Voortrekkers founded Potchefstroom as a town in 1838. It served as the first capital of the Zuid Afriaanse Republiek but no one seems to be able to agree on why the place was named Potchefstroom in the first place. There is also currently a drive to change its name to Tlokwe – the city council already goes by that name – as that was the name of the area before the Voortrekkers arrived in 1838. As with Potchefstroom there is precious little information available on why it was originally called Tlokwe.
The Nederduitsch Hervormde Church (Dutch Reformed Church) in Potch is the oldest church building north of the Vaal River in South Africa, and the city hall is the oldest city hall north of the Vaal River in South Africa. (There are obviously older churches and city halls north of the Vaal River all across Europe). At the inauguration of the City hall in 1909, the local residents asked Jan Smuts whether the town would become the capital of South Africa, and he replied that there is no chance of that happening. He suggested that Potchefstroom should rather focus on becoming an educational powerhouse, something that it actually managed quite well. To this day there is a large concentration of universities, schools and other educational establishments situated in Potchefstroom. As far as I know, the most famous person to study at Potchefstroom was Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African president F.W. de Klerk. He is the man who, from a government side, ensured that South Africa has a peaceful transition to democracy.
As the University is the main and biggest thing happening in Potch we decided to braai with students, specifically the PukFM team (the DJ’s and management of their campus radio station).
Thanks Amore Truter (PukFM Station manager, www.pukfm.co.za) for organizing our braai as well as Ekhouvanjouokay (www.ekhouvanjouokay.co.za) who preformed an unplugged gig at the braai. Kameelhout Boerewors rolls were provided by Vision meat (www.visionmeat.co.za) and finally thank you to Akkerlaan Guesthouse (018 293 1213, www.akkerlaan.co.za) who provided us with accommodation close to the venue.