There are a number of theories on the origin the of the name Potchefstroom. Firstly it is said to come from ‘Potgieter’ + ‘Chef’ + ‘stroom’. This refers to the Voortrekker leader and town father Andries Potgieter, “chef” being an indication of leader of the voortrekkers and “stroom” referring to the Mooi River.
According to the South African writer Geoffrey Jenkins, “Others however, attribute the name as having come from the word ‘Potscherf’, meaning a shard of a broken pot, due to the cracks that appear in the soil of the Mooi River Valley during drought resembling a broken pot”.
M.L Fick thirdly suggests that Potchefstroom developed from the abbreviation of “Potgieterstroom” to “Potgerstroom” which in time became “Potchefstroom”. However, this doesn’t account for the use of “Potjestroom” which is found as inscription on many documents and photographs.
In 2006 the local African National Congress-controlled municipality decided on a name change for the city, the municipality and a number of important street names, favouring ‘Tlokwe’ as the new name. In 2007 the local municipality was changed from Potchefstroom Municipality to Tlokwe Municipality.
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