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Nandoni Dam, Thohoyandou
Nandoni Dam, Thohoyandou
Thohoyandou is located in South Africa
 Thohoyandou shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 22°57′S 30°29′E / 22.950°S 30.483°E / -22.950; 30.483Coordinates: 22°57′S 30°29′E / 22.950°S 30.483°E / -22.950; 30.483
Country South Africa
Province Limpopo
District Vhembe
Municipality Thulamela
Established 1977
 • Councillor (ANC)
 • Total 42.62 km2 (16.46 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 69,453
 • Density 1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 95.5%
 • Coloured 0.2%
 • Indian/Asian 4.1%
 • White 0.2%
 • Other 0.1%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Venda 84.7%
 • Tsonga 2.6%
 • English 2.1%
 • Northern Sotho 1.2%
 • Other 9.4%
Postal code (street) 0950
PO box 0950
Area code 015

Thohoyandou is a town in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. It is the administrative centre of Vhembe District Municipality and Thulamela Local Municipality. It is also known for being the former capital of the bantustan of Venda.The town called Thohoyandou was built at Tshiluvhi which was under Khosi vho Netshiluvhi and it was started in 1977 with the construction of P east and P west residential area/location as R293 town, a shopping centre and Venda government building. The Netshiluvhis were the first occupants of the area as far back as 1400 AD, i.e. after the collapse of Maphungubwe kingdom. They were forcefully removed from this area between 1960 and 1970 by the apartheid government of the Venda Bantustan under khosi vho Mphephu Ramabulana.The name Tshiluvhi comes from the Venda word "LUVHA" which means to pay homages or respect. The former Venda president built his palace and his ministerial resident at Tshiluvhis chiefs kraal as they were already moved by the apartheid government. The following leaders and their subject under Netshiluvhi were forcefully removed from their areas. Some of the Netshiluvhi are known by different names: Malima,Khorommbi, Mathomu, Magidi, and Mudau. The name Tshiluvhi was totally stricken out and replaced by Thohoyandou as per the then government, and was left as a name of a primary school.


The Netshivhumbe were the second to arrive at Tshiluvhi and they were given shelter on the eastern hill of Netshiluvhis kraal. The name Netshivhumbe came about when they ceased to pay respect to the Netshiluvhis. They were told that "u si di vhumbe vhukoma kha shango li si lau" and the area was named Tshivhumbe. They were called Netshivhumbe but aligned with the Khosi Netshiluvhi.


The Vhanyai Vhasamvuni also arrived to Tshiluvhi and seek residents and they were allocated on the eastern side of Netshivhumbe and settled were there were many Mitamvu tree and the area was later called Mitamvuni under Nemutamvuni which was later changed to Samvuni and they were called Nesamvuni. It was a customary law that when you get to an area, you come to the founder of the place and ask for a place to stay. Some of the Vhanyai vhasamvuni are known by different names like Mondeni, Ramunntshi, Nemakope.


The first occupants of Miluwani are Ndous of Murei and these people came from Malamangwa and settle at Miluwani, the Mureis were the weavers of Venda baskets(Mifaro)and Venda trays (Tselo)from a tree called muluwa. They came to Khosi Netshiluvhi and ask for a place to stay and they were given on the northern hill where he planted a muluwa tree in his residents and the area was called Miluwani. Some of ndou dza ha Murei are known by the following names,Ramalata,dzaga,Ramashia,Muthaphuli,Mulibana,Khangale,Sithodolo etc.


The village of Maniini also fall under the traditional leadership of Netshiluvhi by then before the apartheid government interferes with the land set up of black people, and the first occupant of the Ndous who came and settle at Tshikovhani and they were called Ndou dza ha Tshikovha. Ndou dza Ha tshikovha are related to Ndou dza Ha Murei of Miluwani. The village was called Maniini because there was a lot of Munii tree which bears a wild fruit called nie or nii.


The Magidis and the Netshiluvhis are blood brothers because in the early 1800 Khosi Nedzamba Mudau Netshiluvhi build another kraal at a place he named Tshilungoma because it was a hillock like a drum at a place called Tshavhangona and this is where the Magidi family line was born and their area covers Sibasa(Ha Tshifha),Makwarela(Pandela),Mbaleni(Pandela),Magidi(lukau),Madzhilili, Mashawana.


Tshisikule was an African doctor and medicine man. He arrived at Tshiluvhi from Mount rider and was allocated a place to shelter his family between Tshivhumbe and Miluwani and as a strong medicine man he was recognized and respected by all young and old and traditional leaders. Of recent there is a village named after him. His original name is Murida and Tshisikule is just a name. All these villages now is under Thohoyandou and Sibasa town and they were all under Vhakoma Netshiluvhi's area of jurisdiction. Thohoyandou is situated in the south of Vhembe district, on the main road between Louis Trichardt and the Kruger National Park. This is the lush agricultural centre of Vhembe, with banana plantations, subtropical fruit, tobacco and maize lands. Thohoyandou is surrounded by small rural townships such as Maungani, Ngovhela, Vondwe, Phiphidi, Muledane, Shayandima, Makwarela, and Maniini.


Thohoyandou became the capital of the former bantustan of Venda. Its name means "head of the elephant" in the Venda language.

Thohoyandou was established and built at a large portion of the village of Tshiluvhi in the late 1970s. It was established by president Patrick Ramaano Mphephu who was the Prime Minister of the Venda Bantustan. Thohoyandou became the capital of Venda when Venda was declared a republic in 1979, and Thovhele ´Mphephu became the President of the Republic of Venda. Thohoyandou became the centre and economic hub of the Republic of Venda.

A stadium was built in Thohoyandou to celebrate the independence of Venda, and was known as the Venda Independence Stadium. The name was changed to Thohoyandou Stadium in 1994.

Today Thohoyandou is one of the fastest growing towns in Limpopo. It is also home to the University of Venda.


Thohoyandou is the main development node in Thulamela Local Municipality with a total of approximately 500 000 residents within the boundaries of the town. It is further surrounded by numerous rural settlements situated on the outskirts of the built-up area.

Thohoyandou's CBD was originally designed as a super mall with large walkways full of water fountains, flowers and green areas. The parking lots were situated on the outsides and people would walk to the shops. Unfortunately, shortage of vacant land within the CBD has slowed down its growth and kept it from expanding further. On top of this, the CBD has suffered from a lack of maintenance in the past fifteen years.


The town is home to the University of Venda. Several other post-matric schools are within the vicinity of the town such as Further Education and Training colleges and colleges.

List of schools:


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Thohoyandou". Census 2011.