Welkom is situated 160 km North East of Bloemfontein in South Africa’s Free State Province. There’s probably quite a bit that you did not know about this city (which is known for its traffic circles).
Here are 10 facts about Welkom
1. It’s South Africa’s youngest town and has been the centre of the gold fields since 1947.
2. The town sprung up after gold was discovered on a farm called St Helena.
3. 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.
4. The word welkom is Afrikaans and Dutch for welcome.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Welkom is served by a small airport and a branch of the main railway between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
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