Wed 21 Jul 2004 | 12:00


Wed 21 Jul 2004 | 12:00

School profile


We profile Hoërskool AJ Ferreira of Upington.

The Great River, the Gariep, the Orange, flows from the mountains of Lesotho towards the Atlantic bringing water and the desert blooms where it flows – an oasis, a narrow strip of green between brown/grey dryness. The water it brings is precious, as are the diamonds that it carried down to the sea.

The biggest town to benefit from the water of the Orange is Upington, not far from Namibia, not far from Botswana and on the fringes of the Kalahari.

The town grew out of a mission station founded in 1875 by the Reverend Christiaan Wilhelm Heinrich Schröder of the Rhenish missionaries. He was working at Amandelboom, now called Williston, when Klaas Lucas, the chief of the Koranna people, invited him to come to !Oama to teach the people to read and write.

Schröder went and, with the permission of Klaas Pofadder, established a mission station at Olyvenhoutsdrift – the olive wood ford. That was the start of Upington in 1873.

In 1882 a former slave, Abraham September, acquired a farm and started irrigating it from the Orange, the start of canalisation at Upington.

Upington grew to be the main town in Gordonia, a district named for Sir Gordon Sprigg, the prime minister of the Cape from 1878 to 1881 and again later. In 1885 Olyvenhoutsdrift became Upington.

Upington? It was named for the prime minister of the Cape, Sir Thomas Upington,  "The Afrikaner from Cork". Upington was born in Cork in 1844, educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and came to the Cape for health reasons in 1874 where he died in 1898. He was a lawyer by profession and became attorney-general of the Cape and then in 1882 the prime minister. He established a police station to protect the drift from river pirates. The police station became a part of Upington.

On the edge of the desert vineyards – its sultanas and raisins are famous – and orchards flourish and rose gardens and an avenue of date palms over a kilometre long – and then you step into the Kalahari.

It is an interesting habitat in an interesting habitat.


The school is named for AJ Ferreira, the first principal of Carlton-Van Heerden, the first Coloured high school in the area. It is the Upington suburb of Rosedale, nearer the Kalahari than the Orange River.

School information

Name: Hoërskool AJ Ferreira
Founded: 1988
Numbers: 930
Motto: Education liberates
Rugby teams: 2
Address: Rosedale, Upington
Rugby coach: Raymond Esterhuizen

PV: 45
Hoerskool Aj Ferreira | Rugby365