Pretoria, 26 February 2020. The Heritage Foundation in Pretoria is aware of concerns regarding the Kroonstad Concentration Camp Cemetery, in particular probable flooding of the site, which the Foundation is investigating.
The cemetery is situated between Seisoville, Noordhoek and Kroonheuwel in Kroonstad and is one of the heritage sites owned and managed by the Heritage Foundation. The site is located in the veld adjacent to a railway line. The Heritage Foundation undertakes routine maintenance and manages the cemetery as far as possible, depending on funding and manpower. Similar to other sites owned and managed by the Foundation, distance, lack of internal resources and cooperation by local authorities and communities present significant challenges.
The Heritage Foundation is, however, aware of specific issues such as illegal dumping near the site and a pipeline trench left uncompleted by the local municipality. The Foundation undertook routine maintenance in October 2019, spraying herbicide and cutting grass, as well as collecting and transporting rubbish to the municipal dump with the assistance of local community members.
The Kroonstad Concentration Camp Cemetery is the only visible remains of one of eleven concentration camps in the Free State during the South African War (1899-1902). Approximately 1 268 people died in the Kroonstad Camp between April 1901 and April 1902. The Kroonstad Concentration Camp was formally closed on 12 January 1903 and the last residents vacated by 4 February 1903