Royal treatment in Rustenburg

Royalty is ingrained in the culture of Rustenburg. One of the nine host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. it is home to one of the country's richest royal families, the Bafokeng tribe under Kgosi (King) Lerou.

"We (the Bafokeng people) have a very rich history, we respect our cultures and tradition and that makes us unique," city official George Khonou explained to FIFA.com. "We're aware that some cities are not as well-known in South Africa. People know all about Johannesburg and Cape Town.

"However, during the World Cup, we want to put Rustenburg on the map. We want to be among those cities that leave a lasting impression on their visitors. We are looking at 2010 and beyond, and that means that we have to channel our energies in aggressive marketing in order to inform the rest of the world about this city."

During the World Cup, we want to put Rustenburg on the map. We want to be among those cities that leave a lasting impression on their visitors.
City official George Khonou

Rustenburg's plans include opening visiting centres and embarking on a beautification programme. The city is close to some of South Africa's neighbouring countries, and is situated about three hours from Botswana.

Before the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, Rustenburg was known largely for being home to rich platinum mines and a prestigious golf tournament. However, the euphoria the ‘Festival of Champions' created in June has given football a firm place in the heart of its inhabitants.

Situated in the North West province, the majestic Sun City resort remains one of the biggest tourist attractions in Africa. "I know that Sun City is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Rustenburg, but we have so many other places that people will love," Khonou added. "Many people would love to see our mines - we are the leading producers of platinum in the country. We also have game reserves like the Pilanesberg."

The Pilanesberg National Park, which covers 55,000 hectares, is the fourth-largest in southern Africa. It is also unique within South Africa in that its rugged landscape, well-watered valleys and attractive dwelling sites have made it a preferred destination for human settlement for thousands of years.