Thaba Nchu has a rich heritage and located just off the R26 70 km’s from Bloemfontein in the Free State. It was established in 1893 and named after the mountain to the south-east. The name is Sotho and means ‘black mountain’. Thaba ’Nchu is one of the oldest settlements in the Free State.
Thaba Nchu is named after the 2,138m-high Thaba Nchu mountain where the Barolong nation was centred in the 1830s. On a visit to the Chief’s Kraal you might even catch a glimpse of traditional tribal court proceedings. Ratlou Location in Thaba Nchu is the birthplace of Dr JS Moroka, President of the ANC from 1949-1952. His home, Moroka House, is now a national monument. Nearby are the Maria Moroka National Park and the Rustfontein Dam and Nature Reserve.
Blesberg – Voortrekker name for Thaba Nchu, Derived from Afrikaans bles, ‘blazed’, or ‘bald’. Thus ‘blazed mountain’, ‘bald mountain’.
Thaba Nchu is falls under the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.
Thaba Nchu Tourism
Thaba Nchu is part of the Cheetah Route which takes you through the Mangaung District – the cultural and political heart of the Free State. Abundant historical, cultural and natural attractions make the region a top business and recreational destination.
Towns on the Cheetah Route are:
Tourism Contact: – 051 405 8328
Reserves And Resorts
Franklin Game Reserve – Central Bloemfontein. No accommodation.
Tel: 051 412 7016
Maria Moroka National Park – Thaba Nchu.
Tel: 051 873 2427
Rustfontein Dam Nature Reserve – near Thaba Nchu. No accommodation. 30 km’s away.
Tel: 051 528 2926
7 chalets, 2 with single beds only and 5 with double beds & 3 single beds. All 7 are self-catering with a braai. 10 Rondawels each equipped with 2 bunk beds, refrigerator, stove and kettle. Ideal for camping and fishermen.
Office Tel: 082 4444 147
Cell: 082 413 8486
Thaba Nchu Trail
The imposing bulk of Thaba ‘Nchu (Tswana for Black Mountain) is visible from various vantage points in Bloemfontein and the mountain is a wonderful escape from the city. The free-standing peak rises almost 500 metres out of the surrounding plains, about five kilometres southeast of the settlement of Thaba ‘Nchu on the Bloemfontein – Maseru road. Follow the signs to the parking area behind the farmer’s house and then walk through a gate marked by a white footprint on a pole. The path, indicated by footprints painted on boulders, heads up the mountain towards an obvious saddle. Once on the ridge, there are no longer any footprints but a distinct path continues to the right on a fairly gentle gradient to the top. The summit plateau, a flat grassy area with beautiful rock formations and awesome views, is well worth exploring. The mountain was a lookout point for British soldiers in the Anglo-Boer War and the stone walls constructed along the perimeter of the western plateau during this period have survived.
There’s much speculation about the purpose of the ring wall, but it was probably used to contain cattle rather than as a defensive structure. The mountain also boasts some rare fauna, including a rare variation of the clawed toad (Xenopus laevis) that is found only in the marshes of the mountainous habitats of Thaba ‘Nchu, Thaba Patsoa and Koranna Berg, and small fairy shrimp (Chirocephalus diaphanous), which breed in the small rainwater pools found in the hollows of the sandstone rock outcrops. A worthwhile detour on your way down is to climb over the fence via a yellow stile to the right of the path and then walk down through the bushes to an overhang. The flat rock balcony at the mouth of the cave, overlooking an overgrown gorge, is a good spot to have lunch before descending the mountain. A permit system for the trail, which is accessed via Glamorgan Farm, is administered by the Mountain Club of South Africa.
Tourism Contact: – 051 405 8328
Naledi Sun Hotel and Casino in Thaba Nchu is a 45-minute drive from Bloemfontein en route to Lesotho. Known as the spiritual homeland of the Basotho people, Thaba Nchu meaning “Black Mountain”, is a place of fresh air and friendly people.
Offering welcoming accommodation, entertainment, casino fun and a popular restaurant and bar, Naledi Sun Hotel and Casino also includes a conference centre to host your business events.
Contact Details: +27 51 875 1060
Thaba Nchu Historical Sites
The Anglo-Boer War Sannaspos Battlefield site is situated a short distance west of the town on the road to Bloemfontein.
Chief Moroka’s grave
he grave of Chief Moroka at the Wesleyan Mission Station has been declared a National monument but can only be viewed with special permission. The Chief’s Kgotla (Kraal) is also situated in the area.
Moroka House in Ratlou Village was once the home of Doctor James Sebe Moroka, President-General of the African National Congress (ANC) between 1949 and 1952.
Thaba Nchu Personalities
James Sebe Moroka
In 1892 16 March, James Sebe Moroka was born in Thaba Nchu., Bophuthatswana in the Free State province. In 1909 Moroka completes his primary school education, and attends the Lovedale Institute at Alice for secondary education. In1911 Moroka left South Africa for Southampton on the ship called the Caitodonian Castle. Moroka was tutored for two years by Mr Fairweather and his wife towards and passes his London matric examination. 1913 Moroka attends medical school in Edinburgh. In 1918 he returned to South Africa as a medical physician. Moroka married Maggy, daughter of Chief Fenyani, Moroka had set up a medical practice in a rondavel in his home village in Thaba Nchu.
In 1930 he went abroad to study surgery in Vienna, Austria. 1935 December, Moroka attended the All African Convention held in Bloemfontein and was elected as the treasurer. In 1936 Moroka set up a medical practice in the town of Thaba Nchu. Moroka was part of a delegation that met the government to convey the attitude of Blacks towards Hertzog’s draft bills. In 1937 The Moroka High School was founded. In 1942 Moroka was elected onto the Native Representative Council from the Transvaal/ Orange Free State constituency. Moroka became involved with the African National Congress (ANC). In 1943 Moroka is a member of the Atlantic Charter Committee of the ANC.
In 1946 Moroka played a leading role in denouncing the NRC. In 1948 Moroka is re-elected onto the NRC. He attended reconciliatory talks between the AAC and the ANC. In 1949 December, he was elected president- general of the ANC. In 1950 Moroka resigned from the NRC. On the 26 March, Moroka presides over the Defend Free Speech Convention, which caused a stir amongst ANC members as it committed the party to the May Day stay-at-home. Moroka delivered his first public address. In 1951 February, Moroka represented the ANC at the founding of the Franchise Action Council (FRAC). In 1952 Moroka is charged under the Suppression of Communism Act during the Defiance Campaign. He chose to separate himself from the other accused. In December, Moroka was defeated by Albert Luthuli as president general of the ANC. In 1976 Moroka retired as a medical practitioner. In 1985 10 November, Moroka died at Thaba Nchu.
Key Statistics 2011
|Working Age (15-64)||65,7%|
|Population density||1927 persons/km2|
|No schooling aged 20+||4,4%|
|Higher education aged 20+||10,1%|
|Matric aged 20+||27,9%|
|Number of households||21,792|
|Average household size||3,2|
|Female headed households||44%|
|Housing owned/paying off||69,6%|
|Flush toilet connected to sewerage||30,9%|
|Weekly refuse removal||92,5%|
|Piped water inside dwelling||30%|
|Electricity for lighting||95,2%|