History of the N7 highway?





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  1. #1
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    Default History of the N7 highway?

    This is one for those road engineers/road builders/inhabitants/transport contractors that have built/used the N7 between Cape Town and Vioolsdrif. Where can I find out how this road progressed during the 20th century? How did its story unfold and develop until today?

    It was still a dirt road for many years after WW II, and parts of it was dirt still in 1967. The old road between Vanrhynsdorp and the north is still very visible for many kilometres and I remember us having to drive along the eastern banks of the Olifants River between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam/Trawal.

    But exactly how did things progress during the 1950's and 1960's, etc., etc.?
    Last edited by Ouarzazate; 2020/08/15 at 11:22 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: History of the N7 highway?

    An old map....1959
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  5. #3
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    Default Re: History of the N7 highway?

    Following with interest.
    One of my favourite roads, especially N of Vanrynsdorp.
    First drove it in the mid 1960's with my parents - mostly gravel.

    I'm not aware of a single reference on history of the road but the various roads departments' records should be in the Cape Archives in Roland St, CT. (Travel books by Lawrence Green and one on Bains Kloof cite the archives in their references.)

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    Default Re: History of the N7 highway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouarzazate View Post
    This is one for those road engineers/road builders/inhabitants/transport contractors that have built/used the N7 between Cape Town and Vioolsdrif. Where can I find out how this road progressed during the 20th century? How did its story unfold and develop until today?

    It was still a dirt road for many years after WW II, and parts of it was dirt still in 1967. The old road between Vanrhynsdorp and the north is still very visible for many kilometres and I remember us having to drive along the eastern banks of the Olifants River between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam/Trawal.

    But exactly how did things progress during the 1950's and 1960's, etc., etc.?
    Johan Snyman of this forum was with the Roads Department as a Road Engineer. He lived in Stellenbosch then and lives in Windhoek now. Writer of many books on the Kaokoveld. He should have a good idea of the history.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: History of the N7 highway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Johan Snyman of this forum was with the Roads Department as a Road Engineer. He lived in Stellenbosch then and lives in Windhoek now. Writer of many books on the Kaokoveld. He should have a good idea of the history.
    Thanks very much, this is exactly the sort of guy I need to get to! Will follow up.
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: History of the N7 highway?

    Subscribed.

    Can only remember it being gravel in parts whilst being resurfaced/upgraded in the 70's - when I traveled it as a student.

    And in the last few years the major upgrades around the Clanwilliam dam area - which makes it such a pleasure to drive nowadays.

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    Default Re: History of the N7 highway?

    thanks for starting this thread

    i will be following just because the n7 runs about 2 k's from my house

    and it is double highway from cape town to just outside town onroute to namibie opened past december ,

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