Main Place


Quick Fact
  • 64,855

  • 19,945

  • 16,2%

  • 74,6%

  • 91,4%

  • 88,1%

Ladysmith was established in 1847 and was originally named Windsor, after a trader named George Windsor. It was renamed after the wife of Sir Harry Smith (1787-1860), who was Governor of the Cape Colony from 1847 to 1852. Legend has it that Lady Smith introduced the melon cantaloupe to South Africa, which is known in Afrikaans as spanspek, meaning 'Spanish bacon'. During the Second Anglo-Boer War, Boer forces surrounded the town, trapping British forces there. The Siege of Ladysmith lasted 118 days, from 2 November 1899 to 28 February 1900. About 3000 British soldiers died during the siege. Winston Churchill, working as a war correspondent for The Morning Post in South Africa, was among the first British reinforcements to arrive at Ladysmith when the siege ended. (GPS coordinates: 28.568 S, 29.7957 E).

Character(s) left.
  • Raper PE. 2004. New dictionary of South African Place Names. Jonathan Ball Publishers.

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Key Statistics 2011

Total population64,855
Young (0-14)27,1%
Working Age (15-64)68,4%
Elderly (65+)4,5%
Dependency ratio46,3
Sex ratio92,5
Population density771 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+4,7%
Higher education aged 20+16,2%
Matric aged 20+38%
Number of households19,945
Average household size3,1
Female headed households39,9%
Formal dwellings91,8%
Housing owned/paying off49,8%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage88,1%
Weekly refuse removal89,6%
Piped water inside dwelling74,6%
Electricity for lighting91,4%

Place names

Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality