MOHOKARE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Mohokare Local Municipality is situated within the Xhariep District in the south-eastern Free State. Zastron is perhaps the best-known of the three villages in this area. At the foot of the Aasvöelberg is the famous Eye of Zastron, a 9m-wide hole through a sandstone rock. Examples of Bushman art can be found on the various farms in the area. Zastron is very close to Lesotho and a great place to start exploring.
Smithfield has a peaceful, splendidly vast, unpolluted countryside, tucked neatly into a horseshoe of hills. Established in 1848 and named after Sir Harry Smith, then Governor of the Cape, Smithfield is the third-oldest town in the Free State province.
Rouxville is in the middle of a number of other interesting places such as Smithfield, Aliwal, Xhariep and Zastron, and boasts the impressive Maloti Mountains as a backdrop. Situated on the N6, Rouxville was founded by Petrus Wepenaar in 1863 on the farm Zuurbult. It was named after Reverand Pieter Roux, who travelled throughout the eastern Free State for many years holding church services for local communities. During the Anglo-Boer War, all of its citizens were called up and the town was completely deserted for two years.
Cities/Towns: Rouxville, Smithfield, Zastron
Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture, tourism
Zastron is a small agricultural town in the Free State province of South Africa, some 30 km from the border of Lesotho. It is situated at the foot of Aasvoëlberg (Vulture Mountain), named for the rare Cape vultures attracted by a feeding project a short distance out of town. A curious rock formation in the mountain, Die Oog (The Eye), has been adopted as the town’s unofficial emblem. The town was founded in 1876 on the farm Verliesfontein, and named after the maiden name of President Brand’s wife, Johanna Sibella Brand, née Zastron
Rouxville is a small wool and cattle farming town in the Free State province of South Africa and is situated on the N6 national route. The town is at the centre of the wool producing area of the Gariep.
Rouxville is situated near a number of interesting locations – Zastron (30 km), Aliwal North (34 km), Smithfield (35 km), Gariep Dam (60 km) and Bethulie. Lady Grey, the Witteberg mountain range (with the 2,769 m Avoca peak) and the Drakensberg mountain range are also easily accessible from Rouxville, while the Lesotho border is 70 km away. The town was established in 1863 and named after Dutch reformed church reverend Pieter roux of the Smithfield parish. Roux traveled throughout the eastern free state for many years holding church services for local Communities.
Smithfield – named after Sir Harry Smith, governor of the Cape from 1847 to 52 – was founded in 1848. The town situated in a rural farming district, and is the third oldest town in present-day Free State, (after Philippolis and Winburg). Its history goes back much further, with archaeological evidence of Stone Age occupation. More recently, Basotho, Boer and Brit have all contributed to the rich texture of life in the region.
The town is tucked into a horseshoe of hills, some 132 km southeast of Bloemfontein along the N6 national road to East London, Eastern Cape. The Caledon River bounds Smithfield on the east and south. The district is drained by various tributaries of this river, the Vinkel and Wilgeboom Spruits being the largest. As the town lies 13 km west of the river, water has to be obtained from boreholes around the town dam. The Mohokare river, meaning “in the midst” (of Basotho territory), which ran close to Smithfield, was renamed the Caledon river, after the Earl of Caledon, British governor of the Cape Colony from 1807 to 1811.