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n South African Journal of Cultural History - Buisfontein : 'n pionierserfenis as toerisme-bestemming

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-0745
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Abstract


Buisfontein, situated close to the present-day Klerksdorp, is a farm that is not unfamiliar to the cultural experts of South Africa. Though inhabitants and migrations of nomad groups - centuries ago - can certainly be exposed to more research to expand the socio-anthropological value of the area's future focus on tourism, the remains certainly already reflect a unique past. The historically well-known and contentious Coenraad de Buys / Buis is associated with this environment, followed by some of the first white Trekkers who settled in the area. Within this framework a space has been developed for the P.F. Ernst descendants - known with the farm for decades as owners and inhabitants - to re-purchase portions of Buisfontein from the new owners and to restore some of the dwellings, as originally occupied, for the Ernst descendants, for regional-cultural enthusiasts and other interested parties. Some distinguishing features of the environment (the fountains, ridges and trees), the game that formerly featured in this area, the remains of groups that occupied the region for long periods before the Trekkers settled in the area after 1838, are facets that will also be accentuated in a tourism focus for the future. Probably the most distinctive feature of the restoration effort by the Ernst family is the fact that it is undertaken exclusively with private funds. In the present article the focus will be on aspects of the rich pioneering history that allows Buisfontein to become a beacon in the tourism market in its own right. The features of the environment are also accentuated as far as they were prominent in human usage. The conclusion will shed some light on Buisfontein as a tourist attraction for the future.

Buisfontein, geleë naby die hedendaagse Klerksdorp, is nie 'n onbekende plaas onder die kultuurkenners van Suid-Afrika nie. Hoewel die bewoning en migrasies van vroeëre nomadegroepe in die gebied - eeue gelede - sekerlik nog aan meer navorsing blootgestel kan word om veral die sosio-antropologiese waarde van die omgewing vir toekomstige toerisme uit te bou, reflekteer die oorblyfsels reeds 'n unieke historiese verlede. Die histories-bekende en omstrede Coenraad du Buys / Buis word ook met die omgewing verbind, gevolg deur van die eerste Voortrekkers wat hulle in die gebied gevestig het. Binne hierdie vestigingsraamwerk het 'n ruimte vir die P.F. Ernst-nasate ontwikkel - toe al dekades lank vertroud met die plaas as eienaars en bewoners - om dele van die plaas van nuwe eienaars terug te koop en van die aanvanklike woonhuisete restoureer: vir die Ernst-nageslag; vir streekkultuurliefhebbers, asook belangstellendes. Die uitsonderlike kenmerke van die omgewing (fonteine, rantjies en bome), die wild wat eertyds hier voorgekom het, en die oorblyfsels van groepe wat voor formele Trekkervestiging in 1838 hulle in die omgewing bevind het, is fasette wat ook binne 'n toekomstige toerismefokus beklemtoon sal word. Die uitsonderlike uniekheid van dié restourasiepoging, is dat dié histories-gedrewe passie van die Ernst-familie eksklusief met privaatfondse onderneem word. In dié artikel word veral klem gelê op aspekte van die ryk pioniersgeskiedenis wat van Buisfontein 'n toerismebaken in eie reg maak. Die rol en kenmerke van die omgewing word ook beklemtoon in dié mate wat dit prominent in menslike handelinge was. Ten slotte word 'n blik gebied op resente aktiwiteite om van Buisfontein 'n toerisme-aantreklikheidvir die toekoms te maak.

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/content/culture/22/1/EJC30717
2008-06-01
2016-12-09

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