Bloemfontein

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Bloemfontein
View of Bloemfontein from Naval Hill
Nickname(s): The City of Roses
Bloemfontein is located in South Africa
Bloemfontein
 Bloemfontein shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 29°07′S 26°13′E / 29.117°S 26.217°E / -29.117; 26.217Coordinates: 29°07′S 26°13′E / 29.117°S 26.217°E / -29.117; 26.217
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceFree State
MunicipalityMangaung
Established1846[1]
Area[2]
 • Total236.17 km2 (91.19 sq mi)
Elevation1,395 m (4,577 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total256,185
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African56.1%
 • Coloured12.8%
 • Indian/Asian0.8%
 • White29.8%
 • Other0.5%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Afrikaans42.5%
 • Sotho33.4%
 • English7.5%
 • Xhosa7.1%
 • Other9.5%
Postal code (street)9300
PO box9300
Area code051
 
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Bloemfontein
View of Bloemfontein from Naval Hill
Nickname(s): The City of Roses
Bloemfontein is located in South Africa
Bloemfontein
 Bloemfontein shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 29°07′S 26°13′E / 29.117°S 26.217°E / -29.117; 26.217Coordinates: 29°07′S 26°13′E / 29.117°S 26.217°E / -29.117; 26.217
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceFree State
MunicipalityMangaung
Established1846[1]
Area[2]
 • Total236.17 km2 (91.19 sq mi)
Elevation1,395 m (4,577 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total256,185
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African56.1%
 • Coloured12.8%
 • Indian/Asian0.8%
 • White29.8%
 • Other0.5%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Afrikaans42.5%
 • Sotho33.4%
 • English7.5%
 • Xhosa7.1%
 • Other9.5%
Postal code (street)9300
PO box9300
Area code051

Bloemfontein (English pronunciation: /ˈblmfɒnˌtn/;[3][4] Afrikaans: [ˈblum.fɔn.ˌtɛi̯n], Dutch for "fountain of flowers") is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals – the other two being Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Pretoria, the administrative capital.

Bloemfontein is popularly and poetically known as "the city of roses", owing to the abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there.[5][6] The city's Sesotho name is Mangaung, meaning "place of cheetahs" and it has been included in the Mangaung Local Municipality since 2000 [dated info].

Bloemfontein is situated on dry grassland at 29°06′S 26°13′E / 29.100°S 26.217°E / -29.100; 26.217, at an altitude of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) above sea level. The city is home to 369,568 residents, while the Mangaung Local Municipality has a population of 645,455.

History[edit]

Bloemfontein, circa 1900.

Though historically a predominantly Afrikaner settlement, Bloemfontein was officially founded in 1846 as a fort by British army major Henry Douglas Warden as a British outpost in the Transoranje region, at that stage occupied by various groups of peoples including Cape Colony Trek Boers, Griqua and Basotho. Although modern day Bloemfontein has a reputation for its flowers in an otherwise arid region, the origin of the city's name is unclear. Popular legends include an ox named "Bloem" owned by one of the pioneer farmers that was taken by a lion near a fountain on his property, while another story names Jan Bloem (1775–1858), a Korana KhoiKhoi leader who inhabited the area.[7] Bloemfontein literally means fountain of flowers or flower spring in Dutch. With colonial policy shifts, the region changed into the Orange River Sovereignty (1848–1854) and eventually the Orange Free State Republic (1854–1902). From 1902–1910 it served as the capital of the Orange River Colony and since that time as the provincial capital of the Free State. In 1910 it became the Judicial capital of the Union of South Africa.

Founding and early days[edit]

Warden originally chose the site largely because of its proximity to the main route to Winburg, the spacious open country, and the absence of horse sickness. Bloemfontein was the original farm of Johannes Nicolaas Brits born 21 February 1790, owner and first inhabitant of Bloemfontein. Johann – as he was known – sold the farm to Maj Warden.[citation needed]

1854–1898[edit]

The old Raadsaal in Bloemfontein, with the statue of Christiaan de Wet

As the capital of the Orange Free State Republic the growth and maturing of the Republic resulted in the growth of the town. Numerous public buildings that remain in use today were constructed. This was largely facilitated by the excellent governance of the Republic (which acquired the term model republic) and the compensation from the British for the loss of the diamond rich Griqualand area.[citation needed]

A railway line was built in 1890 connecting Bloemfontein to Cape Town.

The writer J. R. R. Tolkien was born in the city on 3 January 1892, though his family left South Africa following the death of his father, Arthur Tolkien, while Tolkien was only three. He recorded that his earliest memories were of "a hot country."

Second Anglo-Boer War/South African War[edit]

In 1899 the city was the site of the Bloemfontein Conference, which failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second Boer War. The conference was a final attempt to avert a war between Britain and the South African Republic. With its failure the stage was set for war, which broke out on 11 October 1899.

The rail line from Cape Town provided a centrally located railway station, and proved critical to the British in occupying the city later.

On 13 March 1900, following the Battle of Paardeberg, British forces captured the city and built a concentration camp nearby to house Boer women and children. The National Women's Monument, on the outskirts of the city, pays homage to the 26,370 women and children as well as 1,421 old men[8] (Also 14,154 black people, though some sources feel that the records are unsatisfactory, and that this number could be as high as 20,000[9]) who died in these camps in various parts of the country.[10]

Recent history[edit]

Until 1994 the city was the sole judicial capital of South Africa. It remains the seat for the Supreme Court Of Appeal (formerly the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court) and is therefore generally regarded[who?] as the judicial capital. It is also an administrative center with many private hospitals and educational institutions.

Government[edit]

Bloemfontein forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, which was upgraded from a Local Municipality in 2011.

Geography and climate[edit]

Bloemfontein
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
83
 
31
15
 
 
111
 
29
15
 
 
72
 
27
12
 
 
56
 
23
8
 
 
17
 
20
3
 
 
12
 
17
−2
 
 
8
 
17
−2
 
 
15
 
20
1
 
 
24
 
24
5
 
 
43
 
26
9
 
 
58
 
28
12
 
 
60
 
30
14
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: SAWS[11]

Bloemfontein is located in central South Africa on the southern edge of the Highveld at an elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft), bordering on the semi-arid region of the Karoo. The area is generally flat with occasional hills (koppies in Afrikaans) and the general vegetation is Highveld grassland. Bloemfontein experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSk ), with hot summer days (Jan: max:32 °C (90 °F) min:19 °C (66 °F); frequent afternoon thunderstorms) and cooler, dry winters, often with frosts (July: max:14 °C (57 °F) min:−3 °C (27 °F)). Snow is uncommon but as recently as August 2006 it snowed in the city, with snowfalls occurring again at the airport on 26 July 2007.

Climate data for Bloemfontein
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)39
(102)
39
(102)
35
(95)
33
(91)
30
(86)
25
(77)
24
(75)
29
(84)
34
(93)
35
(95)
37
(99)
38
(100)
39
(102)
Average high °C (°F)31
(88)
29
(84)
27
(81)
23
(73)
20
(68)
17
(63)
17
(63)
20
(68)
24
(75)
26
(79)
28
(82)
30
(86)
24
(75)
Average low °C (°F)15
(59)
15
(59)
12
(54)
8
(46)
3
(37)
−2
(28)
−2
(28)
1
(34)
5
(41)
9
(48)
12
(54)
14
(57)
8
(46)
Record low °C (°F)6
(43)
4
(39)
1
(34)
−3
(27)
−9
(16)
−9
(16)
−10
(14)
−10
(14)
−7
(19)
−3
(27)
0
(32)
3
(37)
−10
(14)
Precipitation mm (inches)83
(3.27)
111
(4.37)
72
(2.83)
56
(2.2)
17
(0.67)
12
(0.47)
8
(0.31)
15
(0.59)
24
(0.94)
43
(1.69)
58
(2.28)
60
(2.36)
559
(22.01)
Avg. precipitation days111111943234791084
Mean monthly sunshine hours297.6251.4257.3249.0266.6249.0272.8285.2279.0291.4297.0319.33,315.6
Source #1: South African Weather Service[11]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun only 1961-1990).[12]

Suburbs[edit]

Replica Eiffel Tower in an industrial area next to Batho

Bloemfontein suburbs include Heidedal to the east and southeast, Bainsvlei, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Brandwag, Ehrlichpark, Fauna, Fichardtpark, Fleurdal, Gardeniapark, Generaal De Wet, Hospitaalpark, Kiepersol, Langenhoven Park, Lourierpark, Park West, Pellissier, Uitsig, Universitas, Westdene, Wilgehof and Willows to the south of the city. To the west of Bloemfontein, you will find Langenhovenpark. To the north you will find Arboretum, Baysvalley, Bayswater, Dan Pienaar, Helicon Heights, Heuwelsig, Hillsboro, Hillside, Hilton, Naval Hill, Navalsig, Noordhoek, Pentagon Park, Panorama Park, and Waverley. The predominantly black suburbs are; Rocklands, Phahameng, Phelindaba, Bloemanda, Bochabela and the most historic Batho where the Maphikela House (where the African national Congress – ANC started) is situated.

Sports[edit]

Stadia[edit]

The Free State Stadium and the surrounding sports complex is the main sports venue in the city and province. The venue was the hosting stadium of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa matches played in Bloemfontein. There are several other sports venues in the city, however, including facilities belonging to the university, schools and sports clubs.

Football[edit]

Bloemfontein is joint home (together with nearby Botshabelo) to Premier Soccer League team Bloemfontein Celtic. Some of the matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup were played at the Free State Stadium, including the historic 4–1 defeat of England by Germany in the round of 16.

Rugby[edit]

Bloemfontein's Free State Stadium is home to two rugby union teams; the Central Cheetahs who compete in Super Rugby and the Free State Cheetahs who play in the domestic Currie Cup. The Free State Cheetahs won the Currie Cup in 2005 against the Blue Bulls, they drew the final with the Blue Bulls in 2006 and retained the Currie Cup title in 2007 by beating the Golden Lions resulting in the Free State Cheetahs remaining Currie Cup champions until 2008 when the failed to make the final for the first time since 2004. 2009 saw the Cheetahs return to the Currie Cup final but they were unable to beat the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

Cricket[edit]

The Knights cricket team representing the Free State and Northern Cape in various series is located at Chevrolet Park, part of the Free State Stadium complex. Bloemfontein features as a regular venue for touring international and local cricket teams.[citation needed]

Soaring[edit]

One of the most active soaring communities in South Africa and the world is using the New Tempe Airport north of Bloemfontein.[citation needed]

Motor sports[edit]

Bloemfontein has a motocross track run by the Bloemfontein Off Road Club, as well as a go-kart circuit (M&F Raceway), which is run by Bloemfontein Kart Club.

Shooting sports[edit]

Bloemfontein has a comprehensive shooting centre 20 km (12 mi) south of the city, offering most forms of shooting including various clay target, pistol and rifle disciplines. Bloemfontein's shooting sport community has produced many provincial and national representatives over the years.

Education[edit]

Bloemfontein offers many institutions of learning, from pre-schools to Universities and colleges. Classes are taught in different schools in different languages, some schools even teaching all classes in two languages. These languages are mostly Afrikaans, English or Sesotho.

Primary education[edit]

  • Grey College Primary School
  • Bloemfontein Primary School
  • Laerskool Universitas (TJOKKIES)
  • Willem Postma Primary School
  • Laerskool Sentraal Primary
  • Rutanang Primary School
  • Brebner Primary School
  • Fichardt Park Primary School
  • Jim Fouché Primary School
  • Gonyane primary
  • Morafe primary
  • Legae primary
  • Rekgonne primary
  • Laerskool Dr Viljoen
  • Tsholohelo Primary
  • Mangaung Primary
  • Lesedi Primary
  • Nzame Primary
  • Unity Primary
  • Daluxolo Primary
  • President Brand Primary (PBS)
  • Maboloka Primary
  • Bochabela Primary
  • Ikhwezi Primary
  • Marang Primary
  • Credence Primary (Heidedal)
  • Batho Primary
  • Heide Primary (Heidedal)
  • CBC
  • Academy of Learning
  • Mabeoana Primary
  • Ihobe Primary
  • Daluxolo Primary
  • Mabolela Primary
  • Olympia Primary (Heidedal)
  • Mothusi Primary
  • Karabelo Primary
  • Monyatsi Primary
  • Joe Solomon Primary(Heidedal)
  • Tebelelo Primary
  • Kgato Primary
  • Rekgonne Primary
  • Fauna Primary
  • Wilgehof Primary
  • Phahamisang Primary

Secondary education[edit]

  • St. Andrew's School
  • Grey College Secondary School
  • Eunice High School
  • Castle Bridge School
  • Bloemfontein High School
  • CVO Skool Dankbaar in Bain's Vlei (private Calvinist school, affiliated with the BCVO)
  • Hoërskool Fichardtpark in Fichhardtpark
  • Technical High School Louis Botha
  • Hoërskool Jim Fouché
  • Hoërskool Sand du Plessis
  • St. Michael's School
  • Hoërskool Sentraal
  • C&N Sekondêre Meisieskool Oranje
  • Brebner High School
  • Tsoseletso High School
  • Kaelang Secondary School
  • Heatherdale Secondary School
  • Atlehang Senior Secondary School
  • Hoërskool Dr Viljoen
  • St Joseph's CBC
  • Sehunelo High School
  • Ikaelelo Senior Secondary School
  • Lereko High School
  • Moemedi Senior Secondary School
  • Vulamasango High School
  • Hodisa Technical High School
  • Comm Tech High School
  • Kagisho Senior Secondary School
  • Dr Blok High School
  • Bloemfontein South High School
  • Lekhulong secondary school

Tertiary education[edit]

Public Tertiary Institutions[edit]

The largest tertiary institutions in Bloemfontein are the of University of the Free State and the Central University of Technology.

There is a Further Education and Training College called Motheo FET College which comprises three main campuses(Thaba N'chu, Hillside view and Bloemfontein)and the satellite campuses in Zastron,Philippolis and Botshabelo.

Private Tertiary Institutions[edit]

Some major national private educational brands maintain a presence in Bloemfontein, namely:

Buildings in the CBD also host smaller upstart colleges, which come and go. Such colleges catch the overflow from public institutions and late enrolments, or learners whose high school achievement may fall short of various entry requirements. This list may vary from year to year:

Media[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

Radio[edit]

Famous people[edit]

Many famous persons are associated with Bloemfontein; these include:

Religion[edit]

Bloemfontein has a large and diverse Christian population. The city houses several churches and denominations:

It also has a large Jewish population, which was established during the mid-19th century.[15] There are two main cemeteries in Bloemfontein:

In October 7, 2010, Several tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Bloemfontein were defaced with swastikas and antisemitc graffiti.[17] In April 10, 2012, Bloemfontein's historic Memoriam cemetery vandalized, with 35 tombstones toppled and obscene graffiti daubed on the walls of the adjoining Ohel. The graffiti included images of money bags and diamonds, as well as of a crudely drawn Magen David, allegedly as part of an anti-Semitic act.[18] There is also the old Phahameng cemetery which dates back to the 1960s and was specifically reserved for Africans during the apartheid era and has a Heroes Acre, where freedom fighters are laid to rest. The Heide Heights cemetery in Heidedal was reserved for coloured people during the apartheid era but all races could bury their dead after 1994. This cemetery has been closed due to it being full.

Community Service Organizations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)". pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Bloemfontein". Census 2011. 
  3. ^ Dictionary Reference: Bloemfontein
  4. ^ The Free Dictionary: Bloemfontein
  5. ^ Bloemfontein: Did you know?
  6. ^ Bloemfontein: General Information
  7. ^ Bridget Hilton-Barber (2001). Weekends with Legends. New Africa Books. p. 98. ISBN 0-86486-471-X. 
  8. ^ Arthur Clive Martin (1957). The Concentration Camps, 1900–1902: Facts, Figures and Fables. H. Timmins. p. 31. 
  9. ^ Black Concentration Camps
  10. ^ Concentration Camps during Anglo-Boer War
  11. ^ a b "Climate data for Bloemfontein". South African Weather Service. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Climatological Information for Bloemfontein, South Africa, Hong Kong Observatory, accessed 5 May 2012.
  13. ^ J. R. R. Tolkien#Childhood
  14. ^ http://www.mornevanwyk.co.za
  15. ^ Issroff, Dr Saul. "A HISTORY OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY ARCHIVES". Saul Issroff, Mike Getz, SAfrica SIG and Jewishgen Inc. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "BLOEMFONTEIN - Free State Prov". International Jewish Cemetery Project. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "South Africa – Jewish cemetery was desecrated". CFCA. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "Jewish cemetery vandalized". CFCA. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 

External links[edit]