The name Clocolan is a European corruption of the Sotho, Hlohlowane, meaning ridge of the battle - the name given to one of the heights overlooking the town of Clocolan.

Originally occupied by Kwena tribespeople, the area was looted by raiding renegade bands during the period of major tribal upheavals at the beginning of the 19th century.

The town was established in the 1906 as a centre for the production of maize, wheat, cherries, potatoes and cattle.

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