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Information on Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Conference Venues South Africa brings you information on Kokstad situated in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa including information on Facilities and Recreation, Climate, Founding, History Suburbs, Town Planning and Geography.

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Kokstad is a town in the Sisonke District of KwaZulu-Natal Province. Kokstad is named after the Griqua chief Adam Kok III who settled here in 1863. Stad is the Afrikaans and Dutch word for city.

The town is built on the outer slopes of the Drakensberg and is 1,302 (m) above the sea level. Behind it Mount Currie rises to a height of 2,224 (m). It is a centre for cheese and other dairy products. Kokstad is currently the fastest growing town in KwaZulu-Natal.




History of Kokstad

In 1820, the Griqua tribe which lived in Griquatown split and under the leadership of Adam Kok III, descendant of the ex-cook who established the tribe, one section first moved to Philippolis. In 1861 several hundred Griquas moved across the Drakensberg down the Ongeluks Nek to the vicinity of present Kokstad. They moved because of the growing confrontation they faced with the Voortrekkers who had moved north of the Orange River to escape the laws of the British. The Voortrekkers, largely Dutch, secured leases over Griqua land and then refused to return the land at the end of the lease. The big hole of Kimberley was at the centre of controversy over one such lease.

The Griquas were forced to move over the Drakensberg into an area earlier decimated by the legendary Zulu King, Chaka - thus its name "Nomansland". By the time the Griquas arrived in their new promised land eighteen months later they were exhausted, and most of their livestock had perished. The impoverished Griquas named the mountain where they settled Mount Currie after Sir Walter Currie who gave support to their attempt to settle here. Once settled their leader, Adam Kok, renamed their new land East Griqualand. Every male Griqua who settled in East Griqualand was able to obtain a 3,000 acre  farm, but most of them sold their land cheaply to white settlers and squandered their money.

When, in 1869, the Reverend William Dower was asked by the Griqua to establish a mission, he agreed on condition that they resettle in a more appropriate place on the banks of the Mzimhlava river.

Two prominent European Settlers George Brisley and Donald Strachan played a vital role in the early development of Kokstad and East Griqualand. Their trading store, Strachan and Co, introducing South Africa's first indigenous currency - a set of trade tokens which circulated across the entire region, covering an area the size of Ireland.

In 1874 East Griqualand came into the possession of Cape Colony. The first hotel in Kokstad, The Royal, was opened by an African-American who also started a newspaper in 1881. Kokstad became a municipality in 1892. In 1904, the population was recorded at 2903 whom a third were Griquas. Today the population of Kokstad lies at just over 35 000 people.

Towns and Suburbs of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa

Amanzimtoti , Assagay, Ballito , Bayala, Beachfront, Bergville , Berea , Bishopstowe , Blythedale , Botha's Hill , Cowies Hill , Curry's Post , Dargle , Drakensberg, Dundee, Durban City , Durban North , Empangeni , Estcourt , Eston , Geluksburg , Gillits , Glenwood , Greyville, Hillcrest , Hilton , Hluhluwe , Howick , Illovo , Inchanga , iSamangaliso Wetlands ,Isandlwana , Ixopo , Kloof , Kokstad , La Lucia , Lake Jozini , Lidgetton , Margate , Marina Beach , Melmoth , Mkuze , Mooi River , Morningside , Mount Edgecombe , Mtunzini , Musgrave , Newcastle , Nottingham Road , Oribi Gorge , Oslo Beach , Paulpietersburg , Pennington , Pietermaritzburg , Pinetown , Pongola , Pongolapoort , Port Edward , Port Shepstone , Richards Bay , Rosetta , Salt Rock , Scottburgh , Southbroom , Spioenkop . St Lucia , St Lucia Wetlands , Sydenham, Ulundi , Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park , Ulundi , Umhlanga Rocks , Umtentweni , Umzumbe, Underberg , Vryheid , Wartburg , Westville , Winkelspruit, Winterton , Zimbali , Zinkwazi Beach

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