The name Ruyterwacht appears for the first time in the history of South Africa during the second half of the 1600's. According to Dr. Dan Sleigh (Die Buiteposte) it was one of the first outposts that Jan van Riebeeck established along the Liesbeech River. The purpose of the outposts were to be an early warning system against cattle-raids by the Khoisan.
Decades later, after World War II, Epping Industria was developed in the area in order toe restore the national economy. After a slow start, the anticipated growth came only after the Escom Power Plant was built near Pinelands. (This landmark structure was demolished recently.) The Epping Garden Village was established by government in order to attract white labour to the growing industrial area. This village was later called Ruyterwacht.
After the first democratic elections in 1994, the population of Ruyterwacht became more representative of the nation. It seems though that the poverty of the people did not improve significantly since the establishment of the village. During the current economic climate, survival in the community is very difficult.