About Us

In 1841 the Erasmus family arrived and settled in the area that would later become Centurion. Daniel Jacobus Erasmus settled on the farm Zwartkop, Daniel Elardus Erasmus on the farm Doornkloof and Rasmus Elardus Erasmus developed the farm Brakfontein. Several of the suburbs like Erasmia, Elardus Park, Zwartkop and Doornkloof were named after the original owners of the land and their properties. In 1849 Rev Andrew Murray visited the farm Doornkloof and christened 129 babies, heard the confession of their faith of 29 new members of the Reformed Church and the next day, 29 December 1849, celebrated Holy Communion.

When the Battle for Rooihuiskraal took place in 1881 at the place where the existing historical terrain is situated, a commando under the leadership of DJ Erasmus Jnr. was defeated by Col. Gidea; the officer commanding of the Pretoria Garrison. Eight years later Alois Hugo Nellmapius bought the Northern and North-Eastern portions of the farm Doornkloof and named it after his daughter Irene, who died in 1961. The original owner of the farm known as “Irene” was Hugo Alois Nellmapius who had named the farm after his daughter Irene - which means peace in Greek. It is notable that to this day the element of “peace” pervades every suburb that developed over time on the extended farmlands.

During the Anglo-South African War the Irene Concentration Camp was established in 1901 on the farm Doornkloof, north of the Hennops River. The Irene Primary School was also established in the camp. The town of Irene was established in 1902 when Van der Bijl laid out 337 erven on the farm. Dr E G Jansen, later Governor General of South Africa, bought the house in which he lived. The farm also has a close relationship with a former Prime Minister of South Africa, Gen. J C Smuts. In 1896 Johannes Albertus van der Byl bought the farm on auction from the estate of the late H A Nellmapius and the nature of the activities evolved to the current focus of dairy farming.

Centurion developed from the initial Lyttelton Township that was marked out on the farm Droogegrond in 1904. Lyttelton Manor Extension 1 was established in 1942. These two townships initially resorted under the Peri Urban Board in Pretoria. They acquired a Health Committee consisting of six members in 1950 and in 1955 a town committee was elected. City Council status was awarded to the town in 1962 and this council had control over an area of 777 ha. After the inclusion of a number of townships and farming areas, the area over which the city council exerted legal control grew to 6 220 ha and in 1973 this area was enlarged to 20 000 ha. Lyttelton was renamed after the former Prime Minister, Hendrik Verwoerd to become the City of Verwoerdburg in 1967.

After the elections of 1994 the Verwoerdburg City Council and the Rantesig local area committee were disbanded and a new local authority consisting of Verwoerdburg, Rantesig, Erasmia, Laudium, Christoburgh and Claudius came into being.  The name Centurion was accepted in 1995 by the City Council. The Dairy Farm remains the anchor for the suburbs of Irene and residents can stroll down the leafy lanes to get a litre of fresh milk, farm products and tempting treats, or visit the calves, the restaurant under spreading oaks, or simply enjoy the charm and peace of the farm.

Other colourful characters in the history of the village include former international statesman, Jan Christiaan Smuts, whose home was converted to a museum and is the site of the very popular Irene Village Market. More recently, the establishment of the Anglo Boer War Concentration Camps in the valley adjacent to the railway line witnessed the shameful treatment of both Boer and African women and children. A memorial to the victims is sited in the original Irene Village. The area is steeped in history and has been sheltered from the influences of inappropriate development and exploitation. This is demonstrated by the abundant bird and mammal life in the suburbs, which is underpinned by the nearby Rietvlei Dam and Nature Reserve

The overriding essence of this unique and friendly haven from city living has been captured in Irene View Estate which has been designed to embrace the advances of our modern age but maintain the best of country style living. After the country wide local elections on 5 December 2000 the city was incorporated, with the retention of its name, into the Metropolitan Council of Tshwane. Eight ward councillors and a number of proportionally elected councillors represent Centurion.