The railway junction and marshaling yard of Kroonstad is named after a horse. The horse, named Kroon ('crown'), drowned in a pothole in a stream on the site of the present town.

Afterwards the stream was known as Kroonspruit.

In 1855, when the town was founded, it too was named after the horse.

Kroonstad stands on the banks of the Vals, meaning deceitful, River. Despite the river's name, which came about owing to quagmires and sudden treacherous floods, this is a lovely river, lined with willow trees. On its banks is a recreational area much used by anglers and water-sports enthusiasts.

In the district cattle, sheep, wheat and fruit are farmed.

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