Local Municipality:Msukaligwa Local Municipality
District Municipality: Gert Sibande District Municipality
Also see the neighbouring towns
Ermelo is on the N17 between Bethal and Swaziland, on the N11 between Hendrina and Middelburg on the north, and Amersfoort and Volksrust in the south, and the begining of the N2 to Piet Retief, Durban, and which eventually ends in Cape Town. Morgenson is south on the R39, and Breyton north on the R36.
The area is covered in vast tree plantations and forests, among them the largest of Pin Oaks in South Africa. There are pine plantations, and bush of cedars, acorn trees and wattles.
There are several dams in the area: Jericho Dam, Westoe Dam, Douglas Dam, Willem Brummer and Pet dams. These dams provide fishing and water sport.
San paintings can be viewed at Welgelegen farm.
Legoya Huts (see below) can be seen west of Ermelo on Tafelkop.
There is an Anglo-Boer War Memorial near the Dutch Reformed Church.
The Paul Kruger Bridge was bult in 1897 and at 124m long was the longest bridge of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek.
The earliest known people in the area were San people, as attested by many rock paintings in the area.
The earliest settlers were the Legoya people, ancestors of the Sesotho people. About 90 of these huts, covering 4 hectares, can still be seen. It seems that they their huts during the Difaqane (in Zulu) and Lifaqane (in Sesotho) between 1815 and about 1840, when the Zulus of King Shaka invaded the area. The area was declared a National Monument in 1986. It is difficult to date these corbelled stone huts. If they indeed belonged to the ancestors of the Sesotho people, they cannot predate around 1400CE, although many sources claim a date of 1500BCE. It is also possible that these stones huts were not built by the Legoya people, but may be ruins of an ancient society that stretched from this area northward passed Mapungubwe to the Zimbabwe ruins. A large settlement of stone constructions was also found near
In the mid 1800s, before the present town was established, transport from the Natal coast to the interior passed through here as there is good water in the area.
A parish was founded here in 1871 by the Reverend Francois Cachet who was converted to Christianity in the village of Ermelo in central Netherlands, near Veluwe Lake. The Dutch village was in existence by year 855 CE. Today is a holiday resort and agricultural centre, with a population of about 26'000.
During the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902) the town was levelled by the British troops - just one house remained standing.
Jennifer Ferguson, South African rock composer and performer since the 1980s, was born in Ermelo.
Lucky Philip Dube (3 August 1964 – 18 October 2007), a South African reggae musician, was born in Ermelo.
Mining: Coal, anthracite, torbanite.
Farming: maize, potatoe, lucerne, beans, sunflower, sorghum; cattle, pigs; wool.