region by region. Jonathan Ball Publishers. p. 401. ISBN   9781920289805.
  4. Human Sciences Research Countil (1976). Official South African municipal yearbook. Tafelberg. p. 143. ISBN   0-624-00856-8.
  5. ZA Places - Ermelo: The Early Years. Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine . Accessed 20-Aug-2011
  6. SA Association of Municipal Employees (1995). Dictionary of South African Biography Vol 1. Gaffney Group. p. 116.
  7. Transvaal Official Gazette 2615 (23 January 1957).
  8. 1 2 National Archives of South Africa : Data of the Bureau of Heraldry
  9. Shongololo puts SA’s coal on a faster track BDLive