Welkom officially came into being on 15 April 1947. This was after just six years after the first mining lease in the Area. This had been awarded to the St Helena Gold Mining Company. After this it was proclaimed a Town, on 23 July 1948. Welkom is the realization of an ideal held by Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, at that time Chairman of the Anglo American Corporation.
This is one of the very few Towns in the world which has been completely pre-planned. Oppenheimer’s instructions to Mr William Backhouse, a town planner was that Welkom should be a Town of which its occupants could be justly proud! The Parks and Gardens were designed by Miss Joan Pim who laid the foundation of Welkom’s reputation as a: “city within a garden”!
On 14 February 1968, on Welkom’s 21st birthday, Welkom received City status and celebrated this event with the opening of the Civic Centre. This building complex consists of an administrative block, a banquet hall, the Ernest Oppenheimer Theatre, and Clock Tower.
Welkom has perhaps grown is Area as fast as Johannesburg. It is proud fact that; its traffic system of traffic circles were so well designed that they still have only a few traffic lights. It has received the nickname of: ''Circle City''.  In the Free State, natural gas of the Welkom Goldfield was first discovered in the Virginia Gold Mine in 1947 and the mine has been emitting combustible gas ever since.  An industrial giant, Welkom is one of the few Towns in the World in which Residential, Mining and Industrial Areas, blend harmoniously has good shopping Malls and Restaurants, an Airport and a thriving Theatre.
26° 38' 34.8", -28° 14.4"


The City of Welkom<p>

Further Reading