History Cont.....

The transport route later changed into a road and a bridge was built over the Wilge river. This bridge (or what is left of it) is now submerged following the building of the Vaal Dam.  A new steel bridge has since been built, crossing over the dam.
The town itself came into being in 1919 when the first stands were sold, by 1920 they had a management council. Initially it was referred to as Zoar. The name Oranjeville has been used from 1920. A town named Zoar still exists in South Africa but has no relationship to Oranjeville.

The town derived it's name from the Orange Free State, which got it's name from the Orange River, which is now named the Gariep. The Orange river was named, in 1779, by a Dutch soldier RJ Gordon. He was the commander of the garrison in Cape Town. He named it in honour of Prince William V of Orange during a visit to the river in the Northern Cape.
The town was officially proclaimed in 1921.

It has a population of approximately 300 of which the majority speak Afrikaans.  To be noted is that the town Oranjeville has a township adjacent to it, named Metsimaholo, with a much larger predominantly black population.  The two areas are collectively referred to as Oranjeville.
Magrieta Prinsloo Steel Bridge

The Magrieta Prinsloo Bridge

This bridge spans across the Vaal Dam, between Oranjeville and the road to Frankfort. Estimated to have been built in the second half of the thirties. It was named after Magrieta Prinsloo.  She was one of the survivors, but badly wounded, of the Zulu attack at Bloukrans in 1838.
The bridge is single lane with traffic lights at each end regulating the use of the bridge. These traffic lights have however been unserviceable for approximately two years.

The Law

The town's original police station has been converted into a homestead and a new police station consisting of a brick and mortar structure, as well as mobile offices, is situated alongside the main road (Scott street) as one enters the town. The original Magistrates office/court is now being used as a church. The holding cells for prisoners awaiting trial, situated behind the magistrates office/court, is being used as a storage place. The Heilbron magistrate office/court now services Oranjeville.
Old Court Holding Cells
Afrikaans Primary School

Schooling

The first school was built in 1919, which was in later years converted into a homestead.
A new school building was erected at around 1922. The first building had three class rooms. More class rooms were added later. This school is now utilised as a primary school, servicing mostly learners fro the Metsimaholo township.
Oranjeville also has another primary school, of which learners are are mostly Afrikaans speaking.  It currently (2021) has a total of thirty one learners, from grade one through to grade seven.

Churches

There are various religious denominations enjoying representivity in the town but the most prominent is that of the NG church. The history of the NG church is closely linked to the history of the town.
Members of the NG church living in the area belonged to the Heilbron congregation, and because of the distance to travel to church there they held church services on the farm Rietfontein. In 1913 a church was build, at a cost of 510 pounds. In 1919 the building was moved to Oranjeville.
A new church was built in 1949, being the present church.
NG Church Oranjeville
Old grvestone in Cemetery

Graveyard

The original graveyard was situated below the waterline of what is today the Vaal Dam.  Upon completion of the dam several graves were relocated to a new graveyard above the waterline and this is the graveyard currently in use. There are numerous very old gravestones still visible albeit that the graveyard suffers from neglect due to poor municipal service delivery.
Oranjeville History

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