Ladismith

Established in 1852

History of Ladismith

Province: Western Cape
Klein Karoo
Coordinates:33°29′S 21°16′E
Area: 25.8 km2
Municipality: Kannaland

Ladismith was established in 1852 on the farm Elandsvlei which was set aside for the town, it was named after Lady Juana Maria de Los Delores de Leon, who was the wife of Sir Harry Smith. Sir Harry Smith was the governor of the Cape. from 1847 to 1852. Part of the farm Elandsvlei was bought from Balthazar Klopper. 138 residential stands were laid out and Ladismith became a municipality in 1862. When Lady Smith gave permission for the village to be named for her, she sent ten pounds and a Dutch bible as a gift to the people of Ladismith.  
In 1879 the Ladismith in the Cape was differentiated from the one in Kwazulu Natal also named for the same person and was spelt with a Y instead of an I.

The area around Ladismith was settled by Europeans as early as the 1750s. These people were mainly stock farmers looking for new grazing areas and hunters
Ladismith is placed in the flat land below Towerkop, a large rock outcrop with a split in it. Legend has it that the outcrop was split by a witch who struck it with her wand as she was angered that it obstructed her chosen route


Ladismith has an ideal climate for growing deciduous fruit. One-third of all apricots grown in South Africa are grown here.  High-quality cheese is also produced in Ladismith. The ostrich boom also touched the area. 

A variety of architectural styles can be seen in the town, from neo-Gothic and Victorian to the typical Ladismith style which is square with round vents placed at the front. Seweweekspoort the pass through the mountain opened in 1862 was one of the first links passing through the Swartberg. The pass follows 17 km through the jagged mountains.
Another famous landmark is a small light connected to a bicycle dynamo that is powered by a stream halfway up the Elandsberg slopes. It was built by Stanley De Witt and is known locally as ‘Oom Stanley se Liggie. It has lasted for decades and it warns residents about changes in the water supply.

The license plate prefix for Ladismith is CBL and the postcode is 6655

WEATHER IN LADISMITH TODAY

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Things to see and do in Ladismith

Useful Numbers

  • Police: 028 551 8100
  • Traffic department: Calitzdorp 044 213 3312
  • Municipality 028 551 8000 32 Church st
  • Fire: 028 551 1023
  • Water:028 551 8000
  • Electricity: 028 551 8000
  • Ambulance:10177
  • Post office; 028 551 1268
  • Library: 028551 1023
  • Closest hospital; Alan Blyth 028 551 1342
  • Pharmacy; 028 551 1070
  • SPCA: Karoo Animal Protection Agency 072 277 1056
  • Schools:Hoerskool Ladismith. 028 551 1065[/vc_column_text]
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  • Tourism: 028 050 0158 | visitladismith@gmail.com

Local Listings