Rouxville, one of the lesser known towns in the Xhariep, now forms part of the Maloti Route that claims the status of the longest signed tourism route in Southern Africa spanning over parts of Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and Xhariep. The town is situated approximately 30 km west of Zastron.


The town is at the centre of the wool producing area of the Transgariep and is known as the breeding centre for Afrikaner cattle. Ms Elmarie van Aswegen, the only breeder of the SA milk sheep in South Africa, farms on Patria, a farm in the district of Smithfield. She obtained recognition for her farming practices and products in the 2005 Free State Female Farmer of the Year competition in the category of national markets.


The settlement of Rouxville was named after the Reverend Pieter Roux who ministered to the local communities in this area. The settlement was originally formed on the farm Zuurbult by Petrus Wepener. The town was developed in 1863 on the farm Zuurbult to provide a central location where the farming community could gather to worship.

Rouxville was also the home of Albert Nzula, founder member of the ANC Youth League. Born in Rouxville in 1905, his political involvement was stimulated by the popular upsurge which marked the depression years of 1928-1933.


The area possesses a richness of history and splendour which is impossible to ignore. The Rouxville area is renowned for its fine examples of San (Bushman) rock art and various sites can be visited. Perhaps the best way to experience these fantastic examples of antiquity, is on the ‘White Stinkwood Adventure Route’, traversing an area of unsurpassed beauty. During the Anglo Boer War all of the town’s inhabitants were interned at the British concentration camp on the Kraai River, and for almost two years the town was completely deserted. Johanna van der Merwe, a Voortrekker heroine after whom one of the country’s first submarines was named, lies buried in Rouxville.

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