Welkom Publicity Association
Tel 057 352 9501
Library 057 391 3348
Welkom is South Africa's youngest town and has been the center of the Free State Goldfields, serving several gold and uranium mines, since 1947.
Directly translated from the Afrikaans or Dutch language, Welkom means ?welcome?. The town emerged after the discovery of gold in the area.
The planning of Welkom was undertaken by Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, the then Anglo American Chairman, and has resulted in the residential, mining and industrial areas of the city being harmoniously blended to form what has become known as the 'Garden City.?
As a consequence, it benefits from an ease of flow and a city that functions well - suburbs each have their own shopping and commercial centers and residents seldom have more than a 10 minute walk to reach them.
The traffic flow in the city has attracted much attention and experts from all over the world come to study the clever use of traffic circles and minimal number of stop streets. The absence of traffic lights in the centre of the city contributes to an effortless flow of traffic - the envy of many cities and the reason Welkom is known as the ?circle city?.
Welkom has also earned itself the reputation of being a ?city within a garden? due to the number of parks and cleverly designed gardens that lend Welkom an extraordinary number of shady trees and pretty surrounds, making it a more than welcome place to visit. Be sure not to miss out on a trip to the world?s deepest wine cellar at the St Helena Mine, which is 857m below the earth?s surface!
Welkom was planned as a model town, with a horseshoe-shaped shopping and administrative district surrounding a park of 11 ha.
There are many interesting cultural sights in the town to keep the traveler busy. The Museum of Welkom at the public library has exhibits displaying the discovery of gold in Welkom, the town's history as well as the natural environment of the town & its surrounds.
There are numerous monuments that visitors can uncover including the Aandenk Monument, the Afrikaans Language Monument, Joanne Pim Monument, WWII Monument, Voortrekker Memorial, Dog Monument, Old Indaba bluegum tree & the MOTH Memorial.
The town boasts some lovely natural areas where visitors can picnic & take in the surrounds. The beautiful flamingos of Welkom can be seen at the Flamingo Pan, which is also an attractive scenic recreational area, while relaxing in Central Park, Peter Pan Park, Van Riebeeck Park or West Park will provide some quality relaxation time.
There is much to keep travelers entertained in Welkom. Every second Saturday of the month, shoppers can haggle for bargains at the North Park Flea Market. If you are feeling energetic, then the 200-step climb to the top of the Welkom Publicity Clock Tower will provide a rewarding view of the entire area.
Underground tours of some of the deepest & richest mines can be organized through the publicity association, & these include watching gold being poured.