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Dutch Reformed Church on church square.
Dutch Reformed Church on church square.
Vryheid is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Vryheid is located in South Africa
Vryheid is located in Africa
 Vryheid shown within KwaZulu-Natal
Coordinates: 27°46′01″S 30°48′00″E / 27.76694°S 30.80000°E / -27.76694; 30.80000Coordinates: 27°46′01″S 30°48′00″E / 27.76694°S 30.80000°E / -27.76694; 30.80000
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
District Zululand
Municipality Abaqulusi
Established 1884[1]
 • Total 48.71 km2 (18.81 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 47,365
 • Density 970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 84.5%
 • Coloured 1.7%
 • Indian/Asian 1.3%
 • White 12.1%
 • Other 0.3%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Zulu 79.8%
 • Afrikaans 10.2%
 • English 6.2%
 • Other 3.7%
Postal code (street) 3100
PO box 3100
Area code 034

Vryheid is a coal mining and cattle ranching town in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Vryheid is Afrikaans for "freedom".


After Boer farmers, who lived in the Vryheid area, had helped King Dinuzulu defeat his rival chief Zibhebhu for succession of the Zulu throne, land that they occupied was given to them by session from the Zulu king along the banks of the Mfolozi River. On August 5, 1884 the Boers formed the Nieuwe Republiek (New Republic) with Vryheid as its capital and its sovereignty was recognized by Germany and Portugal. It was later incorporated into the South African Republic, but at the end of the Second Boer War the town and its surrounding area was absorbed into the Natal colony by the British. Vryheid is located along the Transnet Coaline.


In 2007 Inkamana High School and Vryheid Comprehensive Secondary School were amongst several schools recognised as "historic schools". Funding of six million rand a year was earmarked for these two and Adams College, Ohlange High School and Inanda Seminary to make them academies focussing on Maths, Science and Technology.[3]

Other schools are Hoërskool Vryheid, which uses both Afrikaans and English as the medium of instruction and Hoërskool Pionier which uses Afrikaans as medium of instruction.


Kilian Academy, a martial arts academy instructing in the arts of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Kickboxing, is situated in Vryheid.

Vryheid Wrestling Academy, is one of the top wrestling clubs in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Hanami Gi-Challenge[edit]

The Hanami Gi-Challenge (commonly known as The Challenge) is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) tournament in Africa. The Hanami Gi-Challenges are hosted annually by the Hanami Martial Arts, with the first Challenge hosted in 2014 at the Indoor Speedball Club Vryheid in South Africa. In 2015, it will be held once again in Vryheid, South Africa.


The Inkamana Abbey, a Roman Catholic Benedictine abbey is located in the town.

Heritage Sites[edit]

The Dutch Reform Church in Vryheid, better known as Die Moeder Gemeente (Afrikaans for the Mother Congregation), has been added to the list of 12 Gorgeous Churches and Cathedrals in Africa, by AFK Insider.[4]

Notable residents[edit]

Water shortages[edit]

The town experienced water shortages from 2016 to 2017 due to neglect of infrastructure. Pumps and pipelines were allowed to fall into a state of disrepair, forcing many town residents to collect water from 15 communal water tanks provided by the municipality.[6] In its aftermath the Bhekuzulu clinic received 550 cases of diarrhea a month. Other residents invested at great personal cost in boreholes, water tanks, pumps, filters and power generators. Three sewage treatment plants also stopped functioning, polluting the Besterspruit and Klipfontein Dam.[6]


  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Main Place Vryheid". Census 2011. 
  3. ^ Ngcobo, Gabisile (10 Oct 2012). "Plea to maintain 'historic' schools in SA". The Witness. 
  4. ^ "12 Gorgeous Churches And Cathedrals In Africa". AFK Insider. December 5, 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-24. 
  5. ^ "Guinness World Record". 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  6. ^ a b Potgieter, Org (9 March 2017). "Vry, maar met 'n waterkrisis". maroela media. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 

Media related to Vryheid at Wikimedia Commons

View of Church Street in Vryheid's Commercial District.