Metsimaholo Local Municipality is located in the Fezile Dabi District Municipality. The geographical area of the municipality is 1717.0680 square kilometers. Metsimaholo means “big water” in Sesotho, due to the abundance of this resource in the area. It was formerly known as Sasolburg municipality. The three major towns that form part of Metsimaholo Local Municipality are Sasolburg (Municipal Head Office), Oranjeville and Deneysville.
Sasolburg is a large industrial town in the far north of the Free State province. The town owes its existence to the petro-chemical industry that was established in 1954 in order to provide housing and facilities for Sasol (South African Coal, Oil and Gas) employees. Sasolburg attained official town status in 1967. Its refinery is one of the only two viable coal-derived oil refineries in the world.
The town was established in 1939 around the Vaal Dam and named after Deneys Reitz, son of a former Free State President. It is also known as the Gateway to the Vaal Dam. The town is situated on the northern border of the region - on the banks of the Vaal Dam. Deneysville is a small, rural village providing visitors access to vast water surfaces of the dam. The town is also known as ‘the Highveld’s inland sea’ and the yachting mecca for its landlocked neighbours.
This town, situated on the banks of the Wilge River, was established during 1919 as a halfway stop for ox wagons between Heilbron, Frankfort and Vereeniging. The landowners eventually named it Oranjeville in honour of the “Prins of Oranje” from the Netherlands Royal Family.