The name comes from the word: 'Potscherf'- (meaning broken pot), Due to the cracks that appear in the soil of the Mooi River Valley during drought. Potchefstroom, or 'Potch' as it’s known to locals, is described as a large, Academic Town. Potchefstroom is indeed home to the popular North-West University, formerly known as the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. It is also home to five Tertiary Institutions and some 30 Schools. There is a very strong Farming Community, the Country’s largest Chalk Factory, one of the largest Organ Factories, in South Africa. The driving distance between Potchefstroom to Johannesburg is 120 km. It takes approximately 1h 32m to drive from Potchefstroom to Johannesburg.
Potchefstroom was the first Town, North of the Vaal River and has a Historical legacy that includes: The largest oak tree Avenue, in the Southern Hemisphere and various National Monuments; like the old Police Station Building, Heimat Building: This Building represents an important milestone in the History of the development of the Potchefstroom Universiteit vir Christelike Hoer Onderwys. This neo-Cape Dutch Building known as Heimat, designed by Gerard Moerdijk and completed as a students' Hostel in 1927, was the first permanent Building to be erected on the University campus.) The Magistrate’s Office, the old Gunpowder House and various Churches worth visiting. The Edwardian City Hall, together with that of Krugersdorp, is the oldest existing City Hall, North of the Vaal River. The President Pretorius Museum in Potchefstroom is situated at the meeting point of 'Esselen' and 'Van der Hoff' Streets. The Museum is one of the typical old Cape-style homes, believed to have been built by President Marthinus Wessel Pretorius in 1868. Along with the House, he likely also built; a Stable, Coach House and Smithy. President Pretorius was the first president of the South African Republic and he founded the City of Pretoria. The President Pretorius Museum tells the story of the unique urban Boer culture. This culture has waned over the generations, but is still a massive contributor to the South African identity. The President Pretorius Museum has been declared a National Monument.
The 'Prozesky Bird Sanctuary', is home, to 200 different bird species, Buffelsvlei Wild Animal Park is definitely worth a visit, and a monthly art market in the City Council gardens provides interesting purchases. Potchefstroom’s Sanlam Auditorium, which is part of the University. Serves both the City and neighboring Towns with high caliber Theatre.
Article Courtesy of www.sahistory.org.za/place/potchefstroom-north-west-province