I grew up 110 km North of Polokwane in a town called Louis Trichardt. We used to venture to this city a lot when I was little for shopping, sports meetings, etc. Polokwane has been selected as one of the 9 host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. For these reasons I’ve selected Polokwane as the 10 facts topic for today. Watch this space for regular updates. If you have any facts to add to this list, please comment on this post.
Here are 10 facts about Polokwane
- Pietersburg (renamed to Polokwane meaning “Place of Safety” in 1994) was founded in 1886.
- Pietersburg is the biggest city North of Pretoria (the capital city) in South Africa with a population of over 500,000.
- During the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) the British built a concentration camp here to house 4,000 Boer women and children.
- In 1900 the town was the capital of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State provinces of South Africa for a short while.
- Polokwane boasts the first gold crushing plant in South Africa.
- Polokwane is well known for Hunting Safari’s, Arts and Crafts and a Game Breeding Centre.
- Polokwane is situated about 200 km from the Beit Bridge border post (the gateway to Zimbabwe).
- The Peter Mokaba Stadium in the city was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and has a seating capicity of about 30,000.
- John Smit (the current Springbok rugby captain), Victor Matfield (Springbok rugby player and captain of the Bulls rugby team) and Retief Goosen (South African golfer) were born in Polokwane.
- The game reserve which is situated 5 km South of the city, is one of the largest municipal owned game reserves in the country.