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UPDATE May 2018

new and old 2018.05.10

New and old 10 May 2018         photo: Andrew Rogers

As the two remaining original Coats of Arms signs at the entrance to the town had seriously deteriorated over the years, new ones are being put up to replace them. The historic originals are being donated to the Calitzdorp Museum and Tourism Office.

The first replacement was erected on the R62 town entrance on 10 May 2018 by Andrew Rogers of Calitzdorp Country House and Wessie van der Westhuizen of De Wawielhuis. The second one at the Gamka viewpoint was put up shortly after the first. Artwork by John Cornelius and sponsorship by Calitzdorp Country House, all from Calitzdorp. Thank you!




Calitzdorp coat of arms, farIn 1913 the town of Calitzdorp was granted municipal status.

The Municipality ran successfully as an individual entity for many years, achieving a well maintained town and pleasing financial credit balance.

The passing of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 (“the Structures Act”) resulted in the amalgamation on 5 December 2000, of several independent municipalities in the area – namely Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Zoar and Van Wyksdorp – to become the Local Municipality of Kannaland.

Calitzdorp Municipality had its own Coat of Arms
now defunct and all but forgotten. This was applied for on 23 August 1974. 

The application was registered on 17 January 1975 and the
Coat-of Arms certificate issued on 18 April 1975.

Calitzdorps coat of arms complete - bestAlthough the
Calitzdorp Municipality has ceased to exist, the Coat-of-Arms still remains registered and may not be used by anyone else, as the status of any heraldic registration is that it is registered in perpetuity. It is never deleted and is never available for others – even if the registrant dies or ceases to exist.

Any other applicants may register a suitably differenced variant of the coat of arms.

The only two known examples of this proud emblem stand – battered and defaced, unnoticed and seemingly invisible, at two of the town entrances.  The first is at the side of the road on the R62 Oudtshoorn approach to Calitzdorp and the second facing traffic approaching along the cement road – also from Oudtshoorn side, immediately before the viewpoint at the start of Andries Pretorius street.

The blazon – or description of the arms in heraldic terms is as follows :

  • Arms:  Azure, a fess Or charged with  another  indented in chief Sable, between in chief a lion passant Or and in base a cornucopia proper.
  • Crest:  Out of a mural crown Or a buffalo head and neck Sable.
  • Wreath and mantling: Or and Azure.
  • Motto: MET GODS HULP

In heraldry Azure is the word used for the colour blue, Or means gold and Sable is black.

In simpler language the blazon description above means

On these arms the escutcheon, or shield, is divided into three horizontally.

The top third, or ‘chief’, shows a golden lion walking on a blue background The lion represents the Gamka river, Gamka being the word for lion in the Khoisan language.

The centre band or ‘fess’, shows a black zig-zag on a yellow ground for the magnificent Swartberg mountains at the foot of which the town has grown.

The lowest third or ‘base’, shows the produce of the valley – a bunch of grapes in the mouth of a totally unrecognizable cornucopia, or horn of plenty. The individual golden and silver grapes may represent medal awards for prize winning wines – but this is sheer speculation as it is not mentioned in the heraldic description.

The mantling – or drapes – over and around the shield, is blue and gold.

The helmet appears to be a closed ‘tilting’ helm. This is topped with a brickwork crown  which indicates that the arms are those of a town.

The crest is a buffalo head for the original farm name, Buffelsvlei.

Calitzdorp’s motto is ‘Met Gods Hulp’ – With God’s help.

The shield has no supporters on either side.

Mr Johan Coetzee, the Chief Heraldic Artist at the time, was responsible for the shield design


The official Government Bureau of Heraldry Archival record is as follows:

TYPE      Wapen/Arms

  • Aansoek/Application. GK/GN 1487: SK/GG 4365, 1974-08-23.
  • Registrasie/Registration. GK/GN 117: SK/GG 4562, 1975-01-17.
  • Wapenbrief uitgereik/Certificate issued: 1975-04-18 (Afrikaans).  H4/3/2/2


  • Wapen:  In blou, ‘n goue dwarsbalk belaai  met  ‘n  aan die  bokant  uitgetande  dwarsbalk  van  swart,  in die  skildhoof vergesel van ‘n gaande leeu van  goud  en  in die skildvoet van ‘n horing van oorvloed van natuurlike kleur.
  • Helmteken:  ‘n  Goue  muurkroon  met  ‘n  uitkomende  buffelkop en hals van swart.
  • Wrong en dekklede: Goud en blou.
  • Wapenspreuk: MET GODS HULP
  • Arms:  Azure, a fess Or charged with  another  indented in  chief Sable, between in chief a lion passant Or and   in base a cornucopia proper.
  • Crest:  Out of a mural crown Or a buffalo head and neck Sable.
  • Wreath and mantling: Or and Azure.
  • Motto: MET GODS HULP (With God’s Help)


Heraldic documentation provided courtesy of
Marcel van Rossum OMBB
Deputy Director
Bureau Of Heraldry
June 2015