Van Rooyen, D (2007), Beaufort West case study. Unpublished report, Centre for Development Studies, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein.
BACKGROUND – BRIEF HISTORY
The town of Beaufort West was established in 1818 on the farm Hooyvlakkte at the request of Lord Charles, Somerset, then governor of the Cape. The town was named in honour of his father, the fifth Duke of Beaufort. Beaufort West was originally established as a service centre for rail and road transport and to a lesser degree for rural agriculture.
The raison d’etre for the town’s existence is however the railways. Even though both rail transport and agriculture are in decline in terms of economic opportunities, the town has managed to maintain a significant level of growth due to the high volume of passing road traffic (Beaufort West Municipality, 2006).