The Info List - Winburg

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is a small mixed farming town in the Free State province of South Africa. It is the oldest proclaimed town (1837) in the Orange Free State, South Africa
South Africa
and thus along with Griquatown, one of the oldest settlements in South Africa
South Africa
located north of the Orange River. Winburg
is situated midway between the Orange River
Orange River
and the Vaal River, adjacent to the N1 National Road and the N5 road National Road which links Cape Town
Cape Town
to Johannesburg
and Durban
via N5 National Road to the N3 National Road respectively. The nearest city, Bloemfontein, is 120 km away.


1 History 2 Boer War 3 Local politics 4 References

History[edit] When the Voortrekkers 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 south east of the town and the Basotho
tribes in the mountains of the current Lesotho, 100 km east of the town.[citation needed] The trade of cattle for land between the Vaal and Vet Rivers, undertaken by Andries Pretorius
Andries Pretorius
and the Bataung Chief Makwana in 1836, led to the settlement of a dispute between the African tribes. The Voortrekkers offered protection for Chief Makwana from the Tswana tribes, against the Basotho
tribes habouring in the mountains of the current Lesotho
and stealing the cattle of the Bataung tribe. In exchange for continued protection, the Voortrekkers were offered the land between the Vet and Vaal Rivers.[citation needed] The Voortrekker
leaders had a small disagreement as to where to establish a town. A vote was held under the Burgers and Andries Pretorius's group won and elected to establish the town in its current position and to call it Winburg, after the Dutch word winnen (to win).[citation needed] 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 on the outskirts of Winburg
instead in the 1950s. It carries the names of the Voortrekker
leaders: Piet Uys, Andries Hendrik Potgieter, Andries Pretorius, Piet Retief
Piet Retief
and Gerrit Maritz. The lengths of the five tiers are proportional to the distances travelled by the respective settler groups. The monument is built near the site of the birth-house of Martinus Theunis Steyn, who was president of the Boer Republic of the Orange Free State.[3] Boer War[edit]

The Concentration camp
Concentration camp

Historical states in present-day South Africa

before 1600

Kingdom of Mapungubwe
Kingdom of Mapungubwe
(1050–1270) Kingdom of Mutapa
Kingdom of Mutapa


Dutch Cape Colony
Dutch Cape Colony


Mthethwa Paramountcy
Mthethwa Paramountcy
(ca. 1780–1817) Ndwandwe
(ca. 1780–1817) Swellendam
(1795) Graaff-Reinet
(1795–96) Cape Colony
Cape Colony


Dutch Cape Colony
Dutch Cape Colony
(1802–06) Cape Colony
Cape Colony
(1806–1910) Waterboer's Land
Waterboer's Land
(1813–71) Zulu Kingdom
Zulu Kingdom
(1818–97) Adam Kok's Land
Adam Kok's Land
(1825–61) Winburg
(1836–44) Potchefstroom
(1837–48) Natalia Republic
Natalia Republic


South African Republic
South African Republic
(1852–1902) Orange Free State
Orange Free State
(1854–1902) Republic of Utrecht
Republic of Utrecht
(1854–58) Lydenburg Republic
Lydenburg Republic
(1856–60) Griqualand East
Griqualand East
(1861–79) Griqualand West
Griqualand West
(1870–80) Diggers' Republic (1870-71)


(1882–85) Goshen (1882–83) Nieuw Republiek (1884–88) Klein Vrystaat
Klein Vrystaat


Cape Colony
Cape Colony
(1652–1910) Union of South Africa
South Africa
(1910–61) Transkei
(1976–94) Bophuthatswana
(1977–94) Venda
(1979–94) Ciskei
(1981–94) Republic of South Africa
South Africa

South Africa
South Africa

v t e

The town was the site of a concentration camp for women and children captured by the British Army
British Army
during their scorched earth campaign during the Second Boer War. 355 children and 132 adults died in this camp[4] due to malnutrition and contagious diseases, while kept in tents without any infrastructure or protection during the bitter cold winters of 1899 – 1901. The famous Boer General Koos de la Rey
Koos de la Rey
was born in the district of Winburg
on the farm Doornfontein.[5] General De La Rey was the leading Boer General of the Western Transvaal in 1899 – 1901. Winburg
had a black armed commando supporting the British soldiers during the war of 1899 – 1901. Local politics[edit] The first shots of the Maritz Rebellion in 1914, against the government's involvement in South West Africa, were fired in the district of Winburg.[citation needed] 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. The white community of Winburg
is famous for the differences in political heritage. The town was divided into two camps, due to their support to either the South African Party of General Jan Smuts, or the National Party of Dr Daniel François Malan. This led to the division of the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
into two separate congregations, Klip Kerk (Stone Church, because it was built from sandstone) and which was the original church for the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
and Rietfontein Kerk. Bitter feuds were fought between supporters of the two parties. The Klipkerk supporters demolished the Rietfontein Church project several times.[citation needed] In later years this division was almost erased. The National Party's support and later abdication to the African National Congress, led to a new division in the community. Old feuds were re-ignited and with the town divided along religious lines again, a new church, the Afrikaans
Protestant Church, was formed.[citation needed] The communities in Winburg, as in most South African towns, still lead segregated lives, a remnant of apartheid days. Social interaction between different population groups is being encouraged by an official integration policy of the African National Congress
African National Congress
government. However this has led to the deteriorations of many facilities in Winburg, of which the previous prestigious school and orphanage, are two examples.[citation needed] 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.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Winburg.


^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa
South Africa
based on Floyd (1960:20–26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii.  ^ a b c d Sum of the Main Places Winburg
and Makeleketle from Census 2011. ^ "President MT Steyn". Anglo-Boer War Museum.  External link in publisher= (help) ^ "Concentration Camps". Anglo-Boer War Museum.  External link in publisher= (help) ^ "General Jacobus Hercules de la Rey". Anglo-Boer War Museum.  External link in publisher= (help)

Places adjacent to Winburg

Virginia Ventersburg Senekal




Verkeerdevlei Excelsior

v t e

Municipalities and communities of Lejweleputswa District Municipality, Free State

District seat: Welkom


Brandfort Florisbad Soutpan Theunissen Verkeerdevlei Winburg


Boshof Dealesville Hertzogville


Bultfontein Hoopstad


Allanridge Hennenman Odendaalsrus Riebeeckstad Thabong Ventersburg Virginia Welkom Whites


Balkfontein Bothaville Wesselsbron

v t e

Boer Republics
Boer Republics
and Griqua States in Southern Africa
Southern Africa

Est. 1795–1830

Swellendam Graaff-Reinet Philippolis
/ Adam Kok's Land Waterboer's Land

Est. 1830–1840

Zoutpansberg Winburg Potchefstroom Winburg-Potchefstroom Natalia Republic

Est. 1840–1870

South African Republic Lydenburg Republic Orange Free State Utrecht Republic Griqualand East Griqualand West

Est. 1880–1902

Goshen Small Free State New Republic Stellaland United States of Stellaland Republic of Upingt