Towns of Metsimaholo Local Municipality

Sasolburg

Location

This modern and predominantly industrial town is further located in close proximity (20km) to the nationally well-known industrial areas of Vereeniging/Vanderbijlpark. The Sasolburg / Zamdela urban area is 340km from Bloemfontein and 80km from Johannesburg.

The town is situated on the southern banks of the Vaal River. The area lies at an altitude of approximately 1500 meters above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 638 mm while the average maximum summer temperature is 26.9°C and the average minimum winter temperature is 16°C. Sasolburg is exceptional in its wealth of trees. The town boasts almost 12000 oak trees, including 26 different oak variants.

History

The town owes its existence to the petro-chemical industry as it was established in 1954 in order to provide housing and facilities for Sasol (South African Coal, Oil & Gas) employees. Sasolburg attained official town status in 1967. Its refinery is one of the only two viable coal-derived oil refineries in the world.

Economy

Sasolburg is located in the heart of worldly renowned coalfields. Apart from the internationally known SASOL “oil from coal refinery”, a vast number of by-products including olefins, waxes, alcohols, tar products, inorganic chemicals, rubber, gases, plastics, fertilizers, etc are manufactured in the area. Its refinery is one of the only two viable coal-derived oil refineries in the world.

Deneysville

Location

The Deneysville / Refengkgotso urban area is situated in the north-eastern section of the Metsimaholo Region, approximately 36km east of Sasolburg and 350km north-east of Bloemfontein. Other larger centres such as Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark are all within 50km from Deneysville.

History

The town was established in 1939 around the Vaal Dam and named after Deneys Reitz, son of a former Free State President.

Economy

The town’s close proximity to the coal mining and industrial activities in Sasolburg and its nearby location to the large industrial complexes of Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark, definitely influence economic activities in Deneysville. The strong recreational character of the town further enhances this phenomenon.

Oranjeville

Location

The Oranjeville / Metsimaholo urban area is located within the former district of Heilbron. Oranjeville is situated on the riparian of the Vaal Dam in close proximity to the northern boundary of the Free State Province. The area is accessible by road and within 55km from Sasolburg, Vereeniging, Frankfort, Heilbron and Villiers.

History

Oranjeville was established during 1919 as a halfway stop for oxwagons between Heilbron, Frankfort and Vereeniging. The landowners eventually named it Oranjeville in honour of the “Prins of Oranje” from the Netherlands Royal Family.

Economy

Although the prominent economic sector of the area is agriculture, it is strategically situated from a recreation and tourism point of view. This is in view of the fact that the town is bound on three sides by the Vaal Dam and located in close proximity to the Gauteng metropolitan area. It is also linked to several other towns in the vicinity.