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.
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