- Western Cape
Picturesquely situated between the Indian Ocean in the South and the Langeberg mountain range in the North along the N2 route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth you will find this peaceful country village which has retained much of the character of a typical late 18th and 19th century trade outpost.
The Town Albertinia originated from the the spiritual need of the farmers in the area - and to establish an education institution. A portion of the farm Grootfontein was bought by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1902 from the widow Anna Sophia Lourens. Mr Henry Stanford had already bought another portion of the farm in 1881 which was called Stanfords. This portion came in 1912 under the control of the Town's Management and Albertinia was named after Reverend J R Albertyn.
The area surrounding Albertinia is an eco-paradise with breathtaking view stretching from the coastal area right along the Gouritz River over the dune lands to the South of the N2 up into the foothills of the Langerberg Mountains to the North.
The bulk of South Africas ochre - a natural earth used for colouring paint, cement and linoleum, is mined in Albertinia, much of it for export. The opencast pits from which ochre is estracted are a colourful feature of the landscape. Ochres are among the earliest pigments used by mankind, derived from naturally tinted clay containing mineral oxides. Xhosa women have for centuries used ochre to stain their costumes a handsome golden colour.
Kaolin, a porcelain and medicinal clay, is also mined here.
The agricultural sector remains the most important contributor to the local economy, with livestock farming, (cattle, sheep and ostriches) being the leading sub-sector.
Albertinia is the country's foremost source of aloe juice that is used in the health and skin care industry. There are two aloe factories in Albertinia that extract juice and gel from the harvested aloe blades.
The natural Thatch reed Thamnochortus insignis was for the past centuries cut with a sickle and used to cover the local houses in the area. The first indication that this thatch reed was also used for commercial purpose was when it became known that reed from Albertinia was used to reroof Groot Constantia after the fire in 1920.
A large variety of high quality wines are also produced against the mountain slopes and the vineyards and estate have become a popular tourist destination.
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