||This article is largely based on an article in the out-of-copyright Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, which was produced in 1911. It should be brought up to date to reflect subsequent history or scholarship (including the references, if any). When you have completed the review, replace this notice with a simple note on this article's talk page. (October 2014)|
Zoutpansberg was the north-eastern division of the Transvaal, South Africa. This was the district to which Louis Tregardt and Hans van Rensburg, the forerunners of the Great Trek, journeyed in 1835. In 1845 Hendrik Potgieter, a prominent leader of the Voortrekkers, moved there. The Zoutpansberg Boers formed a semi-independent community, and in 1857 Stephanus Schoeman, their commandant-general, sided against Marthinus Pretorius and Paul Kruger when they invaded the Orange Free State. It was not until 1864 that Zoutpansberg was definitely incorporated in the South African Republic as a result of the Transvaal Civil War.
Tregardt and his companions had been shown gold workings by the natives, and it was in this district in 1867-70, and in the neighbouring region of Lydenburg, that gold mines were first worked by Europeans south of the Limpopo. The white settlers in Zoutpansberg had for many years a reputation for lawlessness, and were later regarded as typical "back velt Boers". Zoutpansberg contained a larger native population than any other region of the Transvaal.