The oldest bridges in South Africa

South Africa’s oldest stone- and steel bridges are still in use today.

Jan Joubert’s Gat Bridge

Jan Joubert se gat
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jan Joubert’s Gat bridge is situated on the Franschhoek Mountain pass in the Cape Winelands in South Africa. Built in 1825 by Major William Cuthbert Holloway of the Royal Engineers to cross a deep ravine, it is the oldest stone bridge still in use anywhere in South Africa.

Jan Joubert se gat
Photo courtesy of Danie van der Merwe

Jan Joubert’s Gat is named after a frontiersman that died here after an accident in which the “disselboom” (draught pole) of Jan’s wagon broke.

It was declared a National Monument in 1979.

The Lady Loch steel bridge

The Lady Loch bridge
Photo courtesy of Fynbos Trails
Henry Brougham Loch
Henry Brougham Loch, Governor of the Cape (1889-1895). The Lady Loch steel bridge was named after his wife. He was Australian, and he also had an awesome beard.

The Lady Loch steel bridge in Wellington was the first all steel bridge in the country and was constructed in 1853, the same year that Bain’s Kloof Pass was opened.

In 1853, the “Lady Loch” – a wooden bridge named after the Governor’s wife – was used for access across the Berg River between Cape Town and Paarl. In 1910 it was replaced with an iron bridge which became the first all steel bridge in South Africa. The original wooden pillars are now at the Wellington Museum.

One Reply to “The oldest bridges in South Africa”

  1. The Genadendal bridge costructed in 1818, completed in 1821 was a first for South Africa. It is situated 6km before Greyton and was constructed over the Sonderend River.

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