The coat of arms

The Alberton Crest which was in use just before Alberton became part of the Greater Ekurhuleni Metro.

WHEN Alberton achieved the status of the a town in 1939 it was decided that a coat of arms should be devised to mark this achievement.

The town council involved the community by launching a design competition with a prize of two guineas (two pound and two shillings) approved. On September 22, 1940 the council met to judge the 22 designs submitted and Mr Coetzer’s design was approved.

It was a design with artistic flair bringing in the trek and a pair of eland at the top representing the original farm Elandsfontein.

The bible between them symbolised a central dependence on the Word of God with the shield composed of items familiar to the Voortrekkers like power horns and wagon yolds.

The four smoking chimneys and two cog-wheels represent the wealth from industry, and central to that an ox wagon vanishing into the distance and seen from behind.

In the mid 60s it was discovered that this Coat of Arms did not comply with recognised heraldic devices, and could not be registered.

In the mid 60s it was discovered that this Coat of Arms did not comply with recognised heraldic devices, and could not be registered.

In the mid 1960’s it was discovered that the coat of arms did not comply with recognised heraldic devices and could not be registered. The existing coat of arms was reproduced by many artists and 10 years later, with the new civic centre under construction, a group of architects engaged on the project, needed clarification on which coat of arms should be used and then discovered that it has never been registered.

In mid 1988, the council approved a new design submitted by the State Herald. For many this new design lost the human touch but if read carefully, they are still there.

The shield contains the two vital elements of a predominantly Christian dedication and the central role of industry. Within the cog-wheel is the pivotal hub and radiating spokes of the wagon wheel. Above is the crown looking like a masonry castle wall. This is the traditional symbol for local authority.

Above that a single bulrush symbolising all the ‘fonteine’ and ‘riviere’ (Elandsfontein, Palmietfontein and Klipriviersberg) that Alberton sprang up on.

For those who still miss the vanishing ox wagon there is a motto, Praecedimus (Latin for in the vanguard, to go before, to precede).

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