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Dutch Reformed Church Lydenburg.JPG
Dutch Reformed Church, Lydenburg
South Africa Mpumalanga location map.svg
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South Africa adm location map.svg
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Coordinates: 25°05′46″S30°26′46″E / 25.096°S 30.446°E / -25.096; 30.446 Coordinates: 25°05′46″S30°26′46″E / 25.096°S 30.446°E / -25.096; 30.446
Country South Africa
Province Mpumalanga
District Ehlanzeni
Municipality Thaba Chweu
  Total17.31 km2 (6.68 sq mi)
(2011) [1]
  Density2,200/km2 (5,600/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
   Black African 75.3%
   Coloured 1.4%
   Indian/Asian 0.5%
   White 22.5%
First languages (2011)
   Northern Sotho 26.2%
   Afrikaans 22.8%
   Swazi 18.7%
   Zulu 13.1%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code 013

Lydenburg is a town in Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Alternatively known as Mashishing, Lydenburg is situated on the Sterkspruit/Dorps River tributary of the Lepelle River at the base of the Long Tom Pass. The name is derived from the Dutch Lijdenburg, or "Town of Suffering". [2] Lydenburg has become the centre of the South African fly-fishing industry and is an agricultural and mining hub.

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality Local municipality in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, is a municipality of South Africa, located in the Ehlanzeni District Municipality, Mpumalanga.

Mpumalanga Province of South Africa

Mpumalanga is a province of South Africa. The name means "east", or literally "the place where the sun rises" in the Swazi, Xhosa, Ndebele and Zulu languages. Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa, bordering Swaziland and Mozambique. It constitutes 6.5% of South Africa's land area. It shares borders with the South African provinces of Limpopo to the north, Gauteng to the west, the Free State to the southwest, and KwaZulu-Natal to the south. The capital is Mbombela (Nelspruit).

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.



The earliest known forms of African sculpture in southern Africa dating back to AD 400 were found in the area in the late 1950s. Lydenburg was founded in 1849 by a group of Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Potgieter when they abandoned their previous settlement Ohrigstad (to the north) due to a malaria epidemic. The town became the capital of the Lydenburg Republic ('De Republiek Lydenburg in Zuid Afrika') in 1856 and later in 1857 joined the Republic of Utrecht but in 1860 both these republics joined the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR).The town became the capital of the Lydenburg District of the South African Republic (ZAR).

Ohrigstad Place in Limpopo, South Africa

Ohrigstad, formerly Andries Orieg Stad, is a small town to the north of Lydenburg in the Limpopo province, South Africa.

Malaria Mosquito-borne infectious disease

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria.

South African Republic Former republic in southern Africa

The South African Republic, also referred to as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent and internationally recognised country in Southern Africa from 1852 to 1902. The country defeated the British in what is often referred to as the First Boer War and remained independent until the end of the Second Boer War on 31 May 1902, when it was forced to surrender to the British. After the war the territory of the ZAR became the Transvaal Colony.

Lydenburg became important because it was on the wagon route to the port of Delagoa Bay (now Maputo Bay) which was free of British control. In 1871 construction of the road was started by Abraham Espag under the orders of President Thomas François Burgers. The first wagons arrived in Lydenburg from Delagoa Bay in 1874.

Maputo Bay bay

Maputo Bay, formerly also known as Delagoa Bay from Baía da Lagoa in Portuguese, is an inlet of the Indian Ocean on the coast of Mozambique, between 25° 40' and 26° 20' S, with a length from north to south of over 90 km long and 32 km wide.

Thomas François Burgers Transvaal politician

Thomas François Burgers was the 4th president of the South African Republic from 1872 to 1877. He was the youngest child of Barend and Elizabeth Burger of the farm Langefontein in the Camdeboo district of Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony.

On 6 February 1873 alluvial gold was discovered and within 3 months the Lydenburg goldfields was proclaimed. The First Boer War broke out between Britain and the Transvaal Republic in 1880. A British garrison under Lieutenant Walter Hillyar Colquhoun Long (uncle of the 1st Viscount Long) took control of Lydenburg to control the goldfields. It was from here that the ill-fated 94th Regiment under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Robert Anstruther marched to Pretoria. The remainder of the garrison at Lydenburg was besieged from 6 January 1881, [3] following Long's refusal to surrender the garrison on 23 December 1880. [4]

First Boer War war between the South African Republic and the United Kingdom

The First Boer War, also known as the First Anglo-Boer War, the Transvaal War or the Transvaal Rebellion, was a war fought from 16 December 1880 until 23 March 1881 between the United Kingdom and the South African Republic. The war resulted in defeat for the British and the second independence of the South African Republic.

Viscount Long

Viscount Long, of Wraxall in the County of Wiltshire, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1921 for the Conservative politician Walter Long, who had previously served as Member of Parliament, President of the Board of Agriculture, President of the Local Government Board, Secretary of State for the Colonies and First Lord of the Admiralty. His grandson, the second Viscount was killed in action in the Second World War. He was succeeded by his uncle, the third Viscount. He had earlier represented Westbury in Parliament as a Conservative. The title was next held by his son, the fourth Viscount. He served as a government whip from 1979 to 1997 in the Conservative administrations of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. However, Lord Long lost his seat in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999. As of 2017 the title is held by the latter's son, the fifth Viscount, who succeeded in that year.

Lieutenant colonel, is a rank in the British Army and Royal Marines which is also used in many Commonwealth countries. The rank is superior to major, and subordinate to colonel. The comparable Royal Navy rank is commander, and the comparable rank in the Royal Air Force and many Commonwealth air forces is wing commander.

By 1910 the railway reached Lydenburg. In 1927 Lydenburg became a municipality.

A side street in Lydenburg A street in Lydenburg.JPG
A side street in Lydenburg

Name change

In June 2006 it was announced that Arts and Culture minister, Pallo Jordan, approved the name change of Lydenburg to Mashishing (meaning "long, green grass"). [5] However residents took the decision to court who ruled it illegal and ordered the name to be changed back to Lydenburg. However one of the rural areas outside Lydenburg is called Mashishing. Road signs still say Lydenburg and businesses and local building such as the "Lydenburg Museum" have still kept the old name. However some road signs say Mashishing when a person is actually entering the more developed, richer, Lydenburg area.[ citation needed ]

Pallo Jordan South African politician

Zweledinga Pallo Jordan is a South African politician. He was a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, and was a cabinet minister from 1994 until 2009.

See also

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The South African Republic Police was the police force of the former country South African Republic, one of two Internationally recognized Boer countries of the mid 19th to early 20th century. Members of the police force were known as ZARPs. After the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, the force was incorporated into the South African Police Force.

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NZASM 10 Tonner 0-4-0T

The NZASM 10 Tonner 0-4-0T of 1889 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal.

NZASM 14 Tonner 0-4-0T Class of 5 South African 0-4-0ST locomotives from the pre-Union era

The NZASM 14 Tonner 0-4-0T of 1889 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal.

NZASM 18 Tonner 0-6-0ST class of 6 South African 0-6-0ST locomotives from the pre-Union era

The NZASM 18 Tonner 0-6-0ST of 1890 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal.

NZASM 40 Tonner 0-6-2T Class of 20 Ninteenth century South African 0-6-2T locomotives

The NZASM 40 Tonner 0-6-2T of 1892 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal.

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The Siege of Lydenburg was a siege carried out by the Boer Republic of Transvaal on Lydenburg, modern day South Africa, between January and March 1881 during the First Boer War. Despite fierce British resistance, the town fell to the Boers following British defeat during the First Boer War. The siege lasted 84 days.

The Siege of Marabastad was a siege on Fort Marabastad, present day South Africa, carried out by the Boer Republic of Transvaal, starting on 11 January 1881, and ending with British surrender on 2 April 1881. It took place during the First Boer War, during which Boer forces besieged several British garrisons across the country.

Walter Hillyar Colquhoun Long was a British Second Lieutenant that fought in the First Boer War. He was originally a second lieutenant in the 6th Dragoons, but was then transferred to the 94th Regiment of Foot on 27 March 1880. As part of the 94th Regiment, he played a crucial part in the defence of Lydenburg during a three month siege in 1881. He was the son of the British politician Walter Long.

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The Panorama Route is a scenic road in South Africa connecting several cultural and natural points of interest. This route, steeped in the history of South Africa, is situated in the Mpumalanga province. The route is centred around the Blyde River Canyon, the world’s third largest canyon, and features numerous waterfalls, one of the largest afforested areas in South Africa, and several natural landmarks. The route starts at the foot of the Long Tom Pass just outside Lydenburg, following the natural descent from the Great Escarpment to the Lowveld, and ending at the border of the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces near the Echo Caves.

Paardekraal Monument

Paardekraal Monument is situated in Krugersdorp, South Africa. The monument commemorates the original site of vow made by Transvaal Boers on 13 December 1880, prior to the armed rebellion known as First Boer War, when they vowed to regain their independence from the British Empire. This earlier monument was a cairn made of thousands of stones representing the gathered burgers' vow. This official monument enclosed the original stone cairn and was built in 1890 by the South African Republic (ZAR) to commemorate their independence from Great Britain.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Sub Place Lydenburg". Census 2011.
  2. South Africa
  3. M. Gough Palmer. "The Besieged Towns of the First Boer War, 1880-1881" . Retrieved 15 December 2013. The Boers took up a position two miles off on the road to Middelburg on 3 January 1881 and commenced their attack on the 6th.
  4. M. Gough Palmer. "The Besieged Towns of the First Boer War, 1880-1881" . Retrieved 15 December 2013. On 23 December Long was visited by Dietrich Muller who said he had been deputed by the Boer Government to demand the immediate surrender of the garrison which was refused by Long.