History of Warmbaths (Bela-Bela)

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The mineral springs that flows out of the Earth with a temperature of 53C gave rise to the establishment of the town of Warmbaths - today called Bela-Bela ("pot that boils" in Tswana).

The water from these springs are rich in sodium chloride, calcium carbonate and other salts that are highly beneficial to those suffering from rheumatic ailments. From early days the Forever Warmbaths Resort was a popular destination.

Originally the Voortrekker Carl Van Heerden established the first farm in this area at the Mineral Springs and called it Het Bad. The area in and around the mineral springs was a marshland where great numbers of wild animals were trapped and died in the mud.

During 1873 the then South African Republic (ZAR) realised the tourism and recreational opportunities that Het Bad had to offer, purchased the farm and established the town of Hartingsburg .

During the Anglo-Boer war the British annexed the place and called it Warm Baths. The British also erected a blockhouse to protect the railway line to Pietersburg (Polokwane) and it still stands today.

A very few people actually lived in Hartingsburg as the fresh water supply was poor and it was visited by sick persons during only 5 months of the year. Although Hartingsburg was the official name the place was commonly called "Warmbaths". In 1903 the British government changed the name of the Post Office to Warm Baths.

In 1920 Warm Baths was reproclaimed a township and in 1932 Warmbaths achieved village town status and town council status in 1960.

Since then the township has made rapid strides. New residential areas sprang up, modern business concerns were erected and magnificent schools and hotels made their appearance.

In the year 2002 Warmbaths was officially renamed Bela-Bela.
History of Warmbaths (Bela-Bela) History of Warmbaths (Bela-Bela) History of Warmbaths (Bela-Bela)