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Region Overview
 
 

Cosmos Country

 
The Cosmos Country is a region that transforms into a rainbow of colours during the summer. Not only is the Cosmos Country known for its cosmos but also for the lively farming towns, large mining operations and power stations, which produce electricity for the majority of South Africa’s Citizens.
 

Towns

Balfour

Balfour

Along the winding banks of the Suikerbosrand River and situated on the Balfour Dam you'll find Fortuna Resort – a peaceful, privately-owned hideaway that is known for its camping and caravanning facilities, fishing and quad biking track. The kids will be entertained by the putt putt golf course, playground, trampolines, heated and cold swimming pools.
 
Balfour – only an hours' drive from Johannesburg – is farming country and a good place to take a leisurely walk across the surrounding koppies, especially when cosmos flowers are in full bloom in autumn. Experience a private tour of the surrounding region with a local guide, who will narrate the history of the surrounding area that also stretches to Greylingstad, Val and Villiers. 
 
The historic Welgelegen Manor House in town was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the famed architect who also designed the Union Buildings and Groote Schuur Hospital. Visit Balfour if you want to relax and have little else on your agenda.
 

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Bethal

Bethal

The predominantly agricultural town of Bethal in Gert Sibande Municipality pays homage to many of South Africa’s prominent liberation struggle activists, including Richard ‘Gert’ Sibande, after whom the district municipality was named in 2003. Bethal’s cultural precinct, in the centre of town, is in the shape of a ‘T’. It consists of a bronze statue of Sibande – who was a champion of the oppressed and was called The Lion of the East – that looks towards a statue of Nokuthula Simelane. She symbolises the hundreds of South Africans who, like her, went missing during the liberation struggle. The recently renovated Nomoya Masilela Museum in the background is housed within the former Magistrate’s Court, where Ruth First and Henry ‘Mr Drum’ Nxumalo were imprisoned. Today, this early 20th century building is a national monument.

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Delmas

Delmas

Delmas prides itself in its people. The extra ordinary warmth, friendliness and genuine smiles of the people in the area will certainly leave a lasting effect on one’s heart.

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Evander

Evander

Evander is a mining town that was founded in 1955 and is home to two major mining operations, the Teks Brewery and many locally owned and run Bed and Breakfasts.

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Greylingstad

Greylingstad

Greylingstad is a small farming town west of Standerton in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The town was founded in 1909 by the Dutch Reformed Church and named after PJ Greyling.

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Kinross

Kinross

Kinross is a small gold mining town in Mpumalanga and is in the unique position of being at the watershed between rivers flowing east to the Indian Ocean, and west to the Atlantic. The town, named after Kinross in Scotland, was proclaimed in 1915, and is the railhead for the township of Evander and four massive gold mines in the region.

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Kriel

Kriel

Kriel was proclaimed on the farms Onverwacht and Roodebloemin the early seventies, essentially to service three mines, two power stations and the farming community in the viscinity - and named after the first resident magistrate Mr. DJ Kriel from nearby Bethal. But the 'old town' has been in existence since the late 1800's and is 10km from the last great battle of the Boer War.

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Leandra

Leandra

Leandra is a farming town, which is not far from Gauteng. The town's houses are built in the style of the 1950's. The town blossoms with bright pink Nerium oleander in spring. You will be able to see the Big 5 on game farms in Leandra.

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Secunda

Secunda

Secunda is an industrial and commercial centre, but the town has a liberation history that includes some of the country’s bravest freedom fighters. Vincent Sekete and Victor Khayiyane were members of the elite Umkhonto weSizwe Special Operations Unit led by Richard Barney Molokoane and under the command of Joe Slovo. In 1982, they bombed Sasol 1 and Sasol 2 petrochemical plants, which were important political and strategic targets to the apartheid government and NATO. The petrochemical plants burned for five days, which led the three to become known as The Sasol Three. They were killed by the South African Defence Force on 28 November 1985 during an ambush in Houtkop, outside Mkhondo (formerly Piet Retief). 
 
Another story of heroism is that of Patrick Chamusso, who received explosives training on how to destroy infrastructure without fatalities in Angola. Chamusso bombed the Sasol plant and two electrical sub-stations near Witbank. He was sentenced to 24 years on Robben Island in 1981, but was released in 1991 alongside other political prisoners as part of the new government’s amnesty policy. Chamusso established the Two Sisters Orphanage, which cares for AIDS orphans and in 2008 received the National Heritage Council Ubuntu award for his humanitarian work.
 

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Standerton

Standerton

Grootdraai Dam, situated along the Vaal River on the outskirts of Standerton, is a weekend recreational retreat for locals, who enjoy water sports, yachting, fishing and camping along its banks. The surrounding cosmos fields and willow trees make for a picturesque setting for a picnic or daytrip. The annual three-day Lekwa Music Festival and Mayoral Cup, which is held at Grootdraai Dam has become a highlight in the town’s calendar and sees around 30 South African DJs and artists take to the stage. 
 
A Voortrekker memorial that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Great Trek, lies in front of the Standerton municipal buildings. There's also the Anglo-Boer War memorial of the canons used by South African forces during World War I and II, as well as a monument to the memory of the Anglo-Boer War concentration camp victims.
 

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Trichardt

Trichardt

Trichardt, named after the son of Louis Trichardt, is close to the towns of Bethal and Secunda is abundant with local flora and fauna.

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