The Goldfields/ Lejweleputswa Region is found in the North Western Part of the Free State and known for its gold mining. The region is dotted with hundreds of gold mines that were responsible for a nearly a fifth of the world’s gold production. It lies in the heart of the agricultural belt allowing for kilometres and kilometres of golden crops offset by crystal blue skies and the presence of the sandstone mountains in the distance.
The magic lies in the fact that under your very feet may be a literal gold mine! Lejweleputswa, meaning ‘grey rock’ in Sesotho, has a rich history of gold mining, but not without its problems. Geologists knew for a long time that there was gold to be found in this area, although at a greater depth, but lacked the technology and equipment to identify, excavate and explore the region.
Mining in the area accounted for half of South Africa’s gold production and approximately a fifth of the world’s output. There are many tours that run in the area, giving you a chance to explore the world of mining and learn more about one of the world’s most powerful commodities.
But Lejweleputswa’s golden qualities extend above ground as well; it’s a major maize and sunflower producer too. Gold is not the only treasure that is hidden in the ground in this region, a fortune has been made from diamond mining too.
There is plenty to see and do in the region - from nature reserves to historical buildings, the region is diverse and beautiful to explore. Don’t expect to find tourist hubs or welcome centres, but rather ordinary people going about their business in their humble little towns.
- Nature reserves
- Historical buildings
- Phakisa Freeway Race Track