The stone bridge spanning the Gariep River at Bethulie Drift was opened to traffic in March 1879, and a village, known as Bethulie Bridge, was established on the Cape Colony side of the river soon thereafter. Its name was derived from Bethulia, an out-station of the London Missionary Society, which had originally been established a short distance from the drift, in the Orange Free State, in 1829. The name was subsequently amended to Bethulie. The village was occupied by Boer forces on 16 October 1899 during the Second Anglo Boer War. Today the bridge is named the Hennie Steyn Bridge .