LISTICLE: Facts about Klerksdorp ahead of Freedom Day

LISTICLE: Facts about Klerksdorp ahead of Freedom Day

This year’s official Freedom Day celebrations by government are set to take place on April 27 in Klerksdorp in the North West.

Ahead of the celebrations, SABC News delves into the town’s historical background and some interesting facts about the town.

History that dates to more than 150 years ago

  • Klerksdorp was founded in 1837 when a group of 12 Voortrekker families settled on the banks of the Schoonspruit.
  • It is the first Boer settlement in the Transvaal and the former Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek(Z.A.R), also known as the Transvaal Republic.
  • Klerksdorp saw its expansion in the second half of the 20th century, with the sprouting of new industrial developments and residential suburbs.
  • Klerksdorp was also the first capital of the then Transvaal Republic and used to be the home of the first Stock Exchange in the region.

The town is named after a judge

  • The first families that settled in the area established a town and later started calling it “Clercqsdorp”.
  • The name was later changed to ‘Klerksdorp’ after the first magistrate north of the Vaal River, Jacob De Clercq.

It falls under the City of Matlosana Local Municipality

  • The town falls under the City of Matlosana Local Municipality in the North West.
  • Previously named City Council of Klerksdorp, the municipality was renamed in July 2005.

It boasts a mining history

  • Gold was discovered near the town in 1887.
  • Mines in and around the area include Moab Khotsong Mine, Stilfontein Mine and Kopanong mine
  • Diamonds, chromite, platinum, and uranium are mined in parts of the town and the North West province.

The town’s museum was once a prison

  • The Klerksdorp Museum is housed in several buildings.
  • The main museum, which is a former prison, is a sandstone building completed in 1891.
  • One of the town’s main tourist attractions, the museum features period exhibitions depicting archaeology, cultural history, farm implements and animal-drawn vehicles.

 It is the birth town of some internationally renowned South Africans

  • Anti-apartheid and human rights activist, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, was born in Klerksdorp in October 1931.
  • Footballer Phil Masinga was born in the town in June 1969 and has played for international clubs such as St Gallen in Switzerland, and Leeds United in the English Premier League. 

2023 Freedom Day celebrations will take place in the town

  • South Africa’s government will host the official celebrations of this year’s Freedom Day event at the Manzilpark Stadium.
  • President Ramaphosa will lead the national celebrations observed under the theme, Consolidating and Safeguarding Democratic Gains.

-Compiled by Paballo Lephaka 

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