Potchefstroom, founded in 1838 by a group of Voortrekkers led by Andries Hendrik Potgieter (1792 – 1852)
It was the capital of the former Transvaal Republic and, along with neighbouring Klerksdorp, is seen as the oldest town north of the Vaal River.
Its name was derived from Potgieter’s surname, ‘chef’ (the leader, referring to Potgieter) and ‘stroom’ (Afrikaans for ‘stream’, referring to the Mooiriver that flows through the town).
The African people who lived in the city before 1838, referred to the area as Tlokwe.
Potchefstroom hosts the annual Aardklop cultural festival at the end of September. This cultural festival incorporates Afrikaans theatre, dance, music, cabaret and visual arts, and is held in a variety of venues in and around the town. A large craft market and open-air performances also form part of the event, drawing crowds of more than 50,000 people each year.
The Potchefstroom Museum comprises a Main museum on Gouws Street, the Totius House Museum, the President Pretorius Museum and the Goutz/Fleischack Museum.
Lekker Links
North West Tourism
Potchefstroom Gateway North West province
Brits, Klerksdorp, Lichtenburg, Mafikeng, Rustenburg, Shweizer Reneke, Vryburg, Ventersdorp, Wolmaransstad, Zeeruts
The President Pretorius Museum was the residence of Martinus Wessel Pretorius (1819 – 1901), first president of the South African Republic and founder of Pretoria. He built this old Cape-style dwelling with its coach-house, stable and smithy in 1868. The homestead with its tranquil farmyard recalls a Boer culture, which has long since disappeared.
Potchefstroom offers a wealth of interesting architectural buildings dating back to the 1850’s when the town was a major centre serving the western Transvaal farmlands and the diamond fields of the Northern Cape.
These buildings, many of which have been declared national monuments, include the Old Gunpowder House, the Old Police Station Building, the Kruger Kraal Opstal, the Heimat building of the University of Potchefstroom and the Old Magistrates Office. The City Hall has a clockwork and bells that were manufactured in the Netherlands.

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