The most widely accepted theory on the origin of the name Potchefstroom is that the name is composed of three words: Potgieter, chef and stroom. The first syllable is that of Potgieter, the second from the fact that he was a "chef" or a leader of the emigrants, and the third signifying the Mooi River. The complete name "Potgieter" was gradually shortened to "Pot".
In February 2013, then mayor of Tlokwe, prof. Annette Combrink declared that she would refuse to use the new official vehicle that was delivered to her. It was a customized Mercedes-Benz C350 CDI, worth R736,000.-, that the ANC ruled council had ordered in July 2012 for the previous mayor Maphetle Maphetle. Combrink represents the opposition Democratic Alliance but was elected mayor due to disagreements in the ANC led council. She declared to be quite happy to use her nine-year-old Volkswagen Passat instead, in view of the poverty in the municipality. The ANC declared that they plan to unseat the mayor as soon as possible.