Potchefstroom is one of the biggest cities in the North West Province of South Africa. The city is commonly referred to as “Potch”. There’s more to this city than just its name though. Potchefstroom is located +/- 100 km South West of Johannesburg.
Here are some interesting things about Potchefstroom you might not have known:
- The town of Potchefstroom was founded in 1838. It was the second oldest settlement of people of European descent (behind Klerskdorp) in the old Transvaal province of South Africa.
- Potchefstroom served as the 1st capital for the South African Republic (Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek).
- In 2006 the Potch local municipality decided to change the name of the city. ‘Tlokwe’ was favored as the new name. The municipality’s name was changed to “Tlokwe City council”, but the city’s name remains “Potchefstroom”.
- According the 2007 South African sensus Potchefstroom has an estimated population of 125,000 people.
- Potchefstroom is known as a city of expertise / an academic city. Potchefstroom is home to The North-West University, Potchefstroom College of Education, Technical College Potchefstroom, Agricultural Centre and Potchefstroom Akademie. There are also 30 schools in the city.
- The North West provincial headquarters of 17 of the most important sports are situated in Potch.
- The Witrand Mental Institute in Potchefstroom was opened in 1923. It was the second government institution for psychiatric patients to be opened (behind Valkenberg in the Western Cape).
- Dome Bergland Nature Park (near Potchefstroom) is the site of a meteorite impact some 2,000 million years ago. It’s a truly fascinating geographic phenomenon. It differs in shape and vegetation from areas surrounding it. The impact created the richest gold reef in the world. Many activities are on offer on the site including hiking, riverrafting, canoeing, mountain climbing, abseiling, mountain biking and fly fishing.
- The yearly Aardklop Arts Festival (featuring drama productions and performances by mostly Afrikaans artists) has been hosted by Potchefstroom since 1997. More than 50,000 visitors is attracted by the festival every year in late September.
- Potchefstroom hosted a match in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
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