Welkom is the second largest town in the Free State province and one of South Africa’s youngest cities. Originally a large farm named ‘Welcome’ in Afrikaans, Welkom became a hub of activity during the early 1900s when gold was discovered. Today Welkom has a population of over 200,000 people, and an economy that has branched out from mining into industry and agriculture.
The city is surrounded by Highveld grasslands, and is distinctive for its lack of mountainous and hilly terrain. There is only one hill near the city, the aptly named Koppie Alleen, or ‘lonely hill’.
One of Welkom’s most distinctive features is the city’s excellent urban planning. The inner city has no traffic lights, and few stop streets, with traffic instead regulated by a highly effective system of traffic circles. Unlike many other South African cities where parking in town can be an expensive affair, there is also no metered parking in the central business district.
There are a large number of residential suburbs within the greater Welkom metropolitan area, catering to a wide variety of income brackets. Larger family homes can be found in the suburbs of Dagbreek, Flamingo Park and Jim Fouchepark, while entry level houses and apartments can be found in areas like Reitzpark and Sandania.
Welkom is not a resort town, with a strong focus on blue collar industry and agriculture. However, the city is home to some interesting attractions including:
- The De Rust Private Nature Reserve, a 680 hectare nature preserve that is home to a variety of wild game, and also offers overnight accommodation and wedding facilities.
- Some great hiking is available on the Bell’s Pass Hiking Trail in Winburg. Trails include overnight trails, as well as a selection of day trails catering to hikers of all levels of fitness.
The Rand Phakisa Raceway is located between Welkom and Odendaalsrus, and is a mecca for motor racing enthusiasts. The venue even hosts a leg of the FIM Superbike World Championship.
- The St Helena Gold Mine is a working gold mine which is open to tourists. Visitors can take travel almost a kilometre beneath the earth’s surface to view the mine and its wine cellar.
- Numerous museums and monuments are located in and around Welkom, including the Welkom Museum, Afrikaans Language Monument and the Gold Museum, which features a comprehensive history of this precious metal.
has all the infrastructure you’d expect to find in a modern city, including numerous primary and secondary schools and schools for special needs children. The city is also home to several tertiary education institutions, including the Welkom Technical College, Welkom Nursing College and a Central University of Technology campus.
A number of hospitals and clinics are located in Welkom
including the state-funded Bongani Regional Hospital, and the private Welkom Mediclinic and St Helene Hospital. The city is serviced by a small local airport which offers daily flights to Johannesburg, and it is connected to the N1 by the R34, a dual carriage highway.
The Goldfields Mall is the largest shopping venue in Welkom, and the Game Shopping Centre, also known as the ‘Square’, is another popular shopping hub.
Find out more about purchasing Welkom property by contacting the Jawitz Welkom branch today!