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Polokwane
Pietersburg
—  City  —
Nickname(s): City of stars
Motto: Naturally Progressive
Polokwane is located in Limpopo
Polokwane
Coordinates: 23°54′00″S 29°27′00″E / 23.9°S 29.45°E / -23.9; 29.45Coordinates: 23°54′00″S 29°27′00″E / 23.9°S 29.45°E / -23.9; 29.45
Country South Africa
Province Limpopo
District municipality Capricorn
Local municipality Polokwane
Government
 - Executive Mayor Thabo Makunyane[1]
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)

Polokwane,[2][3] meaning "Place of Safety",[4][2] is a city in the Polokwane Local Municipality and capital of the Limpopo province, South Africa. It is also widely known[citation needed] by its former name,[3] Pietersburg.

Contents

History

In the 1840s, Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Potgieter established Zoutpansbergdorp, a town 100 km to the north west. This settlement had to be abandoned because of clashes with the local tribes. They founded a new town in 1886 and named it Pietersburg in honour of Voortrekker leader Petrus Jacobus Joubert. The British built a concentration camp here during the Boer War to house almost 4,000 Boer women and children. The town officially became a city on April 23, 1992; on February 25, 2005, the government declared the official English name of the city to be the Northern Sotho one, Polokwane. The new name means "Place of Safety".[4] The city is the major urban centre and capital city of the province, and indeed for the entire country north of Gauteng. More recently, Polokwane was the site of the ANC national conference which saw Jacob Zuma take over as head of the party.[5]

Demographics

In 1904 Pietersburg had a population of 3276, of whom 1620 (49.5%) were whites.[6] The remaining 50% were probably black. In 2001 the population of the Polokwane local municipality was 508,272. Currently, the city of Polokwane has a white majority (and an ever-increasing black minority), while neighboring townships have an overwhelming black majority.[citation needed]

Climate

Polokwane
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
82
 
28
17
 
 
60
 
28
17
 
 
52
 
27
15
 
 
33
 
24
12
 
 
11
 
22
8
 
 
5
 
20
5
 
 
3
 
20
4
 
 
6
 
22
7
 
 
17
 
25
10
 
 
43
 
26
13
 
 
85
 
27
15
 
 
81
 
27
16
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: SAWS[7]

Despite its position on the Tropic of Capricorn,[8] the climate is tempered by its position on a plateau 1230 meters above sea level.[9] Average temperatures reach around 21–22 °C (70–72 °F) in January and fall to 11 °C (52 °F) in July.[9] As with much of inland South Africa, Polokwane has experienced notably warmer seasons over the last decade than its long term average.[10] Polokwane has a dry climate with a summer rainy season and a pronounced dry spell during winter. Average annual rainfall is 495 millimetres (19.5 in), with December or (less often) January the wettest month and July the driest.[11]

Climate data for Polokwane
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36
(97)
36
(97)
34
(93)
34
(93)
32
(90)
27
(81)
27
(81)
32
(90)
34
(93)
37
(99)
36
(97)
35
(95)
37
(99)
Average high °C (°F) 28
(82)
28
(82)
27
(81)
24
(75)
22
(72)
20
(68)
20
(68)
22
(72)
25
(77)
26
(79)
27
(81)
27
(81)
25
(77)
Average low °C (°F) 17
(63)
17
(63)
15
(59)
12
(54)
8
(46)
5
(41)
4
(39)
7
(45)
10
(50)
13
(55)
15
(59)
16
(61)
12
(54)
Record low °C (°F) 10
(50)
11
(52)
8
(46)
4
(39)
1
(34)
-4
(25)
-1
(30)
-1
(30)
0
(32)
5
(41)
7
(45)
9
(48)
-4
(25)
Precipitation mm (inches) 82
(3.23)
60
(2.36)
52
(2.05)
33
(1.3)
11
(0.43)
5
(0.2)
3
(0.12)
6
(0.24)
17
(0.67)
43
(1.69)
85
(3.35)
81
(3.19)
478
(18.82)
Avg. precipitation days 10 8 8 6 2 1 1 1 2 7 10 11 65
Source: South African Weather Service[7] 7 March 2010

Transport

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Air

The Gateway International Airport (IATA: PTGICAO: FAPP),[12] also known as Polokwane or Pietersburg Airport, is located just outside the city.

Road

The city is connected to other mayor cities in South Africa via the N1, which connects Polokwane to Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. Polokwane lies halfway between Gauteng (300 km) and Zimbabwe (200 km) on the N1 road.

Society and culture

Media

The South African Broadcasting Corporation has a branch located in the city.[13] The city also hosts a branch for the country's largest independent radio station, Jacaranda RM/FM, which is broadcast from either Pretoria, Nelspruit or Polokwane.[14] The city also has a selection of locally distributed newspapers.

Museums, momuments and memorials

  • The Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum — Depicts the traditional and modern-day lifestyle of the Bakone people. The museum is centered on a traditional village still occupied by members of the tribe, who sell various crafts to tourists. Background information can be obtained in the visitor center. Within the museum complex are archaeological sites with remains of iron- and copper-smelting installations, as well as rock paintings from around 1000 B.C.[15]
  • Eersteling Monuments — The site of the country's first gold crushing site and its first gold power plant are marked by monuments.[16]

Churches

One of the earliest churches established in Polokwane (then Pietersburg) was the "English Church." Prior to 1894 there were occasional services for the English Church held by visiting priests in the local Court House. Work began on building a church in Market Street in 1895. The building was completed in 1897 and Christ Church Polokwane had a permanent venue. The church struggled with a lack of members during the Anglo-Boer war (Boer Wars) but regular services resumed in November 1901 and have continued to this day. The Anglican church moved from Market Street to Biccard Street in the 1960s. There is also a Roman Catholic church situated in Biccard street.

Sports

Inside Peter Mokaba stadium

Soccer

Winners Park F.C., a South African football club, is based in the city.

Stadiums

Tourism

Polokwane provides access to various nature and wildlife viewing opportunities for ecotourists. The Polokwane Bird and Reptile Park is home to over 280 species of birds. The Polokwane Game Reserve houses various South African species of wildlife, birdlife, and plants in an unspoiled bushveld environment. The Moletzie Bird Sanctuary protects rare birds like the Cape Vulture. The Modjardji Rainforest holds the largest concentration of indigenous cycads in the world, and Cheune Crocodile Farm provides a place to learn about the life of crocodiles.[16]

The city is considered the premier hunting destination in South Africa.

Commerce and industry

The city hosts several mayor industries such as Coca-Cola[18] and South African Breweries.[19] As the capital of the Limpopo province the city also has a large commercial area with the four largest banks in the country all having at least three branches in the city.

Education

Tertiary education

The Tshwane University of Technology, and the University of South Africa both have a satellite campus in the city.[20][21]. The University of Limpopo is situated about 30km outside Polokwane.

Secondary education

  • Pietersburg Hoërskool (PHS)
  • Tom Naude High School
  • Noorderland High School
  • Northern Academy
  • Capricorn High School
  • Heuwelkruin Kollege
  • Flora Park Comprehensive High School (FCHS)

Shopping malls

  • Limpopo Mall
  • Savannah Mall*
  • Mall of the North* - to be opened April 2011[22]

* The malls with an asterix are malls with at least a 6-screen cinema complex.

References

  1. ^ http://www.polokwane.org.za
  2. ^ a b Polokwane - The Heart of the Limpopo Province. City of Polokwane official website. Retrieved on Oct 15, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Republic of South Africa (7 January 2005). "Department of Arts and Culture: Approval of Official Place Names". Government Gazette. http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=60522. Retrieved Oct 15, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Our history". Polokwane Local Municipality. http://www.polokwane.org.za/index.php?view_page+493. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  5. ^ South Africa | Zuma comes out on top | Economist.com
  6. ^ http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Pietersburg
  7. ^ a b "Climate data for Polokwane". South African Weather Service. http://old.weathersa.co.za/Climat/Climstats/PolokwaneStats.jsp. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Profiles: History of Polokwane". The African Executive. 12-19 December 2007. http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=2746. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Peter Baxter. "Polokwane". WhyGo: South Africa. http://www.southafricalogue.com/polokwane. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Average monthly and annual temperatures, Polokwane/Pietersburg 1932 – 2007, GISS
  11. ^ GHCN monthly rainfall Pietersburg , NGDC, 1932-1992
  12. ^ "FAPP - Polokwane Intl, ZA - Airport - Great Circle Mapper". http://www.gcmap.com/airport/FAPP. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  13. ^ http://www.sabc.co.za/portal/site/sabc/menuitem.6001ff5f1e8babc38b62eb68a24daeb9/
  14. ^ http://www.jacarandarmfm.com/
  15. ^ "Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum". Planetware. http://www.planetware.com/pietersburg/bakone-malapa-open-air-museum-saf-np-bak.htm. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "SA Places To See Polokwane". Zeuzzo 2010. http://2010.zeuzzo.co.za/sa/sa-places-see-polokwane. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  17. ^ http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/destination/stadiums/stadium=5007758/index.html
  18. ^ http://www.cocacola.co.za/bottling_profile_coca_cola_fortune.aspx
  19. ^ http://www.sablimited.co.za/sablimited/view/sablimited/en/page400
  20. ^ http://www.tut.ac.za/About%20Us/
  21. ^ http://www.unisa.ac.za
  22. ^ http://www.mallofthenorth.co.za/

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Image:FIFA2010Host.png
Peter Mokaba Stadium


World Cup 2010
FIFA South Africa 2010

Polokwane (Place of Safety) is a city in South Africa. It is the capital of the Limpopo Province and was formerly known as Pietersburg.

Get in

By plane

Polokwane International Airport (also known as Gateway International Airport), ph: +27 (0)15 288 0122

By car

Follow the N1 North from Johannesburg and Pretoria

By train

There are regular trains to Polokwane from Pretoria, Johannesburg (to the south) and Musina (to the north). The train station is on Hospitaal Street.

  • African Roots Guest House, 58A Devenish Street, +27 (0)15 297-0113 (+27 (0)83 459-6799, , fax: +27 (0)15 297-6714), [1]. From R375pps.  edit
  • Cycad Guest House, Cnr Schoeman & Suid Str, +27 (0)15 291-2123 (, fax: +27 (0)15 291-2109), [2]. From R300pps.  edit
  • Meropa Hotel & Casino, Plot 59 Sterkloop, Roodepoort Road, +27 (0)15 292-4400 (), [3].  edit
  • Town Lodge, Roodepoort Road (Next to Meropa Casino), +27 (0)15 292-4400 (, fax: +27 (0)15 292-3740), [4]. From R340 per room.  edit
  • Bloemtuin Lodge (1200m), Munnik (on R81 from Polokwane to Tzaneen), +27 (0)82 801-6903, [5]. Beautiful natural surroundings in historic wildlife area. The lodge is brand new, and built to blend into the landscape. Full catering offered, very clean and efficient. R550.  edit
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