Klerksdorp (klĕrksˈdôrp) [key], city, part and seat of the City of Matlosana local municipality, North West prov., NE South Africa, on the Schoonspruit River. The town, which has grain elevators, lumberyards, and food-processing and beverage-making industries, is the mining and processing center for major gold and uranium deposits and is also the distribution center for neighboring farms. There are rail and road connections with Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Klerksdorp was founded in 1837 by Afrikaner farmers (Boers) and, with Potchefstroom, was one of the first European towns founded in the Transvaal. Gold mining began in 1886 but declined in the late 1890s. Heavy fighting occurred in the area during the South African War (1899–1902). Gold mining revived in 1932, and the town underwent an economic revival, which accelerated after World War II.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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