Balfour, situated between Heidelberg and Standerton, was proclaimed in 1898. It was originally called McHattiesburg but was later renamed in honour of a former British Prime Minister, Sir Arthur Balfour. Local inhabitants call the town “Siya Themba” – We promise. The town’s economy is based largely on coal-mining and maize-farming.


Bethal was proclaimed in 1889 and named after the wives, Elizabeth and Alida, of the owners of the farms on which the town was laid out. Local inhabitants call the town, positioned on the banks of the Bethal Dam with its lovely willow trees, “eMzinoni”. The town lies 1 701 m above sea level and […]


Delmas, also called “Botleng” (Beautiful), by the local inhabitants, is an important agricultural and milling centre on the western borders of Mpumalanga. It was laid out on the small farm, Witklip, in 1907, hence the name “Delmas” that means small farm in French. The honour of naming the town went to Transvaal Government official, Frank […]


This small village, called “Nthorwana” by the locals, was established in 1910 and named after JP Greyling, a farmer in the district, local pioneer and stepson of the esteemed Voortrekker leader Piet Retief. The village lies some 1 828 m above sea level and consists of two distinct parts; one part built on level ground […]


Kinross was proclaimed in 1915 and named after the Scottish town of the same name. The town is the centre of one of South Africa’s most advanced maize, potato and cattle-farming regions. It lies some 1 672 m above sea level on the crest of South Africa’s watershed. Its position means that the rain falling […]


Leandra also incorporates Leslie and Eendrag and supports a large agricultural community. Although very small, the town is becoming an important maize-storage centre that also offers an aerial crop-spraying service. The other main local economic activity is coal-mining and the area is renowned for its pockets of natural gas, one of which has been burning […]


In 1954 the first South African oil-from-coal plant was established at Sasolburg in the Free State. When the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979 and the continuation of oil supplies to South Africa became problematic and expensive, another two plants, Sasol 2 and Sasol 3, were established, this time at Secunda (“eMbalenhle”). These plants […]


Standerton lies on the banks of the Vaal River and was established in 1876 on Adriaan Stander’s farm “Grootverlangen”. The town lies some 1 531 m above sea level and the highest point in the area is the 1 640-m-high Stander’s Kop that saw much action during the First Anglo-Boer War in 1881. Standerton is […]