Askham falls under the MIER Local Municipality which is situated adjacent to one of the world’s largest conservation areas, namely the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and comprises a municipality bigger than the Free State province. Rietfontein, which is the main town, is situated approximately 280km north-west from the nearest big town of Upington. Mier Local Municipality borders with Namibia in the west, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the north, and Botswana in the north-east. It forms part of the Siyanda District Municipality. Mier Local Municipality consists of nine small towns, namely Rietfontein, Philandersbron, Loubos, Klein Mier, Groot Mier, Welkom, Askham, Noenieput and the ‡Khomani San community within its jurisdiction.
The name “Mier” is an Afrikaans word that originates from the word “mere” which means “lakes”. When German missionaries visited the area a long time ago, they found the pans in the area full of water that they called them “mere”. As language changed, the people later pronounced it as “mier”.