Rustenburg (Afrikaans and Dutch: Town of Rest) is a city of 395,761 inhabitants (2001 National Census) situated in at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range in North West Province of South Africa.
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. On 10 February 1859, the local Dutch Reformed Church community was established. In 1863 Paul Kruger, who was later to become the President of the South African Republic, bought a 5 square kilometre farm to the north-west of the town.
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 streetname to "Fatima Bhayat Street" in honour of Fatima Bhyat who arrived in Rustenburg with her husband in 1877.
Rustenburg's population is primarily Batswana. Many belong to the Royal Bafokeng Nation, extensive landowners earning royalties from mining operations. The Royal Bafokeng also own the stadium selected as a World Cup 2010 venue.
Rustenburg is prominent in Afrikaner history. One of the oldest Boer settlements in the north, it was the home of Paul Kruger, president of the South African Republic. The homestead on his farm, Boekenhoutfontein, is now the Paul Kruger Country Museum.
When Boer and British came to blows in the Second Boer War (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.
The Rustenburg municipality, which encompasses several neighbouring settlements, in particular Phokeng, has a population of 395,539, according to the 2001 Census. Of these, 87.3% were African, 11.6% White, 0.6% Coloured and 0.5% Asian. The white population is likely to have been undercounted, a general problem with the 2001 Census figures.
Rustenburg acts as a service centre for the many industries here. These include the agricultural communities surrounding the town, the platinum mining industry and the local manufacturing and product distribution industries.
Due to the mainly dry climatic conditions, agricultural activity consists of the farming of livestock (cattle and game) and small stock (poultry for egg production). There is also large-scale cultivation of citrus and irrigated crops such as tobacco and wheat, flowers and many plant nurseries.
Most of the mining activity in the region is centred around platinum on the Merensky Reef which stretches from west of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve towards Marikana and Brits in the east. The two largest platinum mines in the world are to be found here, and the area also produces asbestos, tin, chrome, lead, marble, granite and slate.
The city is located on major highway routes and close to 2 major centres, making it a hub for tourist activities. Within the city are some historic churches, including the Anglican Church (1871) and the Dutch Reformed Church (1898–1903), the historic statue of the Voortrekker girl and the Rustenburg Museum.
There are a multitude of sites with cultural and historical significance in and around Rustenburg. This is no surprise, given the many different communities in the area, such as the indigenous Bafokeng, Bakgatla and Botswana tribes, whose totemic tribal traditions are of much interest. There is also the German community of Kroondal that traces its origins back to 1857.
Many Anglo-Boer and ethnic war battles took place in the area with the districts of Koster, Swartruggens and Rustenburg featuring prominent battlefields, memorial graves and ruined forts. The area also has archaeological remains from the Iron Age and Stone Age.
By far the best known attractions in this area are the major nature reserves that are all within striking distance of Rustenburg itself.
Sun City and Lost City, located beyond the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, are resorts where visitors can lose themselves in the luxury of an imagined world, with all the modern entertainments one can ask for. The complex is set on the slopes of a picturesque valley in the Pilanesberg Mountains and captures the essence of an ancient African kingdom. Casinos, the Valley of the Waves and two world-renowned championship golf courses are just some of the many attractions.
Famous people born in Rustenburg include:
Rustenburg was founded in 1851 and is today mostly known for the platinum that is mined there.
Pilanesburg International Airport in Sun City Rustenburg Aerodome
Follow the N4 West from Pretoria. Note that this is a toll road.
Searched everywhere, there seems to be no bus service from Rustenburg to Pretoria.
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RUSTENBURG, a district and town of the Transvaal, South Africa. The district originally included all the N.W. part of the country, but is now of much smaller dimensions. Its S. border is marked by the Magaliesberg and other hills forming the N. escarpment of the high veld and the watershed between the Vaal and Limpopo. Several of the headstreams of the Limpopo rise within the district on the N. slopes of the Magaliesberg. The climate of the district is sub-tropical and the principal cultivation is that of tobacco, and fruit trees, notably oranges. The opening of the railway to Pretoria in 1906 led to a marked development of trade. In an amphitheatre formed by the hills and 61 m. by rail W. of Pretoria is the town of Rustenburg with a population (1904) of 1815. The town is one of the oldest in the Transvaal, having been founded in 1850 by the Voortrekkers. It was at Rustenburg that the volksraad met in March 1852 to ratify the Sand River Convention granting independence to the Transvaal Boers. At the time it was feared that there would be civil war between Hendrik Potgieter and Andries Pretorius, but they were reconciled in Potgieter's tent. Later Rustenburg became the home of the Kruger family. It was occupied by the British under R. S. Baden Powell in June 1900.