Polokwane, formerly known as Pietersburg, is the location of the Peter Mokaba Stadium, which will host four group stage matches at World Cup 2010.
The town, which is the capital of the Limpopo Province in northeastern South Africa, was founded in 1886 and named Pietersburg in honor of Petrus Jacobus Joubert, also known as Piet Joubert. Joubert was one of the leaders of the Voortrekkers, a group of emigrants who had relocated from the Cape Colony and formed the settlement that preceded Pietersburg, among others.
In 2005, the city’s name was changed to Polokwane, which means ‘Place of Safety’ in Northern Sotho, a language spoken in the Limpopo Province, of which Polokwane is the capital.
A little over a century ago, Polokwane was home to only 3300 residents. The population is now more than 15 times that, with the 2001 census putting the town’s population at 508,272.
For those who are interested in hunting, Polokwane is known as the best place to hunt in South Africa. But for those more interested in merely looking at the animals, the Pietersburg Game Reserve is located in the city, with the Percy Fyfe Nature Reserve located nearby.
Polokwane was also the location of South Africa’s first gold crushing site and power plant, and the site of those is commemorated by the Eersteling Monuments.
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