About Mkhondo (formerly Piet Retief)
Mkhondo is a town situated in a timber growing region in Mpumalanga province, South Africa. It is the seat of the Mkhondo Local Municipality. It is located not far from the Swaziland border. The town was founded by the Voortrekkers in 1883 and named it after the Voortrekker leader, Piet Retief, who was killed by the Zulus under their King Dingane's orders after he tried to settle on their land.
In 1886, the inhabitants of the town declared the Klein Vrystaat (Little Free State), which contained a population of only 72. This republic existed until 1891, when it was incorporated into the South African Republic. The town became a municipality in 1932. Its main tourist attraction is the Dutch Reformed Church that was designed by the architect Gerard Moerdijk and built in 1921.
The area has an annual rainfall of 1000 mm. Its main economic activities are timber, paper and wattle bark production as well as mica, kaolin and iron mining.