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History and Culture  

The town name

Riviersonderend in the Afrikaans language means “river without end”. The town is situated on the loop of the Sonderend River from which it derives its name. Some say the original inhabitants, a Khoi-khoi tribe, called the river “Kanna-kan-kann”, which, roughly translated means “water, endless, water”.

In 1922, Ms Edith McIntyre sold her farm Triehoek to the Dutch Reformed church council. They established a local congregation and formed a town, which they wanted to name Nuwedorp (New Town). Older residents preferred the name “Rivier Zonder End”.

Establishing a community

In 1923 the first of a series of auctions was held to sell plots from the original land obtained by the church. New plot owners were allowed to keep one cow for milk and two oxen. Butchers alone were allowed to keep sheep. Riviersonderend remains a predominantly farming community.

Where the river begins and ends

The Sonderend River starts at the Theewaterskloof Dam. It flows eastwards for approximately 130 km and then into the Breede River just north of Swellendam town.


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