The towns of Setsoto Local Municipality


Ficksburg was founded on 12 June 1867 and named after General Jan Fick, Commander-General of the old Orange Free State Republic. Today Ficksburg is the gateway to Lesotho and the Katse Dam and boast a large cosmopolitan population. Ficksburg’s economy is based on mixed agriculture but the town is especially famous for its production of cherries and asparagus.


Senekal was established on 7 June 1877 on the farm De Puk in the district of Winburg. It is in the heart of a flourishing and progressive agricultural district. The first sales of the plots started on 25 May 1875. Thirty plots were sold for R4 600. Senekal is named after Cmdt-General F P Senekal. Built of sandstone and erected in 1896 is the stately and historic NG Church with the equally historic wall of fossilised tree trunks that surrounds the church. It has been declared a historic monument. According to scientists, these tree trunks are approximately 250 million years old. The Senekal Unit of the Setsoto Municipality’s contact number is (058) 481 2142.


Clocolan was established in 1906 on the farms of Reinzi and Herold because of a general need for school, church and business facilities to provide services to the surrounding areas. Clocolan obtained municipal status on 18 July 1910. The name Clocolan is derived from the South Sotho word Hlohlolwane meaning “stand up and fight”, which refers to an altercation between two black tribes, which took place many years ago. The Bakwena gave Clocolan its name.

In approximately 1800, the Bakwena chief Motebang lived in the northern part of Clocolan (then Betang) on the farm Nebo, near the Zulu clan, the Baphuthi. Motebang invited the Baphuthi after the successful harvest, to help him and his people to corn-stack the baskets. An argument erupted; an aged Motebang charged at one of the Baphuthis, but he tripped over a basket and tumbled to the ground. An all-out ruction broke loose. During the row, a slogan was chanted Hlohla-u-loane or Hlohloloane meaning; Get/stand up and fight. Later the site where the fight took place was called Hlohloloane.

The township of Hlohlolwane was a logical result from Clocolan’s establishment and both towns have experienced growth over ensuring years. The town is located along the Maloti Route main road and 20km from the Caledon River, bordering Lesotho. The town is also strategically located for trade with Lesotho and along the main railway route from the Cape and Southern Free State to KwaZulu-Natal. It is also the main north-south route through the Eastern Free State.


The town of Marquard was established on the farm Varchfontein. It was on a Thursday, 25 May 1905 when the first of 125 plots were sold at better prices than those initially realised in the surrounding towns. This was the only proof of the necessity for a town in this area, but also that land here was considered valuable even in those times. Ds J. J. T Marquard wrote a letter to Parliament recommending that a town should be situated on the farm Varschfontein. The letter apparently had great influence and out of gratitude the Town Commission decided to name the town after him.