Winburg falls under the Masilonyana Local Municipality that was established in terms of the Municipal Structure Act and the Municipal Demarcation Act. The municipality forms part of Lejweleputswa District Municipality. The municipality head office, Theunissen is situated 102 kilometers from Bloemfontein and approximately 36 kilometers from Winburg.
The historic town is situated 120 km’s north-east of Bloemfontein and 55 km’s south-west of Ventersburg, it again situated along N1 Highway which links Cape Town to Johannesburg and it is in the centre between the Orange and Vaal rivers. It was established out on the farm Waaifontein in 1841 and it was proclaimed town in 1837 and became a municipality in 1872. The name Winburg, originally spelt Wenburg, means “town of winning”; it may refer to a military victory over the Matebele at Mosega on 17 January 1837, or to the triumph of the protagonists of Waaifontein as site of the town. When the Voortrekker reached the area of Winburg, there were no other tribes or inhabitants. The nearest community was that of a Tswana tribe under Chief Makwana at Thaba Nchu, 60 km southeast of the town and the Basotho tribes in the mountains of the current Lesotho, 100 km east of the town.
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 black tribes. Winburg acted as settlement and religious centre and it was originally selected for the main Voortrekker Monument but Pretoria won favour and a five tiered secondary Voortrekker (settler) monument was built on the outskirts of Winburg instead, in the 1950’s, it carries the names of the Voortrekker (settler) leaders: Uys, Potgieter, Pretorius, Retief and Maritz.
Windburg is 70 km’s from Senekal on the N5.
Ventersburg is located 55 km’s north of Winburg.
Theunissen is 36 km’s away on the R708
Masilonyana Local Municipality contact details:
The oldest proclaimed town in South Africa, Winburg is home to the Free State’s Voortrekker Monument and also the Voortrekker Museum. The Voortrekkers (“pioneers” in Dutch/Afrikaans) moved by ox wagon from the Cape Colony into the interior in the 1830s-40s. The nearby Erfenis Dam Nature Reserve offers great fishing and game viewing.
Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve & Resort
Windburg is located 55 km’s from Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve. Game viewing, bird watching, angling, water sports, sundowner cruise on dam, tennis, swimming, lapa, education center,hall, conference center. Named after Senator Willem Pretorius, member of the Orange Free State Executive Committee, who was instrumental in its establishment.
Contact details: Tel: 057-6514003
Aldam Holiday Resort
Aldam Holiday Resort, adjacent to the Allemanskraal Dam is one of the most popular venues when it comes to Family Resorts.
The Resort boasts with beautifully decorated en-suit air-conditioned two, four and six sleeper chalets, and a shady Caravan Park.
We not only cater for individual guest but for tour and large groups, corporate guests, conferences, weddings and any functions with a Restaurant that not only serves breakfast but also light lunches and dinners.
Direction from Winburg.
- Take the N1 towards Johannesburg.
- Turn right at the bottom of the pass, at the brown road sign for
Aldam Estate – ± 40 km from Winburg.
- Continue straight, pass the dam wall on your right hand side.
- The Estate is 10 km from the N1.
Contact Details: Tel: (057)652 2200
Website for Aldam Holiday Resort
Winburg District Game drives, hunting, hiking trail, base camps, bird watching.
Tel: 083 707 7900
British War Graves
A site where British soldiers were buried during the Anglo-Boer War.
The Dutch Reform Church
Following a split in the original congregation, a new church built in 1917. Being the oldest church in Winburg, it was designed by architects Moerdyk and Louw and built out of local sandstone. The unique church organ is one of only six of its kind in the country.
The Concentration Camp Site
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 due to malnutrition and contagious diseases, while kept in tents without any infrastructure or protection during the bitter cold winters of 1899 – 1901
Garden of Remembrance
Beautiful landscape and manicured garden commemorating the Voortrekkers of the Groot Trek.
Voortrekker Cemetery The oldest Voortrekker Cemetery in South Africa.
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.
It carries the names of the Voortrekker leaders: Piet Uys, Andries Hendrik Potgieter, Andries
Pretorius, Piet Retief and Gerhard Maritz. On 16 December, the day on which the descendants of the Boer settlers celebrate the Battle of Blood River, the sun passes directly over the monument and a plaque with a Christian religious message at the base is illuminated.
Sand River Convention Monument
The Sand River Convention monument is 15km from the town en-route to Winburg. It was at this spot that the legendary Sand river-convention was signed between the Boers and the English, proclaiming the local inhabitants independent from the crown. The Wildlife Festival Marathon is a unique marathon where the athletes run through Willem Pretorius Reserve during the annual wildlife auction. This is a qualifying event for the Comrades.
These houses are a little dilapidated, but offer insight into history of the area’s first inhabitants.
MT Steyn Museum
Home of former president MT Steyn, now a museum on the Voortrekker Monument ground.
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.
It is strongly suggested that you contact the number below or the Masilonyana Local Municipality before visiting the monuments.
Tourism Contact: – 057 391 8995
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.
Key Statistics 2011
|Working Age (15-64)||68,5%|
|Population density||22 persons/km2|
|No schooling aged 20+||3,3%|
|Higher education aged 20+||19,8%|
|Matric aged 20+||41,9%|
|Number of households||423|
|Average household size||2,1|
|Female headed households||40,7%|
|Housing owned/paying off||49,1%|
|Flush toilet connected to sewerage||97,6%|
|Weekly refuse removal||79,2%|
|Piped water inside dwelling||82,1%|
|Electricity for lighting||99,8%|