7 Things You Should Know About Rustenburg
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Rustenburg, which translated literally means "town of rest", is the third oldest town of the former Transvaal Province and is the fastest growing city in South Africa. Its jacaranda tree-lined streets are the hub of a thriving agricultural and mining industry. Rustenburg’s reputation for being restful comes from its scenic Magaliesberg surroundings, but don’t be fooled by the name – there’s lots to see and do in this not-so-sleepy town.
Here are 7 things you should know about Rustenburg:
Stones and Bones
Less than 2 hours away from Rustenburg lies the Cradle of Humankind. The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa and the only one in Gauteng. Its complex of fossil-bearing caves contains a superbly preserved record of the stages in the evolution of humankind over the past 4-million years. It was here that the first hominid, Australopithecus, was found in 1924. The recent unveiling of Homo naledi, a previously undiscovered species, put the Cradle of Humankind back in the global spotlight.
You can visit the Sterkfontein Caves where the 2.8 million-year-old female skull nicknamed ‘Mrs. Ples’ was found in 1947. Another attraction is the 2.2 million-year-old Wonder Cave, where hourly tours are conducted.
Rustenburg is home to the two largest platinum mines in the world and the world’s largest platinum refinery, earning it the nickname ‘Platinum City’. The mines in Rustenburg process around 70% of the world’s platinum.
Platinum mining in Rustenburg began in 1929, shortly after the discovery of the Platinum Reef by Hans Merensky, later named the Merensky Reef.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.
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
Rustenburg is home to the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, named after the indigenous Bafokeng (“people of the dew”) tribe who are still led by their own king, which was one of the host venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Along with the soccer stadium, the city also boasts the world-class Olympia Park which hosted some of the 1995 IRB Rugby World Cup games.
Sport is of central importance to Rustenburg’s culture – the local high school, Hoërskool Rustenburg, is the school with the most provincial athletes of any school in South Africa
If you want to learn more about the city, follow the Rustenburg Ramble – a meander that guides you through the city’s craft markets, galleries, and farm stalls, while you sample the city’s historically diverse culture and food. A drive along the Rustenburg Ramble will take you past the Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, Waterfall Mall, the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, and of course all the craft stores.
The Magaliesberg Canopy Tour, located in the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve, is a daring eco-adventure which takes you on a journey through the ecology and geology of one of the oldest mountain ranges at the world – estimated to be 2,500 million years old.
Eleven platforms have been built against the cliff and rock faces of the spectacular Ysterhout Kloof, a beautiful gorge carved out of the mountainside, and are joined by long steel cables that you slide along to reach the next platform. Much like a “foefie” slide, the canopy tour essentially involves zigzagging down the kloof while stopping at each platform to admire the expansive views and surrounding ecology.
If you’re a fan of watersports, then Rustenburg has a lot to offer. Buffelspoort Dam is one of the lesser known dams in the North West province and lies near the gorgeous Magaliesburg mountains. Buffelspoort Dam is in the region of Marikana, about 30km from Rustenburg. The water is crystal clear making it perfect for any angler.
The massive Hartbeespoort Dam, or Harties to locals, is located between Rustenburg and Pretoria and is a popular water sports destination. It has become a hive of activity and is a very popular weekend getaway. The 1620 hectare dam offers an array of water sports, a local bird sanctuary, challenging hikes, and gentle rambles.
For the Birds
The Grietjie Vulture Restaurant in the Magaliesberg Mountains has a different menu on offer … and a different clientele. Fresh meat and carcasses are put down for vultures that live in the area and you can watch them feed.
The main purpose of this viewing hide is to provide exceptional, close-up views of these magnificent birds, but more importantly, it will serve as an educational facility highlighting the plight of Vulture populations in southern Africa which are in a drastic state of decline.
If you’re looking to make the move to this ever-growing city, then pop into our Century 21 Rustenburg office and we’ll help you get started.
Author: Century 21 South Africa