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Sutherland, Northern Cape

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Sutherland, Northern Cape

Sutherland
Top left: Fort Steenbok, a fortification from the Second Boer War. Top right: an aerial view of the South African Astronomical Observatory. Middle left: the main church in the town centre. Middle right: a view of the stars in the nights sky in Sutherland. Bottom: a panoramic view of the town centre facing away from the main church.
Top left: Fort Steenbok, a fortification from the Second Boer War. Top right: an aerial view of the South African Astronomical Observatory. Middle left: the main church in the town centre. Middle right: a view of the stars in the nights sky in Sutherland. Bottom: a panoramic view of the town centre facing away from the main church.
Sutherland is located in Northern Cape
Sutherland
Sutherland
 Sutherland shown within Northern Cape
Coordinates:
Country South Africa
Province Northern Cape
District Namakwa
Municipality Karoo Hoogland
Established 1858
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Indian/Asian 0.8%
 • White 12.7%
 • Other 0.3%
First languages (2011)[1]
 •  1.9%
 • Other 2.1%
Postal code (street) 6920
PO box 6920
Area code 023

Sutherland is a town with about 2,841 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.[2] It lies in the western Roggeveld Mountains in the Karoo.

History

Sutherland was founded in 1723 as a church and market town to serve the area's sheep farmers. By 1872 the town had a population of 138 registered citizens living in 19 houses.[3] The large Dutch Reformed church in the centre of Sutherland was built in 1899.[4]

During the Anglo Boer War the church was used as a fort by garrisoned British soldiers. During the war a number of engagements between British and Boer forces occurred in the town. In one such engagement a force of 250 Boer commandos attacked the local British garrison for 10 hours. The ruins of a fort can be found on the outskirts of town -on the hill called Rebelskop- was named after this engagement.[5]

Economy

Major economic activities include tourism and sheep farming.[6] The area includes at least twelve registered B&B's, guest houses and guest farms.[7] The nearby South African Astronomical Observatory also plays a significant role in the town's economy and is a major driver of tourism to the area.[5] The town also has a number of bars, restaurants and an amateur astronomy observatory that service the tourism sector.[5]

Sutherland has recently gained in popularity, with many Capetonians buying property in the town and many more visiting on weekends and vacations.

Geography

Sutherland's arid climate and remote location 1,450 metres (4,760 ft) above sea level make its night skies among the world's clearest and darkest. The telescopes of the South African Astronomical Observatory are nearby at . These include the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere.[8]

Climate

Sutherland is the coldest town in South Africa, with an average yearly temperature of 11.3 °C and an average annual minimum temperature of 2.8 °C;[9] although the farm Buffelsfontein holds the official lowest temperature record in the country, of −20.1 °C (−4 °F)[10] Snowfall is common in winter.  The coldest temperature recorded in Sutherland was −16.4 °C on 12 July 2003.[9] Sutherland has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk).

Climate data for Sutherland
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 27
(81)
27
(81)
24
(75)
20
(68)
16
(61)
12
(54)
12
(54)
14
(57)
16
(61)
20
(68)
23
(73)
25
(77)
19
(66)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17
(63)
18
(64)
15
(59)
11
(52)
8
(46)
5
(41)
5
(41)
6
(43)
8
(46)
11
(52)
14
(57)
16
(61)
11
(52)
Average low °C (°F) 8
(46)
8
(46)
6
(43)
3
(37)
0
(32)
−1
(30)
−2
(28)
−1
(30)
0
(32)
2
(36)
5
(41)
7
(45)
2
(36)
Record low °C (°F) −15
(5)
−16.4
(2.5)
−16.4
(2.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 12
(0.47)
17
(0.67)
27
(1.06)
25
(0.98)
24
(0.94)
34
(1.34)
25
(0.98)
24
(0.94)
15
(0.59)
15
(0.59)
15
(0.59)
12
(0.47)
244
(9.61)
Source: [11]

Notable residents

Notable residents of Sutherland include:

  • NP van Wyk Louw, famous Afrikaner poet and elder brother of WEG Louw was born in Sutherland.
  • WEG Louw, famous Afrikaner poet and younger brother of NP van Wyk Louw was born in Sutherland.
  • Dr Henry Olivier, chief engineer of the Kariba Dam project and contributing inventor of the Mulberry Harbours was born in Sutherland.
  • Adriaan Vlok, national government minister of Law and Order from 1986-1991 was born in Sutherland.
  • André van der Merwe, a famous South African urologist born in Sutherland.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ Sutherland Information
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ SALT home page
  9. ^ a b South African Weather Service
  10. ^
  11. ^ Weatherbase.com Retrieved 1 August 2010.

External links

  • South African Astronomical Observatory website
  • Discover Sutherland
  • Sutherland Tourism - Official website
  • Sutherland on www.karoo-southafrica.co.za


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