The Towns of Moqhaka Local Municipality



The town lies 44 8 9 ft. above the sea. It is linear in shape, framed by the Vals River on the west, and the rail tracks to the east.  The linking of the town in 1906 with the Natal system made the route via Kroonstad the shortest railway connection between Cape Town and Durban. Another line goes North West from Kroonstad to Klerksdorp, passing the Lace diamond mine and the coal mines at Vierfontein. Kroonstad is situated two hours’ drive from the Gauteng Province, and can be easily accessed from the national road (N1) to Bloemfontein. 


The town was established in 1854 and is thought to have been named after a horse. Folklore has it that a Voortrekker, SarelCilliers, owned a horse named Kroon (Crown) who drowned in the Vals River. That portion of the river became known as Kroonspruit after this misfortune and the name stuck when this site was chosen for a new settlement. 

Well-known Personalities 

Rev. Z.R. Mahabane

The cultural landscape of Moqhaka includes the house of one of the stalwarts of the liberation struggle, Zaccheus Richard Mahabane, who was the first President-General of the ANC during the period 1924 to 1927. His second term as President lasted from 1937 to 1940. After that he was still involved with the ANC and as senior chaplain was a member of the committee that had to investigate the revision of the ANC’s constitution. In 1943, Rev Mahabane was made lifelong honorary president. The provincial Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation has facilitated the declaration process of the Mahabane house as both provincial and national heritage site and will also work on the restoration of the house according to acceptable heritage guidelines.

Ms. I. Matsepe-Casaburri

Former Free State Premier and Minister of Communications, Ms Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, was born in Kroonstad on 18 September 1937. She completed her primary schooling there and completed her secondary school career in Mbabane, KwaZulu Natal. She obtained her B.A. Degree from Fort Hare University and proceeded to teach in KwaZulu Natal for two years. Shortly afterwards Matsepe-Casaburri went into exile. She spent time in Swaziland, Zambia, the United States of America and Namibia before returning home in 1990. While in the United States she obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University. She became the first woman to hold the position of premier in South Africa when she succeeded MGP Lekota in 1997. Following the June 1999 general elections, she was appointed as Minister of Communications. She served in that position until she passed away on 6 April 2009. 

Mr. M.G.P. Lekota

Former Free State Premier, Mosiuoa Gerard Patrick Lekota, was born in Kroonstad on 13 August 1948. 


The prominent South Africanpoet, academic and writer, AntjieKrog, was born in Kroonstad on 23 October 1952. In 1970, at the height of John Vorster’s apartheid years, she penned an anti-apartheid poem for her school magazine causing major controversy in the conservative Afrikaner communities. In addition to being a published writer, Krog also covered the proceedings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a journalist for a period of two years. In 2004, she joined the Arts Faculty of the University of the Western Cape. 


The Kroonstad/Maokeng/Brentpark urban unit is situated adjacent the N1 national road and located adjacent one of the largest and most important four-way railway junctions in South Africa. This positioning emphasise the ideal and strategic location of the town. The unit is the third largest town in the Free State comprising an approximate total of 166 195 inhabitants. The Greater Kroonstad is the centre of a large agriculture community that plays an important role in the economy of the region. Industrial activities subsequently contribute significantly to the districts economy. The Department of Correctional Services has a women’s correctional facility in Kroonstad, whilst the School of Engineers of the Defence Force are also located at the town. 



The town issituated next to the R76 road, within the maize triangle, and bordering the Vaal industrial complex. 


Viljoenskroon is small maize and cattle farming town named after the original farm owner JJ Viljoen and his horse Kroon.


The Viljoenskroon/Rammulotsi urban unit, similar to the other units, are located within an area of extreme agricultural significance and industrial complex of which Senwes are established in the Viljoenskroon industrial area. The urban area plays a significant role in providing residential opportunities to the adjacent Goldfields and other mining activities in the North West Province. The provincial roads P15/1 and P15/2 from Kroonstad to Klerksdorp in the North West Province extend through the area from north to south. Viljoenskroon is characterised by its stud farming in the district, and several huge grain silos make it one of the biggest grain storage centres in South Africa.



The Steynsrus/Matlwangtlwang unit is situated approximately 50 km east of Kroonstad, 92 km west of Bethlehem. The major link road between Bethlehem and Kroonstad stretches adjacent to the urban area.


Steynsrus is a small cattle farming town founded in 1910 and named after the last president of the Orange Free State, MartinusTheunisSteyn. 


The area is located in an area of agricultural significance and mainly provides services in this regard to the surrounding rural areas. The accessibility of the town, due to the main road and railway line, further influences growth in the area. Steynsrus, today, is known for the manufacturing of ceramics. One of the country’s leading manufacturers, Africa Divas / Salem Ceramics, is based in the town and is well-known throughout the country for its innovative, artistic and impressive garden ceramics.