Rustenburg at a glance
Set at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range in North West Province, Rustenburg lies on a major highway (N4) about 140 km by road from Johannesburg and 130 km from Pretoria.
Being in close proximity to Phokeng, the capital of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, where the Royal Bafokeng Stadium is located made it a perfect choice for one of the official host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Rustenburg, meaning “place of rest”, this pretty little town’s streets are lined with the ubiquitous jacaranda tree. It started out as a small farming community producing citrus and Virginia tobacco and still manages to retain its small-town atmosphere.
The town has humble beginnings, starting off as little more than a church and farming community centre. It has now earned the nickname “Platinum City” due to its extensive mining – two of the world’s largest platinum mines lie just outside Rustenburg. The biggest platinum mine in the world is located about 3km from the town centre and owned and managed by the Anglo American corporation. According to legend, the farmer that owned the land sold the mineral rights to Anglo American for R10 000.
Rustenburg is prominent in Afrikaner history. The town was established in 1851 as an administrative centre for a fertile farming area producing citrus fruit, tobacco, peanuts, sunflower seeds, maize, wheat and cattle. Rustenburg was the home of Paul Kruger, president of the South African Republic, who bought a 5 square kilometre farm to the north-west of the town in 1863.
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 was marked by the renaming of a major street name to Fatima Bhayat Street in honour of Fatima Bhyat who arrived in Rustenburg with her husband in 1877.
When the Boer and the British came to blows in the Second Boer War in 1899, the territory around Rustenburg became a battlefield. The two sides clashed famously at nearby Mafikeng, where the British garrison found itself under siege for months. These battle sites can be explored from Rustenburg.
With the arrival and successful farming practices of the Boers in the nineteenth century, Rustenburg became a primarily agricultural region with vast citrus estates due to the favourable climate and abundant water supply.
Reported to be the fastest growing city in South Africa, Rustenburg is home to the world's largest platinum refinery, PMR (Precious Metal Refiners), which processes around 70% of the world's platinum. Like many other mining centres it now also has a large and high-turnover property market, with people coming and going as mining activities expand and contract. Prices tend to rise and fall along with the price of platinum, but you’ll be able to buy property anywhere from R400 000 to upwards of R2 million.
Rustenburg is a hive of activity and caters for people of all ages. The Kgaswane Mountain Reserve is a place of special beauty, an escape into the Magalies Mountain Range and is an ideal destination to go for a day’s outing. Day visitors can enjoy the self-drive route on tarred roads which links a number of picnic sites and viewpoints. Located at this hidden gem is the stunning Tierkloof Waterfall and gorgeous rock pools just further along. This picturesque reserve is the perfect place for families, hikers and even bird watchers alike to go and visit.
Madikwe Game Reserve and Groot Marico Park are large reserves north of the Pilanesberg, almost half the size of Belgium. Madikwe is home to the Big 5 and has the second largest concentration of elephants in South Africa. If you’re lucky, you may have the rare privilege of possibly seeing the highly endangered African Wild Dog.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is located 1.5 hours from Johannesburg and Pretoria, outside Rustenburg. It is the fourth largest National Park in South Africa and is set in the Pilanesberg Mountain Range, traversing the floor of an extinct volcano – it is a unique geological feature and for this reason alone is worth visiting. Virtually all of the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the Big 5, wild dog, Roan, Tsessebe, Sable antelope and more than 360 species of bird.
If you have young children and are looking for something for them to do on the weekends, then Chi-Chi's Playpark offers some respite from everyday duties. Whether you want to host a party or just spend the day there, this safe space for children has it all. A few of the activities on offer are go-karts, paddle boats, splash pool, 3 huge play gyms, and an impressive Lego room.
Another fun outing is to Predator World near Sun City. Here, you’ll get to see wild animals up close. Predator World offers cheetah walks, game drives, guided tours and you can visit the zoo at night.
Rustenburg is home to the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. The stadium hosts a number of football, rugby and athletics events, and is the home ground of the Premier Soccer League club, Platinum Stars Football Club. The stadium was first built in 1999, but underwent renovations in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa.
The town is also home to another world-class stadium, Olympia Park. One of the biggest events took place at Olympia Park in 1995 – the Rugby World Cup – which was won by South Africa that year. Three World Cup matches have been played in Rustenburg that year. Today it is still used for local soccer games as well as cricket matches.
If you’re wanting to shop up a storm, then be sure to visit Rustenburg Waterfall Mall – an upmarket, regional shopping centre where you’ll find over 150 stores.
Another great mall is Platinum Square. Close to Waterfall Mall, this shopping centre is conveniently located for local residents and tourists alike. Treat yourself to one of the restaurants while appreciating the indigenous landscaped gardens. The kids can play on the play gym or around the water fountains.
Rustenburg has a fine balance between history, arts, culture and nature making it a place that everyone can enjoy and remains one of the best destinations for investors who want to see growth in their portfolios. Get in touch and start investing.