- Northern Cape
A Lonely but cheerful little place
The area around Pofadder is harsh in the extreme. In a good season perhaps 75mm of rain will fall but most seasons are bad, without any rain at all and livestock have to be transported to other districts to be fed.
A lonely but cheerful little place, Pofadder somehow or other survives its hardships, always hoping that sometime just a little rain will fall, no more in a year than many cities in Europe receive in a day, but enough to keep the wilderness just slightly better than a total desert.
It is said that Pofadder had more windmills than any other town in South Africa. During 1927 the first boreholes were sunk in Pofadder and by the year 1958 there were no fewer than 130 windmills in town. Today Pofadder is dependant on water from the Orange River, 49 km away.
Pofadder has several old buildings, one being the Roman Catholic Church. Built by the mission, it runs a blockmaking enterprise, and a chicken and dairy farm which provides employment for the local community.
There are many day walks and in spring the surrounding veld becomes a wonderworld of flowers.
Klaas Pofadder, a Koranna chief, was a cattle rustler whose headquarters were at a lonely, inaccessible little spring of fresh water. In 1875 he and his band were pursued to their hideaway and killed in a gun fight.
Lured by the perennial spring, settlers sank their roots into the parched earth from 1889 onwards. A mission station was then founded by Rev Christian Schroder in 1875 at the spring.
The first plots surveyed were sold in 1917 and the present town developed into a centre for karakul and woolly sheep.
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