Charlestown, KwaZulu-Natal

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Charlestown
Charlestown is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Charlestown
Charlestown
Charlestown is located in South Africa
Charlestown
Charlestown
Charlestown is located in Africa
Charlestown
Charlestown
 Charlestown shown within KwaZulu-Natal
Coordinates: 27°25′S 29°53′E / 27.417°S 29.883°E / -27.417; 29.883Coordinates: 27°25′S 29°53′E / 27.417°S 29.883°E / -27.417; 29.883
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
District Amajuba
Municipality Newcastle
Established 1889[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 21.99 km2 (8.49 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 4,392
 • Density 200/km2 (520/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 99.2%
 • Coloured 0.4%
 • Indian/Asian 0.1%
 • White 0.2%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Zulu 94.4%
 • English 1.4%
 • S. Ndebele 1.0%
 • Other 3.1%

Charlestown is a small town situated at the top of Laing's Nek pass in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa between Newcastle and Volksrust. It started out as an important railway station and customs post between Natal and Transvaal in 1891 until the Union of South Africa came into being in 1910, and customs tariffs were abolished. It is named after Sir Charles Mitchell, governor of Natal.

It became a dormitory suburb of Volksrust, just across the border in the Transvaal, and many black people bought freehold land in the town. During the 1960s, however, the apartheid policy of the government led to most of the black inhabitants being forcibly removed to Madadeni, near Newcastle, and Charlestown became a ghost town.

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