We welcome you to the City of Kimberley, the Seat of Government for the Northern Cape Province, which is also the biggest province in South Africa. Our city is legendary for the Big Hole, where diamonds were discovered and produced.
Diamonds were discovered on a farm Bultfontein in 1870 causing a diamond rush that established the city to what it is today.
Kimberley is not only rich in the Diamond heritage that causes it to sparkle but also rich in being the City of First!
Did you know?
1871 - THE FIRST Private Postal Delivery Service.
1877 - THE FIRST professional training of nurses.
1875 - THE FIRST drive-in bar.
1882 - THE FIRST city in the Southern Hemisphere to install electric street lighting on 2nd September 1882. The electric lights of Kimberley came on before those of London.
1883 - THE FIRST Stock Exchange in South Africa.
1889 - THE FIRST hotel with electricity.
1911 - THE FIRST public flight in the first South African built aircraft.
1913 - THE FIRST airplane accident.
1913 - THE FIRST airplane purchased by the South African Government.
1913 - THE FIRST ten pilots in the South Africa Defence Force.
1928 - THE FIRST diamond cutting factory.
1931 - THE FIRST night landing by a pilot.
1932 - THE FIRST municipal rest house in Africa.
1940 - THE FIRST female municipal traffic wardens.
1954 - THE FIRST state school for physically disabled.
1967 - THE FIRST nationwide direct dialling telephones.
1983 - THE FIRST elected black town council: Galeshewe in South Africa. (30/11/1983).
And many more…
Kimberley contributed immensely to the South African economy as the first hub of industrialisation. The compound labour system regulating labour on mines in South Africa, was initiated through the migrant labour system at the time of the diamond rush in Kimberley in the 1880s. In 1873, Kimberley was the second largest town in South Africa with an estimated population of 40 000.
Around 1994 post the apartheid era, the Kimberley City Council was renamed Sol Plaatje Municipality, appropriately so, after the intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator and writer Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje. As an activist and politician, he spent much of his life in the struggle for the enfranchisement and liberation of African people.