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Telkom Direct Worcester N1 Rd, Shop 110 Mountain Mill Shopping Centre, Worcester 6850, South Africa
+27 860 746 637
Rumax 1 Samuel Walters St, Worcester 6850, South Africa
+27 82 335 3970
Capitec Bank 67 High St, Worcester 6850, South Africa
+27 23 347 5007
Stellenbosch Doctors Eikestadmall Medical Centre First Floor Eikestad mall ( opposite ABSA bank), Andringa Street, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
+27 21 887 8485
De Jagers Outfitters Dorp St, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
+27 21 886 5168
BOLAND BIKES 76 - 78 Jan Van Riebeeck Drive, Paarl 7646, South Africa
+27 21 862 0421
Toevlug Rehabilitation Centre Noble St, Worcester 6850, South Africa
+27 23 342 1162
Oude Meule Development De La Bat Rd, Worcester 6850, South Africa
+27 72 128 5222
Dr LB Linde - Paediatrician 18 Oewerpark, Rokewood Avenue, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
+27 21 882 8251
Quaggas Berg Private Nature Reserve Worcester, South Africa
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About Worcester

Worcester, Western Cape

 

is a town in the Western Cape, South Africa. It is located 120 km north-east of Cape Town on the N1 highway north to Johannesburg.

Being the largest town in the Western Cape's interior region, it serves as the administrative capital of the Breede Valley Local Municipality(Western Cape Department of Health) and as regional headquarters for most central and Provincial Government Departments. The town also serves as the hub of the Western Cape's interior commercial, distribution and retail activity with a shopping mall, well developed central business district and infrastructure.

Worcester is located at an elevation of 220m and can be reached by road either travelling on the N1 highway through the Huguenot Tunnel or by driving through spectacular Mountain passes. From Cape Town Du Toitskloof, from Wellington Bainskloof, from Malmesbury Nieuwekloof, from Ceres Mitchells, from Robertson Goree, from Hermanus Rooihoogte and from Johannesburg Hex River, with vistas over the Hex River Valley (Hex Valley Spring Water (Pty) Ltd).

Geographically, the district is delimited mainly by mountains; to the southwest lies the massive Stettyns mountain range with an annual rainfall in excess of 2000 mm. To the west lie the Du Toitskloof mountains and northwest lies the Slanghoek, Little Drakenstein, Elandskloof and Lemiet mountain ranges. To the north rises the Hex River Mountains which include the towering peaks of Chavonness, Brandwacht, Fonteintjiesberg and Audensberg. Northeast of the town the colourful Keerom Mountain runs into the Langeberg range.

Worcester and its surroundings form part of the Breede River (The Breede Riverine Trading Account Cc) catchment area, which is fed by a number of smaller rivers supplemented by the run-off from the winter snows in the mountains.  The district also includes the Hex River Valley.

 

 

Worcester

 
High Street in the Worcester CBD looking south-west
High Street in the Worcester CBD looking south-west
Worcester is located in South Africa
WorcesterWorcester
 Worcester shown within South Africa

Coordinates: 33°38′42″S 19°26′37″E

 

 

 

History

 

Pokkekraal Worcester District

 
Western Wine and Brandy Company Porter Street




 

Dutch period

 

View of Worcester and Breede River Valley from Ben Heatlie peak looking west

 

In the early days of the Cape's history the main road through the great mountain barrier which stretches northwards from the Hottentots-Holland, Wemmershoek and Slanghoek mountains to the Groot Winterhoek mountains, lay through the Roodezand Rd into the valley of Tulbagh. From here the road gave access in the south-east to "the original great rift valley of Africa" as Jan Smuts once described the Breede River Valley.

Worcester district is as old as hunting grounds and cattle runs go in the Cape, but new as a settled area. Before 1700, the area now known as the Breede River Valley was a hunter's paradise, teeming with game and wild birds. The main source of income, especially the sale of elephant tusks came from hunting licenses issued by the Dutch East India Company. By 1709 European farmers were given grazing rights in the area "over de Breede Rivier." In 1714 the first quitrent farms were released. Settlement in most cases was not on a permanent basis and "Hartebees huisies" were erected. When European settlers first arrived at the later Cape Colony, the Breede River Valley Tourism - Rawsonville was inhabited by San hunter/gatherers and Khoi livestock farmers. The Gainou, Korannas and Afrkaner tribes traded livestock with the settlers. With the European settlers came the smallpox virus, that would turn into an epidemic for the Khoi people and by 1713 would take its toll on their existence as a people.

European settlement took place at Waay Hoek, Bossiesveld, Kleinbosch, Slanghoek, Brandvalley, Vendutiekraal, Rooye Wal and Doornrivier. The first farms in the Hex River Valley (Hex Valley Spring Water (Pty) Ltd) were Kloppersbosch and De Buffelskraal, dating from 1731. With the European settlers came their slaves and eventually so-called free Khoi, who would settle on the farms as labourers.

 

 

Good Hope Building High Street

 
Old Masonic Hotel c/o High- and Stockenström Streets

 
Slave Bell on Market Square 1822

 

 

Climate

 

Worcester Dam in mid-winter as viewed from Mountain Mill Mall

 

Worcester experiences more extremes of temperature than neighbouring Cape Town, as oceanic influences are blocked by the Du Toitskloof and Slanghoek mountain ranges to the west. The daytime maximum in summer averages in the low 30 °C's, but some days in February can reach in excess of 40 °C. Summer is generally dry with the rare late summer thunderstorm, whilst spring and autumn are shoulder seasons of pleasant temperatures ranging from an average 10 °C minimum to 25 °C maximum, with the occasional rain shower. Winters are generally very windy and often cool to cold with snow being common on the higher lying ground above 1500m. Daytime maximums range from 10 °C-17 °C, with minimums hovering at or just above freezing. Winter brings most of Worcester's 175 mm of annual rainfall. The town lies in a curious rain-shadow phenomenon caused by the surrounding high mountains...

There are a number of wards within the Worcester District, reflecting a marked internal variation in soil types and micro-climates. In the Breede River, Botha, Slanghoek and Goudini wards the soils are sandy loams with a varying loose stone content and a fairly high, free water table. Along the river banks in the Nuy, Doornrivier, Aan De Doorns and Overhex wards, fertile alluvial and calcareous clayish soils can be found.

The annual average rainfall in the Slanghoek area is in excess of 1500mm, in contrast with a low 300mm in the Nuy and Scherpenheuvel areas to the east and southeast...

 

 

Economy

 

George Parker owned a shop and managed the first Post Office on the south side of town, from 1824 to 1860. His salary as Post Master was about 24 ZAR per year, and as Shopkeeper, by ordinance, he had to supply twelve months worth of credit to clients. The town of Worcester was founded as an administrative seat and to create a church and central market place for the frontier farmers. With the market established, Scottish artisans settled in town, bringing their skills as tinsmiths, coppersmiths, blacksmiths, shoemakers etc. By the mid-1830s the Colonial interior was starting to open up and Worcester as frontier town would gain by this. The first economic boon would come in the form of livestock trading and fresh produce farming followed by the development of a wagon industry. Due to the fact that Worcester was the last town before the Karoo interior, hotels and shops started to spring up to replenish travellers. With a solid foundation for economic development laid by 1845 and the road across the Bainskloof pass completed in 1852, bringing quicker access to Cape Town, it was time for Worcester to move forward.

The Worcester Commercial Bank Unlimited was officially established in 1856. Due to growth in the wagon making industry, the Bank ran into a credit crisis by 1864. Discounting of bills of exchange became difficult and investors started to withdraw their money. Only a £6000 capital injection by the board of directors saved the Bank from ruin. The discovery of diamonds brought a steadier stream of prospectors travelling through Worcester. This led to the opening of more shops and lodgings and other facilities to meet their needs and a rise in the town's population.

These factors led to the early construction of a diverse and cosmopolitan society in Worcester, outside of Cape Town, the only town that would develop as such in the Western Province during the late 19th century. In 1890 the African Banking Corporation was established in London, all branches were overseas. The Bank was formed as a consortium bank owned jointly by Lloyds Bank, National Provincial, Westminster and Standard Bank of South Africa. In December 1891, Articles of Agreement were drawn up with the Worcester Bank and operations were handed over to African Banking Corporation in February 1892.

 

Stockenström Street Sub Division House 1870

 
Russell Street Sub Division House 1890

 
Russell Street Sub Division House 1895

 

Finance would bring the Industrial Revolution to Worcester and economic growth really started once the railway line reached the town in 1876. The previous decade saw German artisans arriving from Pomerania, employed by farmers. These German labourers would bring their skills as expert farmers and would play a major role in the development of the farming industry.

A second group of German settlers followed in the 1870s to help with railway line construction. They again would bring skills as highly trained artisans. By the 1880s a Jewish community of traders and capital rich business people would follow. The early 1900s saw the first Greek residents and business people. Belgian, French, Italian and Portuguese communities all settled in Worcester at the end of World War II.

By 1882 the Cape Colonial Government proclaimed that the railway line should be extended to Robertson. The New Cape Central Railway Company (NCCR) undertook the construction of this line and it was completed in September 1887. Newspapers of the era informed the public of 3 up and 3 down trains on a daily basis. In addition to the new line, railway sidings were established throughout the district. From Cape Town at Breërivier, Botha's Halt, Goudini Road and Chavonnes. To Kimberley at De Wet, Sandhills and Orchard. On the NCCR line at Overhex and Nuy. In 1883 the Reverend William Murray and the Church Council petitioned the Cape Colonial Government against the use of trains on Sundays.

By the 1880s 40 companies manufactured wagons in Worcester, Fairbairn- Durban- and Riebeeck Streets housed these factories. The Worcester Industry slowly died as the railway lines became a more effective mode of transportation.

The Western Wine and Brandy Company founded in 1895 built the first distillery in Porter Street. By 1918 the KWV was founded and took control of the distillery.

JS Naudè & Co controlled the buying and distribution of deciduous fruit from 1899 onwards. The company developed internal, African and in later years European markets. By 1960 all the companies in Worcester amalgamated to form Deciduous Fruit Distributors of Worcester.

The Prune Growers Association was founded in 1890; by 1907 this organisation was changed to a company, which would become Safari SAD. The first branch opened in Porter Street in 1921.

The Union Vinegar Company was established in 1913. It was the first South African factory to produce Beetroot salad. Other products included vinegar, pickled onions, piccalilly, tomato sauce and Worcester sauce.

Simon and Woolf Heller were merchants in dried fruit. In 1930 they established a Jam Factory. With the outbreak of the Second World War the Standard Fruit Company received an order for 170 000 cases of jam. The company was transformed into a public company, Standard Canners and Packers. In 1954 Langeberg Food Processors Ltd bought the controlling stock.

In 1952 Eskom's Hex River Power Station came into production. It was built primarily for railway electrification and additional supply of electricity for rural areas. The Power Station was demolished in 1990.

The main incentive in 1949 for the establishment of Hex River Textiles Mills Ltd was the plentiful supply of labour, as well as the suitability of the Hex River's water for the purpose. Operating at its peak during the 1960s, the factory employed 1200 workers.

The multi national company, Rainbow Chicken Ltd invested substantial capital in farms and a factory in Worcester during the 1970s. Today some light industries such as millers, coldddrink manufacturers, food manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, paint manufacturers, joineries and engineering works are located in the town.

 

 

Climate

 

Worcester Dam in mid-winter as viewed from Mountain Mill Mall

 

Worcester experiences more extremes of temperature than neighbouring Cape Town, as oceanic influences are blocked by the Du Toitskloof and Slanghoek mountain ranges to the west. The daytime maximum in summer averages in the low 30 °C's, but some days in February can reach in excess of 40 °C. Summer is generally dry with the rare late summer thunderstorm, whilst spring and autumn are shoulder seasons of pleasant temperatures ranging from an average 10 °C minimum to 25 °C maximum, with the occasional rain shower. Winters are generally very windy and often cool to cold with snow being common on the higher lying ground above 1500m. Daytime maximums range from 10 °C-17 °C, with minimums hovering at or just above freezing. Winter brings most of Worcester's 175 mm of annual rainfall. The town lies in a curious rain-shadow phenomenon caused by the surrounding high mountains.

There are a number of wards within the Worcester District, reflecting a marked internal variation in soil types and micro-climates. In the Breede River, Botha, Slanghoek and Goudini wards the soils are sandy loams with a varying loose stone content and a fairly high, free water table. Along the river banks in the Nuy, Doornrivier, Aan De Doorns and Overhex wards, fertile alluvial and calcareous clayish soils can be found.

The annual average rainfall in the Slanghoek area is in excess of 1500mm, in contrast with a low 300mm in the Nuy and Scherpenheuvel areas to the east and southeast..

 

 

Economy

 

George Parker owned a shop and managed the first Post Office on the south side of town, from 1824 to 1860. His salary as Post Master was about 24 ZAR per year, and as Shopkeeper, by ordinance, he had to supply twelve months worth of credit to clients. The town of Worcester was founded as an administrative seat and to create a church and central market place for the frontier farmers. With the market established, Scottish artisans settled in town, bringing their skills as tinsmiths, coppersmiths, blacksmiths, shoemakers etc. By the mid-1830s the Colonial interior was starting to open up and Worcester as frontier town would gain by this. The first economic boon would come in the form of livestock trading and fresh produce farming followed by the development of a wagon industry. Due to the fact that Worcester was the last town before the Karoo interior, hotels and shops started to spring up to replenish travellers. With a solid foundation for economic development laid by 1845 and the road across the Bainskloof pass completed in 1852, bringing quicker access to Cape Town, it was time for Worcester to move forward.

The Worcester Commercial Bank Unlimited was officially established in 1856. Due to growth in the wagon making industry, the Bank ran into a credit crisis by 1864. Discounting of bills of exchange became difficult and investors started to withdraw their money. Only a £6000 capital injection by the board of directors saved the Bank from ruin. The discovery of diamonds brought a steadier stream of prospectors travelling through Worcester. This led to the opening of more shops and lodgings and other facilities to meet their needs and a rise in the town's population.

These factors led to the early construction of a diverse and cosmopolitan society in Worcester, outside of Cape Town, the only town that would develop as such in the Western Province during the late 19th century. In 1890 the African Banking Corporation was established in London, all branches were overseas. The Bank was formed as a consortium bank owned jointly by Lloyds Bank, National Provincial, Westminster and Standard Bank of South Africa. In December 1891, Articles of Agreement were drawn up with the Worcester Bank and operations were handed over to African Banking Corporation in February 1892..

 

Stockenström Street Sub Division House 1870

 
Russell Street Sub Division House 1890



 
Russell Street Sub Division House 1895

 

Finance would bring the Industrial Revolution to Worcester and economic growth really started once the railway line reached the town in 1876. The previous decade saw German artisans arriving from Pomerania, employed by farmers. These German labourers would bring their skills as expert farmers and would play a major role in the development of the farming industry.

A second group of German settlers followed in the 1870s to help with railway line construction. They again would bring skills as highly trained artisans. By the 1880s a Jewish community of traders and capital rich business people would follow. The early 1900s saw the first Greek residents and business people.Belgian, French, Italian and Portuguese communities all settled in Worcester at the end of World War II.

By 1882 the Cape Colonial Government proclaimed that the railway line should be extended to Robertson. The New Cape Central Railway Company (NCCR) undertook the construction of this line and it was completed in September 1887. Newspapers of the era informed the public of 3 up and 3 down trains on a daily basis. In addition to the new line, railway sidings were established throughout the district. From Cape Town at Breërivier, Botha's Halt, Goudini Road and Chavonnes. To Kimberley at De Wet, Sandhills and Orchard. On the NCCR line at Overhex and Nuy. In 1883 the Reverend William Murray and the Church Council petitioned the Cape Colonial Government against the use of trains on Sundays.

By the 1880s 40 companies manufactured wagons in Worcester, Fairbairn- Durban- and Riebeeck Streets housed these factories. The Worcester Industry slowly died as the railway lines became a more effective mode of transportation.

The Western Wine and Brandy Company founded in 1895 built the first distilleryin Porter Street. By 1918 the KWV was founded and took control of the distillery.

JS Naudè & Co controlled the buying and distribution of deciduous fruit from 1899 onwards. The company developed internal, African and in later years European markets. By 1960 all the companies in Worcester amalgamated to form Deciduous Fruit Distributors of Worcester.

The Prune Growers Association was founded in 1890; by 1907 this organisation was changed to a company, which would become Safari SAD. The first branch opened in Porter Street in 1921.

The Union Vinegar Company was established in 1913. It was the first South African factory to produce Beetroot salad. Other products included vinegar, pickled onions, piccalilly, tomato sauce and Worcester sauce.

Simon and Woolf Heller were merchants in dried fruit. In 1930 they established a Jam Factory. With the outbreak of the Second World War the Standard Fruit Company received an order for 170 000 cases of jam. The company was transformed into a public company, Standard Canners and Packers. In 1954 Langeberg Food Processors Ltd bought the controlling stock.

In 1952 Eskom's Hex River Power Station came into production. It was built primarily for railway electrification and additional supply of electricity for rural areas. The Power Station was demolished in 1990.

The main incentive in 1949 for the establishment of Hex River Textiles Mills Ltd was the plentiful supply of labour, as well as the suitability of the Hex River's water for the purpose. Operating at its peak during the 1960s, the factory employed 1200 workers.

The multi national company, Rainbow Chicken Ltd invested substantial capital in farms and a factory in Worcester during the 1970s. Today some light industries such as millers, coldddrink manufacturers, food manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, paint manufacturers, joineries and engineering works are located in the town.

 

 

 

 SOURCE:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worcester,_Western_Cape




 



 


 



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