Brief History of Jongensfontein

The contents of this page as well as the photos were sourced from a book, “Jongensfontein – van Suiping tot Sauna” by Barbara M. de Jager. Her contact details are available at the bottom of this page should you wish to purchase a copy of the book.

Archaeological evidence shows that humans have used this area on and off for some seven thousand years.  The earliest inhabitants were hunter-gatherers and then, some two thousand years ago, domesticated cattle were introduced and the people became pastoralists.

A Dutch expedition prior to 1713 reported on the existence of a spring here and the presence of numbers of Khoi people to whom they referred as “zwarte jongens” (black youths).  In 1713 a smallpox epidemic caused great depopulation among the Khoi.

The earliest mention of Jongensfontein in recorded history is a land deed in 1762 referring to the farm “Swarte Jongens Fonteyn”.  Many stories have circulated as to why it should be “black” but the expedition already mentioned provides a good explanation. Later, Zwarte Jongensfontein also became known as Groote Jongensfontein

The trough in “die Suiping
As the name implies, there is a spring a few hundred yards from the beach and such watering places were very important for people and their cattle. In 1762 Governor Ryk Tulbach granted permission to Michiel Muller to utilise the farm Zwarte Jongensfontein for grazing.In 1855 the farm became an “erfpagplaas” (perpetual quitrent farm) and “erfpag” was granted to 7 persons who used this farm for grazing and watering livestock, in the area which now includes the caravan park. This area was known as “Die Suiping”. A common trough provided the animals with water from the perennial spring.
In 1916 a subdivision of the farm took place and 31 persons received property rights. Since 1920 some servitude holders started to build small mud and reed houses which were sometimes leased to other persons as holiday accommodation – the start of Jongensfontein as a holiday location.Jongensfontein as well as Stilbaai West could only be reached via a ferry which started to operate in 1932 over the Kaffirkuils River (Now called the Gouka River) and it is a prominent part of the town’s history. During its last holiday season 1951 the ferry transported 3 000 vehicles over the river.
The “Pont”
Jongensfontein became increasingly popular as a holiday destination especially amongst residents and farmers from the surrounding areas. During holidays numerous people camped next to the beach and later on a more formal basis on the plot where the 3 Pikkewyne Supermarket is located today.
The photo was taken in 1963 and shows the fountain as well
as the informal development next to the beach
In 1963 an investigation was ordered into the haphazard way Jongensfontein was developing as a Holiday Resort which was never the intention. Town Planner WB Hart visited the area which initiated the formal development of Jongensfontein as town for which permission was granted in 1968.