Standerton

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Standerton
Central business district in Standerton.
Central business district in Standerton.
Standerton is located in South Africa
Standerton
Standerton
 Standerton shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 26°57′S 29°15′E / 26.950°S 29.250°E / -26.950; 29.250Coordinates: 26°57′S 29°15′E / 26.950°S 29.250°E / -26.950; 29.250
Country South Africa
Province Mpumalanga
District Gert Sibande
Municipality Lekwa
Established 14 December 1878
Area[1]
 • Total 36.21 km2 (13.98 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 43,966
 • Density 1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 66.6%
 • Coloured 6.8%
 • Indian/Asian 2.9%
 • White 23.1%
 • Other 0.6%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Zulu 48.3%
 • Afrikaans 28.0%
 • Sotho 8.5%
 • English 7.4%
 • Other 7.8%
Postal code (street) 2430
PO box 2430
Area code 017

Standerton is a large commercial and agricultural town lying on the banks of the Vaal River in Mpumalanga, South Africa, which specialises in cattle, dairy, maize and poultry farming. The town was established in 1876 and named after Boer leader Commandant A. H. Stander. During the Second Boer War a British garrison in the town was besieged by the Boers for three months. General Jan Smuts won this seat during elections and went on to assist in setting up the League of Nations. Standerton is part of the Lekwa Local Municipality.[2]

History[edit]

Standerton was named after the owner of the farm "Grootverlangen" Nr.156, Adriaan (Andre) Hendrik Stander, who was born on 12 December 1817 in district George. In 1864 he bought the farm. Stander died 1896 and is buried in Standerton. A syndicate bought the farm in 1875 from Stander and the town was proclaimed on 14 December 1878.

Great Trek memorial controversy[edit]

The town has received nationwide media attention in 2007 and 2008 following the destruction of an important voortrekker memorial. This monument, located near the facade of the municipality building, was constructed by Afrikaners to mark the 150th anniversary of the Great Trek. The Lekwa municipality's mayor Queen Radebe-Khumalo ordered the structure demolished in April 2007. "That piece of thing means nothing to us. It's just a piece of cement with tracks. I do not even know where it comes from", Radebe-Khumalo declared in a statement quoted by the Beeld newspaper.

The incident led to widespread condemnation by the local Afrikaans community. Jan Bosman, a spokesperson for the Afrikanerbond, claimed that "actions like these undo the spirit of reconciliation as promoted by former president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu".[3] In June 2007, a joint initiative between AfriForum and Solidarity lodged an application to the Pretoria High Court requesting that the mayor offer compensation for damages claimed. A subsequent court order ruled that Radebe-Khumalo and her municipality would pay for the damage and prohibited attempts to remove another statue erected in memory of Anglo-Boer war concentration camp victims.[4]

In May 2010, the memorial was rebuilt on its original site.[5]

Sakhile Township riots[edit]

The township of Sakhile near Standerton was the site of violent, service delivery riots that led to the Lekwa Municipality mayor Juliet Queen Radebe-Khumalo and other senior municipal officials, being recalled by the African National Congress in October 2009.[6]

Grootdraai Dam[edit]

Grootdraai Dam is situated in the upper reaches of the Vaal River less than 10 km upstream of Standerton. It has a catchment area of 8 195km2, a mean annual precipitation of approximately 750mm, a mean annual potential evaporation at the dam site of 1 400mm and a natural inflow of 580 million m3/a. The full supply capacity of the reservoir is 364 million m3, making it a 0.7 MAR dam. The Grootdraai dam was completed in 1982.

Schools[edit]

Standerton Primary School - The school's official opening was in 1959. The first acting principal was Miss C. Fisher. When the school opened it had a total of 153 learners. The school song was composed by Joan Whitington. The new hall is called the Barbara Dunbar Hall. There are three houses called Hawks, Eagles and Falcons. The school motto is "Sapienta Vincit" which is Latin for "Wisdom Conquers". The key on the school badge represents unlocking knowledge. The official school colours are blue, red and yellow. The current principal is Mr C. J. van Vuuren. Khula-Sakhile Secondary School - The school have been struggling for years with their matric results and recently in 2013-14 they got 100% which made the Sakhile location proud and Mpumalanga as a whole.

References[edit]

External links[edit]