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10 Facts: Welkom


Today’s 10 fact topic is the city of Welkom in the Free State province of South Africa. The city is situated 160 km North East of Bloemfontein.

Here are 10 facts about Welkom:

  • It’s South Africa’s youngest town and has been the centre of the gold fields since 1947.
  • The town sprung up after gold was discovered on a farm called St Helena.
  • It’s the 2nd biggest city in the Free State. Welkom has grown perhaps with a faster rate as Johannesburg and today more than 400,000 people call Welkom their home.
  • The word welkom is Afrikaans and Dutch for welcome.
  • The city’s system of traffic circles were so well designed that are still only a few traffic lights in the city, despite its size.
  • The city has many monument has many monuments including, Aandek Monument, Afrikaans Language Monument, Joanne Pim Monument, WWII Monument, Voortrekker Memorial, Dog Monument, Old Indaba bleugum tree and MOTH Memorial.
  • Phakisa Raceway on the edge of the city is South Africa’s newest racetrack. The racetrack consists of both a high speed oval and a well designed conventional track and is known internationally as a Grand Prix racetrack.
  • Mark Shuttleworth (entrepeneur and the first African in space), Jannie de Beer (Springbok rugby player), CJ van der Linde (Springbok rugby player),  Wynand Olivier (Bulls and Springbok rugby player) and Brian McMillan (South African cricketer) were all born in the city.
  • The city’s best thespians and ballet dancers grace the modern Ernest Oppenheimer Theatre complex. Named after the businessman who planned the layout of Welkom.
  • Welkom is served by a small airport and a branch of the main railway between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Watch this space for 10 facts posts. Hope you find this interesting.


  1. Why do you people as well as other people carry on about Welkom. It is no city for respectable people. It has turned into a pigsty. Very depressing when you walk around and all you see is liqour bottles and rubbish. Especially when you find that people from 1 km away decided that your house is the dumping place for his rubbish

  2. Hi Henno. Thx for the info. The city is also the only preplanned city in South Africa. Still today, mayors from around the world study Welkom’s traffic to implement in their cities. Sadly like George pointed out, the city is not being looked after. The Local ( ANC) council just does not care about the city and its inhabitants ( but must say this not only happens in Welkom but all over South Africa too)


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