Musina

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This article is about the city in South Africa. For the city in Italy, see Messina, Italy.
Musina
Messina
Musina is located in South Africa
Musina
Musina
 Musina shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 22°20′17″S 30°02′30″E / 22.33806°S 30.04167°E / -22.33806; 30.04167Coordinates: 22°20′17″S 30°02′30″E / 22.33806°S 30.04167°E / -22.33806; 30.04167
Country South Africa
Province Limpopo
District Vhembe
Municipality Musina
Established 1968
Area[1]
 • Total 109.38 km2 (42.23 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 42,678
 • Density 390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 93.3%
 • Coloured 0.4%
 • Indian/Asian 0.7%
 • White 5.1%
 • Other 0.5%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Venda 48.8%
 • Sotho 11.7%
 • Northern Sotho 10.4%
 • English 5.4%
 • Other 23.7%
Postal code (street) 0900
PO box 0900
Area code 015
Website http://www.musina.gov.za
Copper and Papagoite in Quartz, specimen from the old Messina mine. Such crystals are highly desirable to mineral collectors.

Musina or Messina (see name situation below) is the northernmost town in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It is located near the confluence of the Limpopo River with the Sand River and the border to Zimbabwe. It has a population of between 20,000 and 40,000. Iron ore, coal, magnetite, graphite, asbestos, diamonds, semi-precious stones and copper are mined in the region.

History[edit]

The Musina tribe discovered copper and settled here. In the 20th century European prospectors rediscovered the large copper deposits and established the town of Messina. The spelling of the name was changed to Musina in 2003 to correct the colonial-era misspelling of the name of the Musina people.

Geography[edit]

The Limpopo River is a dry river bank which flows annually in rains when lichen and other plant species of the desert region come alive. Sometimes, it floods. The low-shrub and thorny tree lands that surround Musina and thrive in rains are alive with animals in sanctuaries that offer experienced-only camping safari accessible by sand and rock road tracks. Access is generally good, with the N1 road from Johannesburg through Musina northwards being wide tar, as are most other roads in the area.

Border with Zimbabwe[edit]

The link with Zimbabwe has become one of the busiest roads in the world and the busiest in Africa, due to black market importers from Zimbabwe and people looking for employment. This is mainly due to thousands crossing (and fleeing) the border into South Africa every day. According the New York Times, in January 2009 Musina had a shifting population of about 15,000 foreigners, overwhelmingly Zimbabweans, many of whom lived in a refugee camp at the showground or in the streets. [1]

Name[edit]

The town, which was founded and settled by people of originally-European descent, was long-named Messina. However, in 2003, the Limpopo Government changed the name to Musina. Unlike other town name changes in South Africa, such as Pretoria, it went through with very little opposition. The reason is probably because the name change was only a misspelling, rather than giving a whole new name.

Current usage[edit]

Although Musina is becoming more widely accepted, Messina is still often used,[2] especially by the white community.

Climate[edit]

Musina experiences a hot semi-arid climate (Koppen: BSh) with hot temperatures most of the year. Average annual precipitation amounts to 372 mm (14.6 in), and is highly concentrated in the summer months from October to April when severe late-afternoon and evening thunderstorms are common. Winter is extremely dry, with almost no precipitation, typically recorded in the driest months from June to August. Clear skies and exceptionally low humidity at this time of the year enable temperatures to plunge close to freezing at night, although frost is fairly uncommon. Droughts frequently occur during the winter months, and infrequently during summers when very little rain falls and drought conditions prevail. These erratic summer droughts are becoming more common as climate change continues.[citation needed]

Climate data for Musina, South Africa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 33
(91)
32
(90)
31
(88)
30
(86)
28
(82)
25
(77)
25
(77)
27
(81)
29
(84)
31
(88)
32
(90)
32
(90)
29.6
(85.3)
Average low °C (°F) 21
(70)
21
(70)
19
(66)
16
(61)
12
(54)
8
(46)
8
(46)
10
(50)
14
(57)
17
(63)
19
(66)
20
(68)
15.4
(59.8)
Precipitation mm (inches) 61
(2.4)
65
(2.56)
42
(1.65)
26
(1.02)
12
(0.47)
4
(0.16)
1
(0.04)
2
(0.08)
15
(0.59)
33
(1.3)
55
(2.17)
56
(2.2)
372
(14.65)
Avg. precipitation days 8 8 5 4 2 2 2 1 3 5 7 9 55
Source: World Climate Guide [3]

References[edit]