The History of Noenieput

Noenieput is a small town located in the Kalahari Desert located approximately 14 km east of the SA border with Namibia.

The name “Noenieput” originated from a well that was dug near a Noenie tree (smelly Shephard tree) by Johan Velskoen Engels.

The farm Diamantputs was owned by De Beers in the 1900's and after unsuccessful prospecting for diamonds, they sold the farm to Lewies Engels and Piet vd Westhuizen. Piet started a school in a single room building, erected from roof sheeting. The parents added another room for the 13 children (all boys). A dam and crib next to the school building were used as a bathing facility for the boys.

Between 1929 and 1930, Frikkie Engels and Jaap Arangie build a single room school with bricks and divided the room with a wall, made from wood. Miss Nellie Luyt joined Piet vd Westhuizen as teacher.

In 1934 the Molopo river was in flood and embanked at Abiquasput and Springbokputs. People as far as Namibia (the old South-West Africa) came and stayed for months around the water areas, ploughed and planted watermelons, wheat, maize and peas. Mrs Hester Engels (owner of the farm) had every man surrendering 2 out of every 10 bags of wheat to her. It was a big success and helped the farmers a lot after the terrible drought of 1933.

The chairperson of the school committee, Adriaan Badenhorst, and Jack Fourie and Dawid vd Merwe succeeded in their negotiations with the Government to build a new fair-seized school and hostel.

The old school was then used as a church and people used lucerne bales and maize bags to sit on and brought their own candles for light in the evening. In 1934, Dawid vd Merwe of the farm Springbokvlei, donated a morgen of his farm to build a church for the Noenieput community.

In 1953 Adriaan Badenhorst donated ground on his farm in Noenieput to build a new church. The farmers' wives sold pancakes and food with every opportunity to generate income for the funds and on 18 August 1962 the church was initiated. (See attached letter of Elizabeth Minaar)

The police station, which was stationed at the farm Obobobgorag, moved to Noenieput in 1950, without the camels. (They used to patrol the Kalahari with camels they got from Witdraai Police Station near Askham, which was the breeding station for camels).

In 1939, SA Railways incorporated a bus service to transport travelers, mail and goods to Noenieput and surrounding farms as a service to the community. Each farm owner had a canvas bag for postal services, which were delivered on Mondays and Thursdays and collected again on the following day with return postage of the farmers.

This was the only road to the Gemsbok National Park. After the R360 road was built to the Gemsbok National Park (much shorter road) and later tarred and the closing of the Namibian border, Noenieput struggled to survive economically. The school was subsequently also closed in the 1990's and to date, local businesses are supported by only a few farmers in the region.
The police used camels to patrol the Kalahari in the earlier days and were stationed at the farm, Obobobgorag.
The first church at Springbokvlei
Die storie van Elizabeth Minnaar
Deur: Retha Stadler
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