Welcome to Maluti Times:

The Pulse of the Community

The Maluti Times is a community-driven news platform that has been created to provide relevant community news about developments in the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality.

Based on community engagement principles, the Maluti Times is designed to be a conduit for communication and conversations about matters of interest to community members.

The Maluti Times will be a voice for the community and a platform for the community to provide news in realtime to inform about everyday experiences.

With its community-based reporters recruited from the local youth, Maluti Times will source its narrative and storyline from issues that seek to advance the development and empowerment of the community.

Nestled on the foot of the Drakensburg Mountains, Maluti-a-Phofung is one of the picturesque tourist attractions in the South of Africa, especially to tourists who are attracted by destinations that are “off the beaten track”. Tranquil and serene, under the shadow of the Sentinel peaks – called “Phofung” in Southern Sotho – the Drakensburg or Maluti Mountain provides a surreal environment that invokes a sense of nostalgia to the unassuming traveler.

Triangulated by the three towns of Harrismith, Phuthaditshaba and Kestel the Maluti-a-Phofung is a key economic zone to the south-east of the Free State Province through its agriculture, industrial, tourism and education sectors.

Harrismith, named after Sir Harry Smith who was a British governor of the Cape Colony is a large town in the Free State province of South Africa. It is situated by the Wilge River, on the N3 highway approximately midway between Johannesburg, about 300 km north-west, and Durban.

Phuthaditjhaba is a Sesotho name that means meeting place of the tribes or communities. It is located on the banks of the Elands River and on the foothills of the Maluti (or Drakensburg) Mountains. Kestel was founded in 1905 on the farms of Mooifontein and Driekuil, this tiny village in the Free State province of South Africa is situated in the foothills of the Rooiberge in the Maluti Mountains.

The municipality is one of the leading educational hubs in the Free State Province often producing some of the best matriculants in the country. It also a study destination hosting University of the Free State Qwaqwa Campus and Maluti TVET College, a college that shot to fame some few years ago when they knocked out Orlando Pirates – one of the top three clubs in South Africa – from the Nedbank Football Cup. The municipality is also a home to Free State Stars, one of the leading football clubs in South Africa.

University of the Free State Qwaqwa Campus in Phuthaditshaba

But despite its admirable destinations and glorious history, over the years the municipality and its community have experienced challenges in terms of poor political administration that lead to civil unrest due to lack of poor service delivery protests. But just like the majestic Drakensburg Mountains that the area is named after, the community has demonstrated a deep sense of social resilience to confront the issues facing the community.

Maluti Times will be anchored on the community principles that form the bedrock of this unique community and its aspirations. Published regularly in English and Sesotho languages digitally and in print, the Maluti Times will not only create an opportunity for community conversations – but also give a platform towards self-empowerment and community development and prosperity. Through its community reporters drawn from its energetic and vibrant youth, the digital platform will also become the heartbeat and pulse of the community.

Once again, welcome to Maluti Times, the Pulse of the Maluti-a-Phofung Community!