Vredefort

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Vredefort
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Church, Church Street, Vredefort
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Church, Church Street, Vredefort
Vredefort is located in South Africa
Vredefort
Vredefort
 Vredefort shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 27°01′S 27°23′E / 27.017°S 27.383°E / -27.017; 27.383Coordinates: 27°01′S 27°23′E / 27.017°S 27.383°E / -27.017; 27.383
Country South Africa
Province Free State
District Fezile Dabi
Municipality Ngwathe
Established 1878[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 21.4 km2 (8.3 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 14,619
 • Density 680/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 92.4%
 • Coloured 2.1%
 • Indian/Asian 0.3%
 • White 5.0%
 • Other 0.3%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Sotho 68.9%
 • Xhosa 15.7%
 • Afrikaans 7.7%
 • Zulu 1.6%
 • Other 6.0%
Postal code (street) 9595
PO box 9595
Area code 056

Vredefort is a small farming town in the Free State province of South Africa with cattle, peanuts, sorghum, sunflowers and maize being farmed. It is home to 3,000 residents.

The town was established in 1876 on a farm called Visgat, on the Vredefort crater, the largest and oldest visible bolide impact crater in the world (with a diameter of 300 kilometres (190 mi)). It was this approximately 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) wide bolide that led to the preservation of the gold-bearing reefs of the Free State some 2.02 billion years ago. The town got its name after the peaceful conclusion of a threatened war between the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The British built a concentration camp here during the Second Boer War to house Boer women and children.

The Vredefort Dome (Crater) is currently the largest and one of the oldest known meteor impact site in the world.[3] It is South Africa's seventh World Heritage Site and its status is largely due to the efforts of research scientists from Wits University, including Dr. Rodger Hart[citation needed].

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