Kroonstad is part of the Moqhaka Local Municipality and is situated in the Fezile Dabi District of the Free State Province. The seat of local government is in Kroonstad. Located on the N1, Kroonstad is a town on the Vals River, 220 km northeast of Bloemfontein and 210 km southwest of Johannesburg. It was laid out on the farm Klipplaatsdrift in 1855.
Kroonstad is said to be one of the Free State’s loveliest towns.
The Greater Kroonstad area is the centre of a large agricultural community that plays an important role in the economy of the District. Subsequently industrial activities contribute significantly to the district’s economy. The Department of Correctional Services and the School of Engineers military basis are situated in the town. Kroonstad has recently become a distinguished holiday destination due to the ultra-modern and popular holiday resort of Kroonspark, adjacent to the Val’s River. The urban area is situated adjacent to the N1 National Road, and located adjacent to one of the largest and most important four-way railway junctions in South Africa.
Other regional roads in the town are the R34 to Odendaalsrus (south-west), the R76 to Steynsrus (south-east), the R721 to Vredefort (north-west) and the R82 to Heilbron (north-east).
Kroonstad was the first town established after the Orange Free State became independent. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Vals River, a tributary of the Vaal, it is rich in history and outdoor opportunities. Historical sites include:
- A concentration camp and blockhouse from the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902).
- The Bloemspruit Monument for concentration camp victims.
- A Garden of Remembrance for Allied victims of the two world wars.
- Prehistoric stone corbelled huts.
- San rock art and fossils
- Golf on an 18-hole golf course.
- Interaction with lion and tiger cubs.
- Fishing on the Vals River or the Bloemhoek Dam.
- Boating on the Serfontein Dam.
- Horse riding, gliding, hiking and more.
Kroonstad Tourism Contact: – 016 970 8600
Koppies Dam Nature Reserve and Resort – 71km from Kroonstad.Tel: 056 777 0927
Boskoppie Lion and Tiger Reserve
Two guided walking tours Monday – Saturday 10am & 4pm. Sundays 12.30pm & 4pm.
- Koppies Dam Nature Reserve – Tel: 056 777 0927
- Koppies Resort – Tel: 056 777 0927
- Bloemhoek Dam
- Serfontein Dam
- Bloemspruit Monument
The battle field at Vegkop (in Heilbron) and various battlefields in the Koppies and Kroonstad regions – where important battles were fought and events during Boer Wars in the District.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela, spent over a decade under arrest in the Free State. From 1970-1975 she was imprisoned in Kroonstad for contravention of the Terrorism Act. Two years later, she was banished from Cape Town to the Free State, where she spent nine years under house arrest in Brandfort with her youngest daughter, Zindzi. Her small house had no running water, electricity or telephone and was burnt twice during her house arrest, which ended in 1985. Winnie’s home in Brandfort is currently being renovated as a museum.
Key Statistics 2011
|Working Age (15-64)||72%|
|Population density||330 persons/km2|
|No schooling aged 20+||1,2%|
|Higher education aged 20+||21,3%|
|Matric aged 20+||43,3%|
|Number of households||7,315|
|Average household size||2,7|
|Female headed households||33,1%|
|Housing owned/paying off||56,2%|
|Flush toilet connected to sewerage||92,9%|
|Weekly refuse removal||91,3%|
|Piped water inside dwelling||85,8%|
|Electricity for lighting||96,4%|