|• Total||51.57 km2 (19.91 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,302 m (4,272 ft)|
|• Density||1,000/km2 (2,600/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||87.4%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||4700|
Kokstad is a town in the Sisonke District of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Kokstad is named after the Griqua chief Adam Kok III who settled here in 1863. Stad is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for city.
Kokstad is currently the fastest growing town in KwaZulu-Natal, with approximately 50,000 people residing there.
In 1820 the Griqua tribe which lived in Griquatown (in central South Africa) split and under the leadership of Adam Kok III, descendant of the ex-cook who established the tribe, one section first moved to Philippolis (southern Free State). In 1861 several hundred Griquas moved across the Drakensberg down the Ongeluks Nek to the vicinity of modern 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 travel over the Drakensberg into a region earlier decimated by the great 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[disambiguation needed] who gave support to their effort 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 secure a 3,000 acre (12 km²) 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 suitable place on the banks of the Mzimhlava river.
Two prominent European settlers George Brisley and Donald Strachan played a major role in the early development of Kokstad and East Griqualand: their trading store, Strachan and Co, introduced South Africa's first indigenous currency—a set of trade tokens which circulated across a wide 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 (the Kokstad Advertiser) 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 50,000 people.
- "Main Place Kokstad". Census 2011.
- Drakensberg Express - The History of Kokstad and East Griqualand
- The Nolangeni Hotel - Kokstad - Local Hotel in Kokstad
- The Opinion - Local Newspaper of Kokstad
- The Ongeluks Nek Pass
- The Griquas of Nomansland
- The trade tokens of Strachan and Company
- Kokstad's Origins
- Kokstad Advertiser
- MAD House - Morris Advertising & Design
- Willowdale Lodge - Accommodation
- Kokstad College
- Kokstad Junior School
- The Greater Kokstad Municipality