WEST COAST SPOTLIGHT
A magical hamlet where the streets have no name, Leipoldtville is a kingdom of peace.
Talk about surprises! Visiting Leipoldtville felt like chancing upon the most well-kept secret of not only the West Coast, but the entire country. Neatly ensconced in the arresting Sandveld landscape next to the Langvlei river, this charming settlement of 74 households takes pride in its collection of captivating inhabitants – too many to mention here.
Owned and operated by the third-generation Hugo Basson, Leipoldtville Garage seemed an incongruous find in such a tiny place, but believe you me, it’s a thriving business, as is Adriaan and Kathleen Langley’s Leipoldtville Meganies. Johnny van den Berg delights all and sundry at the Algemene Handelaar, while Henk van Zyl of Spioenkop farm is regarded as the town’s de facto mayor. Apart from tirelessly maintaining the dirt roads and sidewalks, he also provides water from his private resources when municipal services fail.
Established about five years ago, the Christelike Privaatskool Leipoldtville with 60+ pupils is quite the success story, with many students excelling academically. And almost needless to mention, the DR Church is the heart of the community. That’s in fact how the hamlet came to be in 1905 when a new congregation was formed – named after the then Clanwilliam minister, Friederich Leipoldt. He’s of course better known as the father of physician, poet and author, C Louis Leipoldt.
Agriculture drives the economy with second- to fourth-generation farmers producing superior-class Sandveld potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, sweetcorn, plus sheep and cattle on the side. Failure to mention the annual Leipoldtville Festival on the first Saturday in August would be unforgivable. It’s a culinary and music fest bar none, with attendants arriving from all corners of South Africa.
Vibrant with culture, colour and quirk, Leipoldtville is sure to leave you spellbound.
Many thanks to Johan Jacobs for his invaluable input.