|• Total||20.90 km2 (8.07 sq mi)|
|• Density||270/km2 ( 700/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2001)|
|• Black African||35.0%|
|First languages (2001)|
|Time zone||SAST (UTC+2)|
The town is near the KwaZulu-Natal border, 240 km southeast of Johannesburg, 53 km north of Newcastle and 80 km southeast of Standerton. It was laid out in 1888 on the farms Boschpad Drift, Rooibult or Llanwarne, Verkyk and Zandfontein, and proclaimed in 1889. Municipal status was attained in 1904. The name is Dutch for ‘nation's rest’ and probably refers to the citizens resting there after the Battle of Majuba on 27 February 1881.
The town has important beef, dairy, maize, sorghum, wool and sunflower seed industries. It was established near to where the Battle of Majuba, wherein the Transvaal won its independence back from the British, was fought. Dorothea de Jager, daughter of Dirk Uys, one of that battle's victims, named the town Volksrust (Nation's Rest), presumably because it was here that the Transvaal soldiers had rested. During the Second Boer War the British built a concentration camp in Volksrust, where many Boer women and children died.
- "Main Place Volksrust". Census 2001.
- "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 462.
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