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Klerksdorp is a city located in the North West Province, South Africa. Klerksdorp is currently the largest city in the North West Province. Mahikeng, the provincial capital, lies roughly 170 km north-west of Klerksdorp and Johannesburg 170 km in a north-eastern direction.HistoryThe city was founded in 1837 or 1838 when the Voortrekkers settled on the banks of the Schoonspruit ("Clear stream"), which flows through the town. Klerksdorp is the oldest European (white) settlement north of the Vaal River, and thus of the former Transvaal Republic.The most prominent of the first settlers was C.M. du Plooy who claimed a farm of about 160 km², called it Elandsheuwel ("Hill of the Eland"). He gave plots of land and communal grazing rights on this farm to other Voortrekkers in return for their labour in building a dam and an irrigation canal. This collection of smallholdings was later given the name of Klerksdorp in honour of the first landdrost (magistrate) of the area, Jacob de Clercq.In August 1886 gold was discovered in the Klerksdorp district by M. G. Jansen van Vuuren as well as on the Witwatersrand, which lies about 160 km to the east. As a consequence, thousands of fortune-seekers descended on the small village, turning it into a town with 70 taverns and even a stock exchange of its own.Plan your visit to Klerksdorp and other destinations in South Africa using our South Africa day trip planning tool.
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