This little town is situated in the Makana district of the Eastern Cape. You’ll find us on the R400 between the R350 and the N10. Surrounded by game farms and beautiful Eastern Cape landscape. Our little town has a clinic, fully functioning library…
Our nearest town is Grahamstown which is 39km’s to the east.
The history of Riebeeck East is largely that of the church. The 1820 British Settlers sent to colonize the area and to act as a buffer between the new colonies in the west and the Xhosa tribes in the east which led to an “anglicising” of the area. However the independent Afrikaner farmers remained loyal to the Dutch Reformed Church and had to travel to Graaf-Rienet and Uitenhage to attend church services.
In 1826 the Afrikaans speaking community of farmers in the Albany District petitioned the church but this was declined on the basis that the English church in Grahamstown should be used by the Dutch congregation in the same way that the Dutch church in Cape Town is used by the English. One of those signatories to this petition was Piet Retief, one of the leaders on the Great Trek. In 1830 another petition for the appointment of elders and deacons was successful and the magistrate of Albany appointed a church council consisting of two elders and four deacons. The induction took place on 9th January 1831.
The first visiting preacher was Dr George Morgan who presided at the first church gathering on 7th May 1831 on the farm Driefontein. In 1841 the church was able to appoint its own permanent minister Dr John Pears who was inducted in St Georges Church Grahamstown and lived in Grahamstown. Pears persuaded the church council to buy a portion of the farm Mooimeisiesfontein. Retief had sold a portion of Mooimeisies 1574 to Dirk Willem Van Rooyen. The church purchased 1275 hectares from M. J. van Rooyen and to pay for this they sub divided the property so they could sell of the individual lots which led to the formation of Riebeeck East.