‘Ex Dubio Proveniat Spes’ (‘From Doubt Comes Trust’). That is the motto on the Coat of Arms of Carletonville. Gold was discovered in the region in the early nineteen thirties

‘Ex Dubio Proveniat Spes’ (‘From Doubt Comes Trust’). That is the motto on the Coat of Arms of Carletonville. Gold was discovered in the region in the early nineteen thirties. A mining engineer from the Gold Fields Mine Group, Guy Carleton Jones, after whom the town Carletonville was named, played a prominent role in the discovery of the so called West Witsline Gold Reef, of which Carletonville forms a part. As a result of the strategic location and already developed Oberholtzer District, the Gold Fields Mine Group decided in November 1946 to establish a town on the farm ‘Twyfelvlakte’. Carletonville was proclaimed in 1948 and attained Town Council status on 1 July 1959. Up until 1960, Carletonville, although already a fair sized town situated between the Gatsrand and the Wonderfontein Valley, was looked upon as a quiescent country mining town. Agricultural in the Wonderfontein Valley was and is today still distinctive. As a result of sinkholes in this area, Carletonville enjoyed extraordinary international publicity during the 1960’s. Tragic incidents such as the happening on 3 August 1964 when the earth opened and swallowed the Oosthuizen family and their home, and also a large portion of the McMaster family’s house, who narrowly escaped death, is all part of the town’s colourful history. Carletonville, often referred to as ‘the Hub of the Golden West’, today serves several of South Africa’s richest gold mines, such as West Driefontein, Western Deep Levels, East Driefontein and Blyvooruitzight.


How to get there - Cape Town 1550 km, Johannesburg International Airport 85 km

Altitude – 1513 m above sea level

Banks – Absa, Fnb, Nedbank, Standard


Danie Theron Monument

This monument was erected on the hill where the Boer scout, Danie Theron (1872 – 1900), was killed while single handedly fighting off a detachment of British soldiers.


Ireland Bergh Memorial Stone

Erected in remembrance of two mine captains killed in a rockfall in 1964, Blyvooruitzicht Mine Offices.

Oosthuizen Monument

In remembrance of the tragic incident in which the entire Oosthuizen family lost their lives when their home disappeared into a sinkhole. View west of Blyvooruitzicht Mine Offices. The Oosthuizen family had been warned to vacate their house urgently, a surveys had shown that the area was not safe, but Oosthuizen first wanted to take his leave. On the first night back from holiday on 3 August 1964 the earth opened and swallowed the family and their home.


Abe Bailey Nature Reserve

This 4179 ha reserve comprises open Highveld Savannah, dominated by outcrops of dolomite rock, and a beautiful permanent wetland, fringed by extensive reedbeds. The reserve is home to a variety of game, including black wildebeestm, blesbok, springbok, hartbees, zebra, blackbacked jackal, Cape fox and aardwolf. A large variety of birds frequent the wetland and over 230 bird species have been recorded, a real bird watchers paradise. There is abundant insect and other invertebrate life, with some extremely interesting spiders, including the tropical tent spider and the feather legged spider. The open grasslands are home to a large number of attractive butterflies. The reserve is open to everyone interested in a special quiet nature experience with comfortable self contained chalets as well the rustic’ Thlatlagwe’ Camp (sleeps 45). Other facilities include two wetland bird hides and towers, and a game watching tower, offering an excellent view of the water hole.

Historical Background

Various mine groups owned the area known as Abe Bailey Nature Reserve in the past. The mine groups established a union (Far West Rand Dolomitic Water Association) which managed the soil issues of the mine groups like the drainage of the underground sections. During 1977 T Jackson of the Wildlife Society of South Africa expressed the need for a piece of land to establish a nature reserve for environmental educational purposes. The Far West Rand Dolomitic Water Association agreed to donate some land and on 1 September 1977 an agreement period stretched over five years only. During 1980 the Far West Rand Dolomite Water Association donated additional land for the expansion of the reserve to 4197 ha. The Wildlife Society of South Africa approached the then Transvaal Provincial Administration’s Department of Nature Conservation, to assist them with the management of the reserve. The Department of Nature Conservation, to assist them with the management of the reserve. The Department agreed and on 1 April 1982 took control of the reserve and took over the leasing contract on condition that the Wildlife Society only used the inside camp for educational purposes. On 11 May 1988 the lease contract was signed for a period of 50 years. A section of the reserve was originally a stud farm and hunting area that belonged to Sir Abe Bailey, a golf mining pioneer. Therefore it was decided to name the reserve after him.


The geology is homogenate to the reserve and forms a waving landscape. The main rock formation is dolomite. The soil is shallow on the high lying areas and contains the following soil types: Shallow Mispah in dolomite, Shallow Glenrosa in quartzite. In the low lying areas the soil is deep and the soil type is Hutton.


The height above sea level ranges from 1460 m to 1520 m. The annual rainfall is 550 m – 700 mm mainly in summer. Summer can be very hot with up to 38°c and in winter it can be as cold as -12°c.


Game species that have been reintroduced on the reserve area: blesbuck (Damaliscus dorcas); red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), Springbok (Antidorcus marsupialis), black wildebeest (Conochaetes gnou), zebra (Equus burchelli). There are also a lot of other small mammals occurring on the reserve: meercats (suricate), mongoose, springhare, jackal, hares, aardwolf, etc. One specie occurs on the red data list namely the Whitetail mouse (Mystromys albicaudatus).


Arts & Crafts

Carletonville Art Festival, Wine Guild, Twl, Quilters Guild, Philately, Leisure Books Reading Circle, Ballet Dancing, Woman’s Agricultural Union

Gold Mine Tours

Provides insight into the production and processing of gold. Blyvoor Gold Mine, East Driefontein Gold Mine, Elandsrand Golf Mine, West Driefontein Gold Mine, Western Deep Levels


This cave is situated on the Kleinfontein farm where some remainders of huts and items used by the Ghoya and Tswana tribes who sheltered in this cave during Mzilikazi and his Ndebele’s devastating wars (part of the Mfecane)

Oer’ Sinkhole

This majestic hole on the Doornfontein mine property has been caused by water erosion over thousands of years. Provides a lovely venue for a Saturday / Sunday picnic or braai.


Outdoors - Parachuting, Swimming

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Lastupdated: 21.01.2011

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