Klerksdorp, North West Province, South Africa
Klerksdorp is a city situated in the North West province, formally the Western Transvaal. It is also the administrative heart of the North West. This charming little city was founded in 1837 when the Voortrekkers settled on the banks of the Schoonspruit (clear stream) River, which flows tranquilly through the town. Klerksdorp is also known to be the oldest European settlement of the then Transvaal.
Today Klerksdorp consists of the towns of Orkney, Kanana, Stilfontein, Khuma, Hartebeesfontein and Tigane, giving it a population of more than 350 000 people. Combined with Rustenburg, Klerksdorp is the economic heart of the North West Province. It is also still one of the hubs of the South African gold mining industry, although not as important as it was in the past.
Klerksdorp also forms a major part in the agricultural industry of South Africa, farming maize, sorghum, groundnuts and sunflowers. Klerksdorp houses the largest maize storage silo in South Africa, as well as the largest agricultural cooperative in the southern hemisphere.
Tourist attractions range from mining shafts excavated in the 1880's, the Klerksdorp Museum which was formally a prison, The Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve which is located 15 kilometres from Klerksdorp, the 12 kilometers Oudorp hiking trail and the Goudkoppies, the city's largest tourist attraction situated near the N2 highway and the Johannesburg-Cape Town railway line.