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Royal Bafokeng Nation
|Sub Category:||Local Community of South Africa|
|Location:||North West Province, Republic of South Africa|
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|The Royal Bafokeng Nation is made up of Setswana-speaking people from the North West Province of South Africa, north-west of Johannesburg. Bafokeng land includes the 'Bushveld Complex' which contains the most significant identified platinum reserves in the world. (Manson & Mbenga, 2003, 28) |
The Bafokeng are a branch of the Sotho-Tswana people, and are thought to have migrated southward from central Africa over a millennium; the name 'baFokeng' means 'people of the dew' (North West Province). Currently, Bafokeng people number at approximately 300 000 people, with their largest town being Phokeng. The current king of the Royal Bafokeng Nation is Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi(Royal Bafokeng Nation).
|The Royal Bafokeng Nation were land-owners throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; their land was registered in the names of missionaries of the Hermannsburg Missionary Society and then with offices including the Superintendent of Native Affairs because of the prohibition on Africans owning land in the Transvaal. |
From 1977, Bafokeng land became incorporated into Bophuthatswana, one of the so-called South African 'homelands'. These homelands were an essential part of the apartheid system, in which black people were considered citizens of small nominally independent 'homelands' and so were considered 'migrants' who could be deported from the white-ruled Republic of South Africa. The then-government envisaged that the only blacks residing in cities would be those employed by white employers (Giannandrea, 2005).
A long battle with Impala Platinum over payment of royalties for the platinum mined on Bafokeng land ended with the Royal Bafokeng Nation becoming the single largest shareholder in Impala Platinum, after an equity-for-royalty deal.
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