NKETOANA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Nketoana Local Municipality was established in terms of Section 14 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 11 of 1998, and was published in the Provincial Gazette No. 109 dated 28 September 2000. The municipality is a Category B municipality, with a collective executive system as contemplated in Section 9 (b) of the Structures Act 117 of 1998.
The Highlands water flows into the Caledon River, then into the Ash River, and continues into the Nketoana River near Reitz and Petrus Steyn. The river passing near Reitz/Petrus Steyn is called Nketoana in Sesotho.
Cities/Towns: Arlington, Lindley, Petrus Steyn, Reitz
Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture, retail business
Arlington is a very small town in the north eastern Free State on the R707 between the towns of Lindley and Senekal. Arlington’s ‘reason for being’ is primarily as an agricultural rail-link, at the rail juncture between the Lindley – Senekal Line and the Bethlehem – Steynsrus Line.
Arlington lies on the R57 Riemland Route, primarily as an example of a typical Free State farming ‘dorpie’ with the unique charm that goes with that. However, Arlington is located in the midst of an animal husbandry area with a number of cattle ranches and private game farms with hunting lodges – many of which offer a range of activities from quad-biking to 4×4 on their farms.
Hunting is usually restricted to certain times of the year, and the rest of the time, the wide open spaces, unpretentious country hospitality, activities and evening sundowners before the enjoyment of a traditional ‘braai’ hold appeal for travellers between Gauteng and the Free State Highlands.
Lindley is an inviting town nestled in valley shaped hollow, on the banks of the Fals River. The town was named after Rev. Daniel Lindley, an American Presbyterian missionary, regarded as the first missionary of the Great Trek 1836. The town and surrounding countryside is steeped in history and local folklore. Sandstone buildings are strong architectural feature of Lindley.
Lindley has a variety of experiences to offer, from interesting shops to refreshments offered by coffee shops, pubs, a running mill, bakery and a grocer. The charm of the town will always reside in its peaceful setting and calm tempo set by nature. The famous Dr Danie Craven who is regarded as the father of South African rugby, was born in Lindley.
Petrus Steyn was established on 11th October 1912 on the farm Sterkfontein under the Elandskop and is also the origin of the Renoster River. Petrus Steyn is the second highest town in the Free State and is approximately 200 km from Johannesburg. The town lies in the agricultural hub of the Eastern Free State producing potatoes for Lays and Simba and other suppliers.
Formerly known as Concordia, the town is the centre of an agricultural area known for wheat, maize, sunflower, potato, cattle and sheep production. The sandstone parsonage of the local Dutch Reformed Church was declared a national monument in 1988
Interesting geological sights can be seen in areas from Sasolburg to Rosendal on the Riemland Route. The following is found in these areas namely Molteno Rock formations, Fossilised forests, Listresaurus fossils, Dinosaurus fossils and other newer species of fossils such as the extinct buffalo and animal species. You will find a wide variety of wild flowers and plants in the area as well as many indigenous species of birds.
Founded in 1889, the town was previously known as Singer’s Post, its name was changed to Amsterdam, and again to its current name Reitz, after the Orange Free State president, Francis William Reitz. Lying almost halfway between Bethlehem and Frankfort on Route 26 in the Free State, Reitz is described as a peaceful village. Despite its apparent isolation, it lies only two hours’ drive from Johannesburg and has thus made it on to Gautengers’ weekend getaway lists.
Reitz is a quaint little village that is extremely pleasing on the eye. For this reason, and the fact that it maintains a relatively low profile (other than the Bielie Mielie Festival in February – a festival celebrating mealies in a predominiantly maize-farming community) makes it extremely enticing. The town has one of the largest maize silos in the southern hemisphere and is a major maize growing community
Reitz is also only 45 minutes’ drive from the already extremely popular village of Clarens (just the other side of Bethlehem) and it is the urge to find a similar classic village in the heart of the Free State that sends people into this unspoilt and completely peaceful countryside to find their own bolt hole.