Colesberg situated on the N1 960 km’s from Cape Town and 650 km’s form Johannesburg. Colesburg  is a town with 17,354 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Surrounded by koppies and flanked by the towering Coleskop, when the sun slips to the horizon, brushing the skies with brilliant hues, Coleskop’s former name, Toverberg (Magic Mountain), seems more appropriate. So named because, for the traveler, it is visible from 40 km’s but appears to get no closer. In 1814, a mission station was built here in the hope of bringing peace to the volatile frontier area of the Cape Colony. Colesberg is the “capital” of Umsobomvu Local Municipality.

A second mission station, Hepzibah, was built a few kilometres away and the two soon attracted 1 700 Khoisan. In 1829, nervous farmers petitioned for a town to be established and 18 138ha was set aside. The first erven were sold in November 1830 and the town was named after Sir Lowry Cole, then Cape Governor. The Transvaal Republic’s President, Paul Kruger, born in Cradock in 1825, is believed to have spent his formative years on the farm, Vaalbank, falling in what was, by 1830, the town of Colesberg.


Colesburg is part of the Umsobomvu Local Municipality which is a Category B municipality situated within the Pixley Ka Seme District in the Northern Cape Province. It is the second-smallest of eight municipalities in the district.

Cities/Towns in the same Municipality are Norvalspont and Noupoort. The main economic sectors covered are Agriculture, services industry, tourism and hospitality.

Toverberg or Coleskop is a prominent hill near the town and a landmark easily seen from a distance by travelers. Colesberg saw a large number of battles and skirmishes during the second Anglo-Boer War and the Colesberg Garden of Remembrance is located just outside the town.

Today, Colesberg is a traveler’s oasis on the main Cape Town-Johannesburg route, the N1, offering many attractive accommodation establishments. In a sheep-farming area spread over half-a-million hectares, greater Colesberg breeds many of the country’s top Merinos. It is also renowned for producing high-quality racehorses.

Key Statistics 2011

Total population 16,869
Young (0-14) 31,5%
Working Age (15-64) 63%
Elderly (65+) 5,5%
Dependency ratio 58,7
Sex ratio 93,9
Population density 96 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+ 16%
Higher education aged 20+ 6,8%
Matric aged 20+ 27%
Number of households 4,603
Average household size 3,6
Female headed households 45,1%
Formal dwellings 83,8%
Housing owned/paying off 62,3%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage 67,1%
Weekly refuse removal 82,5%
Piped water inside dwelling 47,5%
Electricity for lighting 84,8%


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