Utrecht,_KwaZulu-Natal

Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal

Utrecht is a small town in the foothills of the Balele Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Coal mining and cattle ranching are the predominant economic activities of the citizens of Utrecht.

History

In 1852 Voortrekker settlers traded 100 head of cattle with the Zulu king Mpande for grazing rights in Zululand, but the settlers claimed the land as their own and formed the Republic of Utrecht in 1854. The 32 km by 64 km Boer republic was named after the far larger city of Utrecht in the Netherlands as its capital, also called Utrecht. Given its tiny population and the Boer aversion from central authorities, it was still simply governed by a Landdrost (magistrate).

On 8 May 1858, the republic was incorporated into the Boer Republic of Lydenburg.

Ultimately it was returned to the British colony of Natal under the Anglo-Boer treaty in 1860, together with Vryheid and Wakkerstroom districts.

Sources and references

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