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Schweizer-Reneke, sometimes referred to as Schweizer, is a town in the
North West Province North West ( tn, Bokone Bophirima; Southern Sotho: ; nso, Leboa-Bodikela) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mahikeng. The province is located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng. History North West was incorporated ...
of South Africa. It is the administrative centre of
Mamusa Local Municipality Mamusa Local Municipality is a local municipality in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality, North West Province, South Africa. The seat of local municipality is Schweizer-Reneke. Politics The municipal council consists of eighteen member ...
. It is commonly referred to as SR and the City of Sunflowers.


History

Schweizer-Reneke was formerly part of the old
Transvaal Republic The South African Republic ( nl, Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek; the ZAR; also known as the Transvaal Republic, af, Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek) was an independent and internationally recognised state in what is now South Africa, from 1852 to 1902. ...
. Founded on 1 October 1888, the town is situated on the banks of the Harts River, with six regional roads exiting the town. The town is named after Captain C.A. Schweizer and Field Cornet C.N. Reyneke. Both men distinguished themselves and were among the ten
soldiers A soldier is one who fights as part of a military. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer. In other words, soldiers are military personnel that participate in ground, sea, or ...
killed while storming the stronghold of the Khoekhoe Korana and their chief David Massouw on the nearby Mamusa Hill on 2 December 1885 during an action to put an end to
cattle rustling Cattle, or cows (female) and bulls (male), are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos'', and are most commonly clas ...
in the area. The remains of the stone
fortifications A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin ''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ( ...
of Chief David Massouw can still be seen on Mamusa Hill.


Economy

The principal crops of the region around Schweizer-Reneke are mainly
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leaf ...
,
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus ''Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the ...

cotton
, groundnuts,
sunflower seeds The sunflower seed is the fruit of the sunflower (''Helianthus annuus''). There are three types of commonly used sunflower seeds: linoleic (most common), high oleic, and sunflower oil seeds. Each variety has its own unique levels of monounsaturat ...
and
soybean The soybean or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and tofu skin ar ...
s. In addition,
cattle Cattle, or cows (female) and bulls (male), are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos'', and are most commonly clas ...

cattle
and
sheep farming Sheep farming or sheep husbandry is the raising and breeding of domestic sheep. It is a branch of animal husbandry. Sheep are raised principally for their meat (lamb and mutton), milk (sheep's milk), and fiber (wool). They also yield sheepskin and ...
is practiced in the region on a relatively large scale on the
grasslands Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae). However, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other herbs. Grasslands occur naturally ...
where the soil is unsuitable for
cultivation Cultivation may refer to: * The state of having or expressing a good education (bildung), refinement, culture, or high culture * Gardening * Agriculture, the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi * Fungiculture, the process of produ ...
. Schweizer-Reneke is rich in diamond deposits. This led to large scale private
diamond mining Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At room temperature and pressure, another solid form of carbon known as graphite is the chemically stable form of carbon, but di ...
in the area. Wenzel Dam, just north of the town on the Harts River, has been developed into a
holiday resort A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or trad ...
but sadly is now in decay.


Demographics

According to the 2001 census, the town of Schweizer-Reneke proper has a population of 2,601, while the adjacent
township ''Township'' refers to various kinds of settlements or administrative subdivisions in different countries. While a ''township'' may be associated with an urban area, this tends to be an exception to the rule. In Australia, Canada, Scotland and pa ...
of Ipelegeng has a population of 30,053, giving the urban area a total population of 32,654. 91.5% of the people in the urban area described themselves as "Black African", 5.6% as "White South African, White", 2.5% as "Coloured", and 0.4% as "Indian South African, Indian or Asian South African, Asian". 69.8% of the people of the town proper described themselves as "White", whereas 98.4% of the people of Ipelegeng township described themselves as "Black African". 85.6% of the people in the urban area speak Tswana language, Tswana as their first language, while 7.3% speak Afrikaans language, Afrikaans, 3.5% speak Sotho language, Sotho and 1.7% speak Xhosa language, Xhosa.


Education

The town has public secondary schools: *Hoërskool Schweizer Reneke *Ipelegeng High School *Itshupeng Secondary School *Reabetswe Secondary School It also has public primary schools: *Laerskool Schweizer Reneke *Kolong Primary School *Ikgomotseng Primary School *Kgatontle Primary School *Tshwaraganelo Primary School *Mamusa Primary School *Charon Primary School * Roshunville Primary School


Notable people

* Joyce Murray, Canadian politician * Wynand Claassen, former South Africa national rugby union team, Springbok Rugby football, rugby captain was born here. * Ahmed Kathrada a South African politician * Elisabeth Eybers – Poet * Irma Stern – Artist * Essop Pahad, politician *Lappies Labuschagné, Pieter Labuschagne, rugby player


Sport

Schweizer Reneke is home to a soccer club "Mamusa United FC" that plays in the provincial football league. There is also a big soccer team formed by the Department of Social Development: Mamusa Service Point. The team boasts with local popular players like Molwantwa Sheriff Lehihi, Kwenzekile Scova Mqweba and Peter Maiyane Kgalapa amongst others.


See also

*Taung *Ipelegeng


References

{{Authority control Populated places in the Mamusa Local Municipality Populated places established in 1888