Although not as popular as, for example, Jefferys Bay property, Polokwane is nonetheless a great place to live and one of South Africa’s hidden gems. The city of Polokwane is the found in Polokwane Local Municipality and is currently the capital city of Limpopo Province. It was originally called Pietersburg after the Voortrekker leader, General Piet Jacobus Joubert.
When Apartheid ended, this was one of the first places to change their name as a symbol of freedom and equality of races. One reason this was done was during Apartheid, the place was predominantly white compared to the 1904 population. It tipped the other way before 1990 and even after the Apartheid period ended.
In 2001, the estimated population of Polokwane was a little over 270,000. In 2009, registered residents grew to over 300,000 and now reports place Polokwane’s population at over half a million people.
Racial Diversity in Polokwane
During the Apartheid period, certain areas in the city were delegated to racial groups. Most common groups lived in Nirvana which was predominantly Indian; Westerburg which was colored; and Sheshego which was mainly Africans.
After the Apartheid period, some “white suburbs” opened up to anyone and were no longer exclusive. These places were Bendor, Fauna Park, Penina Park, Flora Park, Ster Park, and Hospital Park. Integration was forced and low cost houses were built and then donated to the poor blacks. As a result, gated communities began to sprout around select areas in the outskirts of the city like Cycad Estate, Broadlands, and Woodlands.
Polokwane is about 1230 meters above the sea level which means it is enjoys a semi-dry climate. Maybe because of climate change, it has been warmer than normal in the past 10 years. The dry months are around June and July with 11 degrees Celsius while January is generally wet with an average temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.
Polokwane has an international airport with regular flights to Johannesburg. Its network of roads and highways easily connects the city to Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Bloemfontein. Coming from Johannesburg and entering Polokwane, one is met with the new Nelson Mandela circle that was constructed in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup games.
The city is also accessible through the railway system and this is the preferred mode of transportation of agri produce like bananas, citrus fruits, vegetables, and avocados.
Polokwane has multinationals as part of their commercial and business district partners. Two of these global brands are Coca Cola and the South African Breweries. Four of the South Africa’s largest banks are also in the city.
Aside from this is the thrust of the local government for “vukuzenzele” which means taking the initiative to build up a business on your own instead of waiting for hand-outs. For this reason, quite a number of local small and medium enterprises are seen throughout the city, offering everything from high end consumer electronics to services to used cars for sale. The street market is alive and kicking and the local government is intent on encouraging this type of entrepreneurship.
Polokwane is considered to be one of the top economies in South Africa, and much of the growth and progress is also due to the tourism and hospitality industry. There are wonderful game preserves and parks that attract visitors from all over the world. These are Polokwane Bird and Reptile Park, Polokwane Game Reserve, Moletzie Bird Sanctuary, Modjardji Rain Forest, and the Cheune Crocodile Farm.
Naturally, this in turn has made the city an attractive place to live, and many South Africans are wanting to purchase the property for sale in Polokwane.