Karoo Parliament in Philipstown

Date: 10th October 2013


Philipstown is situated in the eastern Karoo region of South Africa, 56km north-east of De Aar.  The town was established in May 1863 on the farm Rietfontein and became a municipality in August 1876. Named after Sir Philip Edmond Wodehouse (1811-1887), Governor of the Cape Colony from 1861 to 1870,  Philipstown was the economic hub of this part of the Northern Cape. The many old buildings and architectural gems give a glimpse of that era. The main source of income is still wool farming, whichprovide jobs in many ways – shearing, transport, farm labor and trade.

The population is 6000, of which 1000 are learners at the 3 schools. There are 17 churches. Despite a high unemployment rate there are many entrepreneurs and schemers.


The Karoo Parliament will take place in the “Bokskryt” in Phillipstown, Northern Cape, 10 and 11 October 2013.


The program will be updated from time to time and is available on the website www.karoofoundation.co.za


The 2nd Karoo Development Conference was held in Beaufort West, 15 – 17 October 2012 and found that many exciting developments are taking place in Karoo towns, but that they receive limited acknowledgement.  A questionnaire was developed to gather information from the greater Karoo towns to finalize the programme for the Parliament to be hosted on the 11th of October in Philipstown and to compile a booklet to publish the successful projects/products in the Karoo, giving greater exposure. This questionnaire is available on the website.  Please ensure that it reaches our offices by not later than 13 August 2013. All are welcome to forward information. 

The projects will also be placed on the KDF website, with your information, or links to your own websites.



We request all guests to please register and pay before the 2nd of October 2013 for the Parliament.  This will alleviate the administration activities on the day of the Parliament.   To secure your space, please forward a registration form and proof of payment to the contact details as it appears on the registration form.  

Parliament fees:       R250.00 plus VAT (includes 2 teas and free showcase space) Banking details are on the attached registration form

On-site registration will take place at the “Bokskryt” on the 10th of October from 16h00 and on the 11th of October from 07h00 – 09h00.  Those who have difficulty paying before the 2nd of October are welcome to pay on site.  Please take note that we do not accept any credit cards. 


A special area, at the Parliament has been identified to use for displays at no cost. The focus of this area will be for Karoo towns to showcase different products/projects.  All Karoo tourism operators, towns and crafters are welcome. The organizers will provide bare space only.

Showcase Registration/setup       :              Thursday10 Oct from 13h00

Viewing of showcase                                  Thursday 10 Oct from 16h00

Dismantling of display                   :            Friday 11Oct after closure of Parliament



  • “Karoo Potjiekos” – 10 October for only R45.00. You can enjoy true Karoo cuisine.  Tickets will be available at the registration desk.  All welcome!!
  • Philipstown is hosting the Quilt Festival from 8-10 of October.  This will be the first Quilt Festival for the upper Karoo.  Please come and celebrate with us its 150 years of existence.  During the festival experts will present classes. For more information, please contact Marianne Ferreira 0824687137 of ferreiram62@yahoo.com, faks 0865612835.
  • Draadkar grandprix” annual event – 11 October at 17h30  

Sponsors - The sponsors are almost all the farmers, businesses and workers in the district:   Some donate money, others donate lamb for potjiekos and braai, and others donate their time for food preparations and logistics around the event. Known car connoisseurs are involved as judges or officials.

The Municipality and the Advice Office help to organize the traffic etc.

All the schools in Philipstown are involved and a couple of schools in neighboring towns as well. The schools have an important role: they create an important means to spread the word and the enthusiasm about the Grand Prix. Teachers and learners are preparing for festive detail at the event (choirs and mime artists) Many learners are involved at pit stops and other logistics.

CHE has been involved with Philipstown kids in previous projects involving artistic activities, recycling non-degradable waste and creating memorable events and monuments. An example is our Car Door Mosaic Project – proof of which is to be seen on a building in the main street. Few people pass through the town without stopping and staring at the exhibition of weird car doors.

There is consensus amongst CHE members to create an annual event for the townsfolk’s to look forward to – thus the Draadkar Grand Prix.


It is the abbreviation for Community Health Evangelism,an internationally basis non-profit organization. Elsewhere in Africa the doings of CHE has transformed communities. CHE’s philosophy involves a strong belief in principles like:

  • begin at grassroots
  • never impose anything on a community without their consent, no matter how good your intentions
  • empowerment does not begin with hand-outs, but with hands reached out to one another
  • everything in life that is  worthwhile takes time to grow.


The booking and paying of accommodation is for the account of the guest.  Contact Ethel van der Walt at email:  vanderkloof@gmail.com or  cell no 0826071194


The proceedings will be available after the Parliament on the website www.karoofoundation.co.za


Logistical support:                                        Program Management                               

Anita Harmse                                                Doreen Atkinson

Cluster:  Sustainable Development         Cluster:  Sustainable Development

University of the Free State                       University of the Free State

Tel/Fax:  +27 51 4013424                          E-mail:  karoo@intekom.co.za

Cell:  0729925099

Email:  harmsea@ufs.ac.za

Website: http://www.karoofoundation.co.za


karoo parliament in philipstown

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