Hanover, a small town in the Northern Cape
Province of South Africa, is named after Hanover in Germany.
The town was established in 1854
claims to be the country's most central place. It is equidistant from Cape Town
and Johannesburg, centrally positioned between Cape Town and Durban as
well as Port Elizabeth and Upington and it is the hub of an arc
formed by Richmond, Middelburg and Colesberg.
Historic figures were
at the centre of life here, people like Olive Schreiner, author and women's rights
champion, and the tempestuous Rev. Thomas Francois Burgers. Among its residents
were the wealthy and eccentric. The town's chief constable was the grandson of
Lord Charles Somerset, the magistrate's clerk a son of Dean Vaughan of Llandaff,
well-known churchman and devotional writer of his day, and the local doctor was
the son of a former Solicitor-General of Jamaica.
people of today hailing from Hanover includes Zwelinzima Vavi, the General Secretary
of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
The country's first
observatory once stood at the top of Trappieskop, but it has been moved
and is now part of the observatory at Sutherland.
Today the busy Karoo N
1 route cuts through the veld between the town and its cemetery. But during the
last century all roads converged in Hanover and all travelers passed through the
town. It was on an important stop for stage coaches carrying passengers to the
Diamond Fields, and the Free State mail was carried through by post cart.
Daily life bubbled with people ever on the move. But then in 1884, the advent
of the railway deprived the town of much of its through traffic and its character