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North West


North West is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mahikeng. The province is located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng.

 
 North West was created after the end of Apartheid in 1994, and includes parts of the former Transvaal Province and Cape Province, as well as most of the former Bantustan of Bophuthatswana. It was recently the scene of political violence in Khutsong, Merafong City Local Municipality.Merafong has since been transferred to Gauteng province.
 

The provincial government consists of a premier, an executive council of ten ministers, and a legislature. The provincial assembly and premier are elected for five-year terms, or until the next national election. Political parties are awarded assembly seats based on the percentage of votes each party receives in the province during the national elections. The assembly elects a premier, who then appoints the members of the executive council.

The premier of North West Province as of 2011 is Thandi Modise of the African National Congress. In 2010 she replaced Maureen Modiselle who had only served one year before being removed from office.

 

The North West province has 4 district municipalities and 20 local municipalities, listed below.

  • Bojanala Platinum District
    • Moretele
    •  
    • Madibeng
    • Rustenburg
    • Kgetlengrivier
    • Moses Kotane
  • Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District
    • Naledi
    •  
    • Mamusa
    • Greater Taung
    • Kagisano-Molopo
    • Lekwa-Teemane
  • Ngaka Modiri Molema District
    • Ratlou
    •  
    • Tswaing
    • Mafikeng Local Municipality
    • Ditsobotla
    • Ramotshere
  • Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
    • Ventersdorp
    •  
    • Tlokwe
    • Matlosana
    • Maquassi Hills
  Cities and towns
  • Klerksdorp
  • Orkney
  • Brits
  • Potchefstroom
  • Rustenburg
  • Stilfontein
  • Mahikeng
  • Schweizer-Reneke
  • Lichtenburg
  • Vryburg
  • Wolmaransstad
  • Pampierstad
  • Coligny
  • Zeerust
  • Christiana
  • Ventersdorp
  • Letsopa
  • Koster
  • Mogwase
  • Mmakau
  • Mothibistad
  • Reivilo
 

The mainstay of the economy of North West Province is mining, which generates more than half of the province's gross domestic product and provides jobs for a quarter of its workforce. The chief minerals are gold, mined at Orkney and Klerksdorp; uranium, mined at Klerksdorp; platinum, mined at Rustenburg and Brits; and diamonds, mined at Lichtenburg, Christiana, and Bloemhof. The northern and western parts of the province have many sheep farms and cattle and game ranches. The eastern and southern parts are crop-growing regions that produce maize (corn), sunflowers, tobacco, cotton, and citrus fruits. The entertainment and casino complex at Sun City and Lost City also contributes to the provincial economy.

 
 

The majority of the province's residents are the Tswana people who speak Tswana. Smaller groups include Afrikaans, Sotho, and Xhosa speaking people. English is spoken primarily as a second language. Most of the population belong to Christian denominations. Figures according to Census 2001 released in July 2003.

According to the 2007 community survey 90.8% of the province's population was Black (mostly Tswana-speaking), 7.2% as White mostly Afrikaans speaking), 1.6% as Coloured and 0.4% as Asian. The 2007 community survey showed the province had a population of just over 3 million. The province's white population is very unevenly distributed. In the southern and eastern municipalities, the white percentage in double figures such as the Tlokwe and Matlosana where the white percentages were 27% and 12% respectively.

The province has the lowest number of people aged 35 years and older (5,9%) who have received higher education.Since 1994 the number of people receiving higher education has increased. After the disbanding of the bantustans, many people migrated to the economic centres of Cape Town and Gauteng.

 
 

The province had two universities: the University of North West, which was formerly called the University of Bophuthatswana founded in 1979, in Mmabatho; and Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (founded in 1869; became a constituent college of the University of South Africa in 1921 and an independent university in 1951. These two universities have now merged and the new institution is called North-West University.

There is also a private university found in Klerksdorp: Centurion Akademie Klerksdorp, which caters mainly to Afrikaans students. Because it its a private institution classes may be in Afrikaans and the foundation of education gained at Centurion Akademie is based on the Christian faith. It is also the largest institution of its kind in existence.

As part of the Department of Education's proposed plans for higher education, the existing four higher learning institutions will be merged to form two. During 2003, as part of the Year of Further Education and Training project, three mega institutions, Taletso, ORBIT and Vuselela, were established to provide technical and vocational training to the youth. These institutions have been incorporated into many of the former education and technical colleges and manpower centres.

 
 

The provincial government consists of a premier, an executive council of ten ministers, and a legislature. The provincial assembly and premier are elected for five-year terms, or until the next national election. Political parties are awarded assembly seats based on the percentage of votes each party receives in the province during the national elections. The assembly elects a premier, who then appoints the members of the executive council.The premier of North West Province as of 2011 is Thandi Modise of the African National Congress. In 2010 she replaced Maureen Modiselle who had only served one year before being removed from office.

 
 

The Magaliesberg historically also known as Macalisberg or as the Cashan Mountains is a mountain range extending from Pretoria in the north of the Gauteng Province to a point south of Pilanesberg, in the North West Province, South Africa.The highest point of the Magaliesberg is reached at Nooitgedacht (1 852 metres) .

 25°51′30″S 27°31′48″E / 25.8583°S 27.530°E / -25.8583; 27.530

 
 

The Magaliesberg Range has a very long geological history. Its quartzites, shales, chert and dolomite were deposited as sediments in an inland basin on top of the 3 billion year old Archaean Basement Complex. This process of sedimentation lasted for about 300 million years. About 2 billion years ago a massive upwelling of molten magma resulted in what is now known as the Bushveld Igneous Complex. The enormous weight of this intrusion depressed the sediments that lay beneath and tilted the sediments along the edges so that the broken scarps faced outward and upward, and the gentler dip slopes inward. During the same period these sediments were fractured and igneous intrusions of dolerite filled the cracks.

With the passage of time these intrusions eroded, especially on the dip slopes, forming deep kloofs or ravines providing excellent rock-climbing potential to modern man. This large dog-leg-shaped area is now termed the Transvaal Basin and includes the lofty escarpment of the Transvaal Drakensberg overlooking the Lowveld in the eastern part of the country. Massive outpourings of igneous material  volcanic lava  of the much younger Karoo Supergroup later covered the Transvaal Basin, but this was subsequently eroded so that it only remains along the Transvaal Basin's southern rim.

 
 

The area around the Magaliesberg range has seen extremely lengthy occupation by humans dating back at least 2 million years to the earliest hominin species such as Mrs Ples in and around the Sterkfontein Caves, which lie at the Cradle of HumankindWorld Heritage Site, close to the town of Magaliesburg.The later inhabitants of the mountain range called them the Kashan mountains, after a local chief. By the mid 1800s, one of the more important chiefs of the area was named, Mogale or Mohale, and the mountains became known as Magaliesberg, or Mogale's mountain. "Mogale" means "sharp" or "clever" person, but is also the common word for a warrior or Tswana soldier. Similarly, the mountain range to the north, near Sun City, Pilanesberg, was named after the local Bakghatla chiefs, who were called Pilane

In 1822 Shaka sent his most trusted commander, Mzilikazi, to conquer the Sotho tribes of the region. After accomplishing this task, Mzilikazi decided to break away from Shaka and found his own nation, the Matabele. As he feared an attack from Shaka if he returned home he settled in the Magaliesberg regions.

On 17 January 1837, after some Voortrekkers had been attacked and killed by Mzilikazi's impis they counter-attacked and, under the leadership of Hendrik Potgieter and Gerrit Maritz, and with the help of local Sotho-Tswana chiefdoms, drove the Matabeles north across the Limpopo River. Because the re-conquest of the region was a cooperative venture of the Boers and the Sotho-Tswana against the Matabele, the Boers and Sotho-Tswana had friendly relations at the beginning of white settlement. These friendly relations are reflected in the name of the main Boer town, Rustenburg, or "resting town," because it seemed to them that they would not have to engage in any more fighting against African communities.

The Boers initially settled south of the Magaliesberg in the highveld leaving the bushveld north of the Magaliesberg mostly to their Sotho-Tswana friends and allies; according to Ms. Sarah Heckford's memoir, "A Lady Trader in the Transvaal," the Boers would move into the bushveld to visit their Sotho-Tswana neighbors during the winter in what Heckford described as a big picnic. According to oral testimony by Tswana headmen recorded around the turn of the 20th century, many individual Boers formed close friendships with prominent individual Tswana headmen and chiefs, especially for the purpose of forming hunting parties to gather ivory and other products from further north. Subsequently the Boers began settling in the valleys of the Magaliesberg Range and in the bushveld north of the Magaliesberg, and turned the region into some of the most productive farmland in South Africa, while displacing their former allies, confining them to locations and reserves.

 
 

The area saw some heavy fighting during the Second Anglo-Boer War. The Boers, being extremely familiar with the mountains, used secret pathways across the mountains to launch guerrilla attacks on the British soldiers. In response, the British forces built blockhouses on top of the mountains in order to restrict the movement of the Boer forces; ruins of these structures are still to be seen on the mountain.Control of the Magaliesberg Mountain Range was of great importance to both the Boer and the British forces, especially the two routes between Pretoria and Rustenburg, which crossed it at Silkaatsnek and Kommandonek, respectively. As a result many battles, such as the battles of Buffelspoort, Nooitgedacht and Olifantsnek were fought in the area.

After the war, farms in the area were reoccupied and farming was resumed, tobacco and citrus being particularly successful.In 1923 the Hartbeespoort Dam, situated in one of the valleys of the range, was completed. It became a popular holiday and weekend destination for the inhabitants of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and the villages of Hartbeespoort and Kosmos developed as a result.At present the Magaliesberg area is still largely agricultural, although tourism is a rapidly growing industry in the area.


 
North West Attractions



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