Established on the farm Onverwacht, this town was named after the then Prime Minister of the Cape, Sir John Molteno, and for some time, was a major coal-mining area. However, when richer coal seams were found in KwaZulu-Natal and the then Transvaal Province, mining activities stopped and the town soon lost most of its inhabitants. It eventually recovered, thanks to the good, old-fashioned, cooking skills of one of the local inhabitants, Aunty Nannie Greyvenstein, and her home-baked rusks. Today, most of South Africa’s rusks, potato crisps and savoury biscuits are produced in this town. Merino sheep farming is the other main economic activity of the area.
Adventure And Sport
Water sport: Locals flock to the 7-km-long dam for fishing, boating and other water sport activities.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
San Rock Art at King’s Glen: Visit the San rock art site on the farm, King’s Glen, 5 km off the main tarred road from Molteno to Sterkstroom. This site, only recently discovered, lies well concealed within a cave on the farm. Another site not far from the homestead has a well-preserved painting of a “little man”. Viewings are by appointment only.
San Rock Art and Fossils: There are various other Sterkstroom/Tarkastad area such as the sites atFalconridge. The area is also rich in fossil finds. rock Leyk artlikp sites oortjie in the and
Art And Crafts
Johannes Meintjies Collection: The local high school houses a selection of this well-known local artist’s work.
History And Architecture
Battle of Stormberg: Visit the site of the Battle of Stormberg, one of the British disasters that took place during the so-called “Black Week” of December 1899. Find out more about this Anglo-Boer War battle at the Molteno Museum.
Historical buildings: The Old Mill has been converted into a hall and conference centre. Look carefully at the old Clock Tower – if it looks familiar to you, it is because it was the emblem used on old patent medicine bottles.
Molteno Museum: The museum is housed in the sandstone library building. Its exhibits cover local European cultural history, a history of the area’s indigenous people and include a selection of daguerreotypes of the town (photographs produced through one of the earliest photographic processes known).
Volcanoes: A few extinct volcanoes are to be found east of town. These volcanoes yield rich hauls of semi-precious stones.