Winburg

Last updated

Winburg
Dutch Reformed Church Winburg-001.jpg
Dutch Reformed Church, Winburg
South Africa Free State location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Winburg
South Africa adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Winburg
Coordinates: 28°31′00″S27°00′36″E / 28.51667°S 27.01000°E / -28.51667; 27.01000 Coordinates: 28°31′00″S27°00′36″E / 28.51667°S 27.01000°E / -28.51667; 27.01000
Country South Africa
Province Free State
District Lejweleputswa
Municipality Masilonyana
Established1835 [1]
Area
[2]
  Total67.2 km2 (25.9 sq mi)
Elevation
1,430 m (4,690 ft)
Population
 (2011) [2]
  Total14,074
  Density210/km2 (540/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
[2]
   Black African 92.2%
   Coloured 1.7%
   Indian/Asian 0.3%
   White 5.4%
  Other0.4%
First languages (2011)
[2]
   Sotho 78.5%
   Afrikaans 9.1%
   English 4.2%
   Xhosa 3.7%
  Other4.5%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
9420
PO box
9420
Area code +27 (0)51

Winburg is a small mixed farming town in the Free State province of South Africa.

Contents

It is the oldest proclaimed town (1837) in the Orange Free State, South Africa and thus along with Griquastad, one of the oldest settlements in South Africa located north of the Orange River.

Winburg is situated midway between the Orange River and the Vaal River, adjacent to the N1 National Road and the N5 National Road which links Cape Town to Johannesburg and Durban via N5 National Road to the N3 National Road respectively. The nearest city, Bloemfontein, is 120 km away.

History

When the Voortrekkers reached the area of Winburg, there were no other tribes or inhabitants. The nearest community was that of a Barolong sub-tribe under Chief Moroka at Thaba Nchu, 60 km south east of the town and the Basotho tribes in the mountains of the current Lesotho, 100 km east of the town.[ citation needed ]

The trade of cattle for land between the Vaal and Vet rivers, undertaken by Andries Pretorius and the Bataung Chief Makwana in 1836, led to the settlement of a dispute between the African tribes. The Voortrekkers offered protection for Chief Makwana from the Barolong, against the Basotho groups harbouring in the mountains of the current Lesotho and stealing the cattle of the Bataung tribe. In exchange for continued protection, the Voortrekkers were offered the land between the Vet and Vaal Rivers.[ citation needed ]

The Voortrekker leaders had a small disagreement as to where to establish a town. A vote was held under the Burgers and Andries Pretorius's group won and elected to establish the town in its current position and to call it Winburg, after the Dutch word winnen (to win).[ citation needed ]

Winburg acted as a settlement and religious centre for Voortrekkers. Winburg was originally selected as the site for the main Voortrekker Monument, but Pretoria won favour and a five-tiered secondary Voortrekker monument was built on the outskirts of Winburg instead in the 1950s. It carries the names of the Voortrekker leaders: Piet Uys, Andries Hendrik Potgieter, Andries Pretorius, Piet Retief and Gerrit Maritz. The lengths of the five tiers are proportional to the distances travelled by the respective settler groups. The monument is built near the site of the birth-house of Martinus Theunis Steyn, who was president of the Boer Republic of the Orange Free State. [3]

Boer War

The Concentration camp cemetery British and Concentration Camp Cemetery Winburg-001.jpg
The Concentration camp cemetery

The town was the site of a concentration camp for women and children captured by the British Army during their scorched earth campaign during the Second Boer War. 355 children and 132 adults died in this camp [4] due to malnutrition and contagious diseases, while kept in tents without any infrastructure or protection during the bitter cold winters of 1899 – 1901.

The famous Boer General Koos de la Rey was born in the district of Winburg on the farm Doornfontein. [5] General De La Rey was the leading Boer General of the Western Transvaal in 1899 – 1901.

Winburg had a black armed commando supporting the British soldiers during the war of 1899 – 1901.

Local politics

The first shots of the Maritz Rebellion in 1914, against the government's involvement in South West Africa, were fired in the district of Winburg.[ citation needed ]

The first President of the Republic of South Africa, when it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, was Charles Robberts Swart, who was born and went to school in Winburg.

The white community of Winburg is famous for the differences in political heritage. The town was divided into two camps, due to their support to either the South African Party of General Jan Smuts, or the National Party of Dr Daniel François Malan. This led to the division of the Dutch Reformed Church into two separate congregations, Klip Kerk (Stone Church, because it was built from sandstone) and which was the original church for the Dutch Reformed Church and Rietfontein Kerk. Bitter feuds were fought between supporters of the two parties. The Klipkerk supporters demolished the Rietfontein Church project several times.[ citation needed ]

In later years this division was almost erased. The National Party's support and later abdication to the African National Congress, led to a new division in the community. Old feuds were re-ignited and with the town divided along religious lines again, a new church, the Afrikaans Protestant Church, was formed.[ citation needed ]

The communities in Winburg, as in most South African towns, still lead segregated lives, a remnant of apartheid days. Social interaction between different population groups is being encouraged by an official integration policy of the African National Congress government. However this has led to the deteriorations of many facilities in Winburg, of which the previous prestigious school and orphanage, are two examples.[ citation needed ]

Economy

The town's economy is dwindling and it is just a ghost town to what it was before 1994. Winburg was a very neat town, known for its good school, concrete streets, sandstone church, orphanage, fully equipped hospital, many professional inhabitants and businesses, agricultural co-operations, yogurt milk and butter factories, good community health services, social support structures, quality sport and recreational facilities, caravan park, hotels and Rietfontein water reservoir in the Laaispruit and the Voortrekker Monument and museum. The current state of maintenance of these facilities is evident to every tourist: The museum and monument are deteriorating and no plan is envisaged to save them for future generations.

The majority of the people are solely financially supported by the government grants funded by the taxpayer for the poor. There are only full-time employment opportunities for about 2% of the people. The ANC government did no investment into rural towns to create employment opportunities since 1994.

See also

Related Research Articles

Orange Free State independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa between 1854–1902

The Orange Free State was an independent Boer sovereign republic in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, which ceased to exist after it was defeated and surrendered to the British Empire at the end of the Second Boer War in 1902. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province.

Boer Republics Former countries in southern Africa

The Boer Republics were independent, self-governed republics in the last half of the nineteenth century, created by the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the Cape Colony and their descendants, variously named Trekboers, Boers and Voortrekkers in mainly the middle, northern and north eastern and eastern parts of what is now the country of South Africa. Two of the Boer Republics achieved international recognition and complete independence: the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. The republics did not provide separation of church and state, and initially only the Dutch Reformed Church, then also other churches in the Calvinist Protestant tradition, were allowed. The republics came to an end after the Second Boer War which resulted in the British annexation and later incorporation into the Union of South Africa.

Andries Pretorius South African politician

Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius was a leader of the Boers who was instrumental in the creation of the South African Republic, as well as the earlier but short-lived Natalia Republic, in present-day South Africa. The large city of Pretoria, executive capital of South Africa, is named after him.

Potchefstroom Place in North West, South Africa

Potchefstroom is an academic city in the North West Province of South Africa. It hosts the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. Potchefstroom is on the Mooi Rivier, roughly 120 km (75 mi) west-southwest of Johannesburg and 45 km (28 mi) east-northeast of Klerksdorp. Potchefstroom, together with Rustenburg, is the second-largest city in the North West Province. The largest city, Klerksdorp, is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) away.

Martinus Theunis Steyn 6th President of the Orange Free State and South African judge.

MartinusTheunis Steyn was a South African lawyer, politician, and statesman. He was the sixth and last president of the independent republic the Orange Free State from 1896 to 1902.

Gerhardus Jacobus Rudolph (1797–1851) was the grandson of the South African Rudolph progenitor, Johan Bernhard Rudolph.

Hendrik Potgieter South African politician

Andries Hendrik Potgieter, known as Hendrik Potgieter was a Voortrekker leader and the last known Champion of the Potgieter family. He served as the first head of state of Potchefstroom from 1840 and 1845 and also as the first head of state of Zoutpansberg from 1845 to 1852.

Natalia Republic Former country in Southern Africa

The Natalia Republic was a short-lived Boer republic founded in 1839 after a Voortrekker victory against the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River. It was previously named Natália by Portuguese sailors. The republic came to an end in 1843 when British forces annexed it to form the Colony of Natal. After the British annexation of the Natalia Republic, most local Voortrekkers trekked north into Transorangia, later known as the Orange Free State, and the South African Republic.

Petrus Steyn Place in Free State, South Africa

Petrus Steyn is a small farming town between Tweeling and Kroonstad, 35 km north-east of Lindley in the Free State province of South Africa. It is at the centre of an agricultural area known for wheat, maize, sunflower, potato, cattle,sheep production and forms part of the breadbasket in the Free State.It is the highest town above sea level in the Free State

The Maritz rebellion, also known as the Boer revolt or Five Shilling rebellion was an armed insurrection which occurred in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, led by Boers who supported the reestablishment of the South African Republic in the Transvaal. Many members of the South African government were themselves former Boers who had fought with the Maritz rebels against the British in the Second Boer War, which had ended twelve years earlier. The rebellion failed, and the ringleaders received heavy fines and terms of imprisonment.

The following lists events that happened during 1848 in South Africa.

Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff civil servant, South African statesman

Jacobus Nicolaas Boshof was a South African (Boer) statesman, a late-arriving member of the Voortrekker movement, and the second state president of the Orange Free State, in office from 1855 to 1859.

Battle of Boomplaats

The Battle of Boomplaats was fought near Jagersfontein at 29°50′53.47″S25°38′56.54″E on 29 August 1848 between the British and the Voortrekkers. The British were led by Sir Harry Smith, while the Boers were led by Andries Pretorius. The British were victorious after one Boer opened fire too early and betrayed their position.

Piet Retief Afrikaner pioneer

Pieter Mauritz Retief was a Voortrekker leader. Settling in 1814 in the frontier region of the Cape Colony, he assumed command of punitive expeditions in response to raiding parties from the adjacent Xhosa territory. He became a spokesperson for the frontier farmers who voiced their discontent, and wrote the Voortrekkers' declaration at their departure from the colony.

Sand River Convention

The Sand River Convention of 17 January 1852 was a convention whereby the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland formally recognised the independence of the Boers north of the Vaal River.

The Orange River Convention was a convention whereby the British formally recognised the independence of the Boers in the area between the Orange and Vaal rivers, which had previously been known as the Orange River Sovereignty. This resulted in the formation of the independent Boer Republic of the Orange Free State (OFS).

Stephanus Schoeman President of South Africa

Commandant-General Stephanus Schoeman was State President of the South African Republic, from 6 December 1860 until 17 April 1862. His red hair, fiery temperament and vehement disputes with other Boer leaders earned him the moniker "Stormvogel den Noorden," "Storm bird of the North."

Thaba Nchu Place in Free State, South Africa

Thaba 'Nchu is a town in Free State, South Africa, 63 km east of Bloemfontein and 17 km east of Botshabelo. The population is largely made up of Tswana and Sotho people. The town was settled in December 1833 and officially established in 1873. The town grew larger following the 1913 Natives' Land Act that stated Thaba 'Nchu as a homeland for Tswana people. It was known among the Voortrekkers as Blesberg.

The Pietermaritzburg Reformed Church was a congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NGK) in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, but after the sale of the congregation’s downtown building, its center shifted to what is now Howick. It was the first congregation founded by Voortrekkers after they left Cape Colony and the 25th oldest congregation in the NGK. The congregation’s membership, however, declined by around two-thirds, from 752 in 2000 to 256 in 2015.

The Potchefstroom Reformed Church (in Potchefstroom, North West, South Africa, is the oldest congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa in what was then the Transvaal or South African Republic. At its founding in March 1842, it was the 28th congregation in what would later become South Africa and the tenth outside of the Western and Southern Cape Synod.

References

  1. "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20–26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Sum of the Main Places Winburg and Makeleketle from Census 2011.
  3. "President MT Steyn". Anglo-Boer War Museum.
  4. "Concentration Camps". Anglo-Boer War Museum.
  5. "General Jacobus Hercules de la Rey". Anglo-Boer War Museum.