Orkney is a small town in the North West Province just outside Klerksdorp. It was established around, and known primarily for, its gold mining opportunities, and lies on the banks of the Vaal River. Although a relatively quiet (albeit growing) town, Orkney is convenient for its location, just about 180 kilometres from the bustling urban hub of Johannesburg and its international airport.
The town was proclaimed in 1940 on the Witkoppen farm. It was here that mining pioneer, Simon Fraser, had first started mining for gold in the 1880’s. He was originally from the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland, and named the town that developed after these. The town itself was laid out by another farmer, Maconachie, who used the names of British Isles’ authors for the names of the streets.
This was the site and namesake of a popular South African Afrikaans sitcom during the 1980’s and 1990’s, Orkney Snork Nie, which roughly to translates to “Orkney Never Sleeps”.
Local attractions in Orkney include the Bird Sanctuary (perched right on the banks of the Vaal River), the Likkewaan hiking trails, Orkney Vaal Resort (this resort is a perfect picnic venue, popular with anglers and water sports enthusiasts), the Vaal Reef Gold Mine and the Ground Nut Factory.