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Rustenburg, South Africa

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Rustenburg 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.

Geography: Located on the Highveld Plateau with low mountains and grasslands in the north western part of South Africa.

Climate: Rustenburg enjoys a sub-tropical climate with maximum temperatures around 16°C during winter and 31°C during summer.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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