Rustenburg - Encyclopedia


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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.

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