Pampierstad (now Thuso a Sotho or Tswana word meaning Help/Assistance) was established in the former homeland of Bophuthatswana in the late 1960s. It was located 31 km north-west of Jan Kempdorp and 12km west of Hartswater. The town was named after Lekwalo Pampiri who was also known as Pampier. He was the son of a local Chief, Chief Motlaadile. Another possibility is that the town derived its name from cardboard material that was used to build informal shacks in the apartheid era. Many people were forcibly relocated to Pampierstad mainly between 1966 and 1972, but arrivals continued up to 1980s. Pampierstad was established under apartheid by the funds from the South African Development Trust (SADT) for people evicted from locations in the northern Cape, Orange Free State and western Transvaal. For instance, several Sotho-speaking people from Valspan a township of Jan Kempdorp moved to Pampierstad because they were threatened with removal to Qwaqwa, a homeland situated in the Orange Free State. A large number of people in Pampierstad came from towns and cities where they could not find accommodation. According to a survey conducted in 1981 by the Surplus People’s Project 78% of the people in Pampierstad came from white towns while 12% came from white farms while the rest came from other trust, tribal and freehold areas.
Other places of origin included Rooirand/Barkley West, Nooitgedacht/Barkley West, Delpoortshoop/Barkly West, Ikhutseng/Warrenton, Vryburg location, Meadowlands (Soweto), Burgersdorp near Aliwal North), Fourteen Streams near Warrenton, Land bou/Jan Kempdorp, Rietfontein (Bophuthatswana/Taung), Koopmansfontein (west of Warrenton), Breypan/ Jan Kempdorp.
Pampierstad served two purposes, one was house people forcibly removed from elsewhere and the other was to create a pool of labour to serve South African industry and farms. Its location relatively close to white-owned farms and its status as a quasi-township where informal mud and shack houses made it an affordable place to live for farm workers desperate for a place to stay.
• Forced Removals In South Africa – The Surplus People’s Reports Vol.3, pp. 110- 112
• Forced Removals In South Africa – The Surplus People’s Reports Vol.1, p.15
• Thuso(Pampierstad), from Social Change Assistant Trust (Scat) [online], Available at www.scat.org.za[Accessed: 24 January 2013]
Dear friends of SAHO
South African History Online (SAHO) needs your support.
SAHO is one of the most visited websites in South Africa with over 6 million unique users a year. Our goal is to fulfill our mandate and continue to build, and make accessible, a new people’s history of South Africa and Africa.
Please help us deliver this by contributing upwards of $1.00 a month for the next 12 months.