10 Facts: Rustenburg

Rustenburg is one of the host cities selected to host football games in the 2010 FIFA World Cup (which starts on the 11th of June this year). The Royal Bafokeng stadium is the venue for matches in the tournament. The city is situated about 100km from Pretoria at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range in the North West Province of South Africa. It’s probably one of the cities that I’ve visited the most in my life. Many friends of mine went to school in Rustenburg and hail from the surrounding areas. For this reason this city has been selected as one of my 10 facts topics on this blog.

Here are 10 facts about Rustenburg:

  • Rustenburg was established in 1851 to serve as an administrative center for a nearby fertile farming area producing citrus fruit, tobacco, peanuts, sunflower seeds, maize, wheat and cattle.
  • Rustenburg was the 3rd oldest town in the former Transvaal province in South Africa.
  • The German community (Kroondal) near Rustenburg dates back to 1857.
  • Former South African republic (Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek) president Paul Kruger bought a farm outside the town in 1863. The homestead on his farm called ‘Boekenhoutfontein” is now the Paul Kruger Country Museum.
  • The area around Rustenburg was a battlefield in the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902).
  • Rustenburg is the fastest growing city in South Africa with a population of +/- 400,000.
  • Besides the Royal Bafokeng Stadium Rustenburg is also the home of Olympia Park multi-purpose stadium which hosted matches in the 1995 IRB Rugby World Cup in South Africa.
  • Rustenburg is home to the 2 largest platinum mines in the world and the world’s largest platinum refinery, PMR (Precious Metal Refiners), which processes around 70% of the world’s platinum.
  • Among the first residents of Rustenburg were settlers of Indian origin. One of the first families of Indian origin was the Bhyat family, whose contribution to the City’s history has been marked by the renaming of a major streetname to “Fatima Bhayat Street”. She arrived with her husband in Rustenburg in 1877.
  • Johan Botha (South African opera singer), Pik Botha (former South African minister of foreign affairs), Koos du Plessis (Afrikaans singer-songwriter), Frik du Preez (former Springbok rugby player), Esta Terblanche (South African soap opera actress) and Andre Stander (notorious bank robber depicted by Thomas Jane in the film <em>Stander</em>) were all born in Rustenburg.

Watch this space for 10 facts posts. Hope you’ve found this post enlightening. If you have any facts to add, please comment on this post.

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone
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  • Storm

    Pffft that’s gotta be the ugliest pic of RTB did you wanna go right into the taxi rank to take it???

    • Running Wolf

      Storm: Please e-mail me a prettier one if you can find one. Strangely enough that there’s no pics for Rustenburg online…