HISTORY OF STEYNSBURG

During 1872 the congregation of the Reformed church that lived in the area of Steynsburg felt the desire to start up their own church in the area as it was too far to travel to their nearest church.  Andries Steyn the uncle of President Paul Kruger was at the forefront of this movement.  Andries together with Mr L.P Van Der Walt bought ground from Mr Andries Van Der Walt and Mr L.P Vorster on behalf of the Reformed Church.

On the 7th of December 1872 the congregation and the town was established and thus town named after Andries Steyn.  With this a lot of immigrants from European countries as well as South Africans came to the town. 

Regulations for the town to have a municipality was initiated in 1874 with the condition that the Reformed Church still held the title deeds.  In 1892 the title deeds were sold over to the municipality for the sum of £750. During the 1890’s the railway line was laid between Stormberg and Rosemead, this opened the door to prosperity for all who lived here.

During the Anglo Boer War the English troops started to take possession of the town and the railway line started to bring a lot of activity as well as a lot of concerns and doubt.  After the war the CNO School was started and in later years the teachers training college and Paul Kruger High School also opened which brought a lot of activity to the town.  In 1950 the college closed its doors, and the ladies dormitory became a home for neglected girls and later became an orphanage, after which the municipality bought it to use as offices.

In the 1960’s a road camp was erected which saw the laying of the tar roads between Steynsburg, Hofmeyr, Middelburg, Craddock and Molteno.  Then was the building of the Hendrik Verwoerd dam (Now Gariep Dam) and the building of the Fish River Tunnel, this gave the town an economic boost.

With the building of the Fish River Tunnel people were housed for 12 years in villages next to the building of the tunnel, there were 7 shafts spanning a distance of 58 miles.  People were housed at shaft 6 which was Mid Shaft and at shaft 7 which is at Teebus.

Where the Fish River Tunnel exits Teebus there is a 4km canal which carries the water to the Grasrug Dam, from there it carries on with the fish river and the tunnel to Somerset East into the Sundays River which almost takes the water to Port Elizabeth.

By the time the 1980’s came around the tunnel was built and all road camps moved away, the Station closed its doors, banks closed, Paul Kruger High school closed and an exodus of great scale happened as people were leaving the town to be closer to the necessities.  But thanks to over flowing cities and higher crime rates in the larger areas people are slowly returning to a once beautiful town for peace and quiet and a low crime rate.  Houses are being bought up and restored,