Siyathemba Township, Balfour

Recently built houses in Siyathemba Image source

The Dipaleseng Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated in the Gert Sibande District in the Mpumalanga Province. It is bordered by Lekwa and Govan Mbeki to the east, the Free State Province to the south, and the Gauteng Province to the west. It is the smallest of seven municipalities in the district. 
Balfour is the seat of the municipality and is its major town. It is situated approximately 80 km south-east of Johannesburg. The close proximity of the municipality to Gauteng allows for the spillover effects of development in Gauteng to be enjoyed in this municipality. The three major urban nodes in the area are Balfour/Siyathemba, Greylingstad/Nthoroane and Grootvlei. 
The major roads that transverse the municipal area are the N3, which runs from Johannesburg to Durban, and the R23 from Pretoria to Volksrust. The Johannesburg—KwaZulu-Natal railway system runs through the municipal area. Johannesburg - The town of Balfour, in Mpumalanga, is to be incorporated into Gauteng, local government MEC Humphrey Mmemezi said in Boksburg on Thursday.
"We intend taking Balfour to Gauteng," he said at a media briefing. "The people of Balfour have long wanted to come to Gauteng. They believe we are delivering services to the people."
The town was the site of violent service delivery protests in 2009 and 2010. Residents burned down the library in the Siyathemba township in February last year, they also burned poles Eskom had planned to use in the area, looted foreigners' shops, and burned down a municipal office. There were similar protests in the town in 2009. President Jacob Zuma suggested the incorporation during a visit to the area last year.
A mere 300 km from the border of Namibia lies this new small town that’s growing exponentially — it is home to some of South Africa’s highest earners, at times surpassing those in Johannesburg and old-money Stellenbosch.
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Last updated : 22-May-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 22-May-2019

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