Malgas Pont or Ferry
Since mid December 2020 the new Ferry has been in operation. If you want to make sure that it is operating, check this Facebook Page or Facebook Group or contact the Overberg District Municipality: 028 425 1157. This was the last man powered ferry in South Africa. The Ferry was replaced with a new one due to safety and agricultural needs. The old ferry was becoming a safety liability due to it's old age. Some farmers could not cross the river on the ferry with their big farm implements and had to take a detour via the N2 (National Road passing Swellendam), the new ferry will be able to carry the big tractors etc.
This is something out of a story book. Before roads made travel from Cape Town easy, Malagas was an inland port for steamboats transporting provisions to the Swellendam area. The Breede river is navigable for around 50km inland to Malgas. That is why this was once an important trading port that served the whole area. When Malgas fell into disuse as a port, the authorities decided there wasn’t sufficient traffic to justify the building of a bridge. But the pont at Malgas lived on – a service begun in 1860 and still operating today.
Even though the replacement of the "old" ferry was met with a lot of emotional response, the new ferry is faster, bigger and still a very unique experience. This ferry forms part of the route for the inaugural Around the Pot 100 miler Gravel/MTB race held in July.
With the old ferry there was a lot of time to take photos etc. but with the new one no time is wasted in crossing the river - so keep your camera ready.
PONT (Ferry) TRADING HOURS:
6am to 6pm
NON-MOTORIZED VEHICLES (Bicycles and Pedestrians): Will not be taken across on their own. If you are on your bicycle you cannot insist that the operator take you across. Buy a ice cream at the Malgas Shop and wait for a vehicle to cross. Be aware that the new ferry is quite fast - so do not miss the boat. You know what I mean.