Klerksdorp, Southern Region

The discovery of gold in 1886 saw thousands of prospectors flock to Klerksdorp. Today, Klerksdorp is the centre for a large mining and agricultural economy and boasts the second largest grain co-operative in the world. Attractions include Goudkoppie (the old mining shafts dating back to the 18th century), Klerksdorp Mines, Ou Dorp Hiking Trail. The Railway Station and Old Flag Room which was opened by President Paul Kruger when the line from Krugersdorp reached the town in 1897 - Klerksdorp's first national monument.

Klerksdorp, also known as Matlosana, the city of people, or Klerksdorp-Matlosana lies on the N12 about 200 kilometres south west of Johannesburg. To confuse the issue further, other points of reference suggest that the city is Matlosana, known as Klerksdorp, whilst still others refer to the city as Klerksdorp but the municipality as Matlosana.

Whatever its current name, Klerksdorp began as a Voortrekker settlement on the banks of the Schoonspruit (clear stream), which flows through the city, in the late 1830s. Klerksdorp’s streets are today lined with historic buildings and sites that bear testament, not only to these brave frontier families who crossed the Vaal River to settle here, but also to the gold rush, which brought thousands of prospectors to the rural settlement.

Klerksdorp is surrounded by loveliness, despite the fact that it today thrives both on mining and agriculture. The Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve is just 13 kilometres outside of the city and well worth a visit. Ideal is to take the ‘ou dorp’ (old town) hiking trail that wends its way through the old part of town, taking in all of the sites of historical reference, including Jack Scott House - an original tin house imported all the way from Britain, although it’s been allowed to degenerate somewhat. And there’s an original distillery that makes an appealing visit too.

If it’s greener vistas you are after, then visit the city’s Plant House, a series of municipal gardens in town, or the Johan Neser Dam, on the Schoonspruit just northwest of the city.

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