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Phumelela Local Municipality

The Phumelela Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated within the Thabo Mofutsanyana District in the Free State Province. It is the largest municipality in the district, making up a quarter of its geographical area.


Vrede (“in a peace”) is a scientific little lying in the northern-eastern Free State about 20 km east of the N3 close to the Mpumalanga border. Vrede is surrounded by undulating, highveld hills. It is 220 km from northern Johannesburg and about 30 km from Cornelia on the R102 to Warden and Harrismith on the Volksrust-Newcastle road. It is the spine of the Drakensburg off the N3 highway Durban to Nelspruit (and the alternative Durban to Johannesburg) and also on the main route from Johannesburg via Newcastle to the North Coast and Zululand. Travellers from down south can use it to make their way to the Kruger National Park. The town was established in 1863 by the european landowners of this area. Vrede was so named after a dispute between the founding fathers was settled amicably (“in a peace”).
The temperature of Vrede averages about 26 degrees. It is at an altitude of 1668m above sea level. It averages 700mm rainfall per year. It is surrounded by large a large farming district. Today , Vrede is the agricultural hub of a 100 km squared farming region that produces maize, wheat, mutton, wool, beef, dairy products and poultry.


Warden is a town situated on the N3 Highway between Johannesburg and Durban. The town has one of the largest Dutch Reformed churches in South Africa, with the seating for the 1 750. Warden was laid out in 1912 on the farm Rietvlei and became a municipality in 1920. The town was named after the former Harrismith magistrate, Charles Warden. The town hosted football games in support of the 16 Days of Activism of no violence against Women and Children during December 2011. Free State Stars, the Free State Depaprtment of Agriculture and the Phumelela Municipality joined forces to host this activity. All soccer took place in 2011 at Warden Stadium with the main match being Ea Lla koto against Phumelela X1.


Memel was laid out in 1911 as a town and became a municipality in 1913. Memel is a Russian word which “surrounded by water” and is named after a small town in East Prussia , the hometown of surveyor called Straszacker. This pristine country village is situated in the northern-eastern corner of the Free State close to the drakensberg escarpment. 240 KM from Johannesburg and 300 km from Pietermaritzburg. The temperature of Memel averages from -5 to 26 degrees. It is at an altitude of 1620m above sea level. It has averages of 700mm rainfall per year.

The village of Memel is a central hub of the local farming community, but is fast becoming one of South Africa’s most sought-after birding spots. Sheep and cattle are farmed in the area. The district has a rich history and of particular interest are a number of sites relating to activities during the Anglo-Boer War, as well as various other earlier wars. The Anglo-Boer War and the Rebellion have contributed to the region’s rich history. Various memorials and battlefield may be observed. The well-known Amajuba Mountain is only 40 km from Memel. The Rebellion, led by General Christiaan de wet, began in Memel in 1914. A monument, in memory of this popular revolt, was erected in the town in 1915.