Sutherland is in the heart of the Roggeveld region – named in reference to the naturally occurring wild rye grass (Secale africanum). Early scouts considered it to be promising for sheep farming, which is why pioneer farmers ventured over awe-inspiring terrain, across immense distances and forbidding mountain ranges to settle in the area.
After the arrival of the first white pioneer travellers and farmers in the 1700s and early 1800s, the Dutch East India Company advanced capital for the establishment of farms across vast tracts of land. These farms are today written into the region’s history with Dutch names like Uitkyk, De Guns Fonteyn, Klipfontein, De Knolle Fonteyn (Kanalfontein), De Jakkalsfontein, De List and Cylenberg.
Despite clashes with the resident KhoiSan populations, the settlers remained.