Francistown

Last updated

Francistown
Botswana location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Francistown
Map of Botswana showing Francistown
Coordinates: 21°10′25″S27°30′45″E / 21.17361°S 27.51250°E / -21.17361; 27.51250
CountryFlag of Botswana.svg  Botswana
District North-East District
Founded1897
Government
  MayorGodisang Radisigo
Elevation
1,001 m (3,284 ft)
Population
 (2011 census) [1]
100,079
   Metro
150,800
Time zone UTC+2 (Central Africa Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (not observed)
Geographical area code [2] [3] 2XX
Climate BSh

Francistown is the second largest city in Botswana, with a population of about 100,079 and 150,800 inhabitants for its agglomeration at the 2011 census. [1] and often described as the "Capital of the North". It is located in eastern Botswana, about 400 kilometres (250 mi) north-northeast from the capital, Gaborone. Francistown is located at the confluence of the Tati and Inchwe rivers, and near the Shashe River (tributary to the Limpopo) and 90 kilometres (55 miles) from the international border with Zimbabwe. Francistown was the centre of southern Africa's first gold rush and is still surrounded by old and abandoned mines. The City of Francistown is an administrative district, separated from North-East District. It is administered by Francistown City Council. [4]

Contents

History

The main square in Francistown (3297095166).jpg
One of the main buidlings on the square in Francistown (3296267241).jpg
The main square in Francistown.

Although evidence of habitation by humans goes back around 10,000 years, written evidence is more recent. The Matabele people (Ndebele) colonised the area in the 1830s on their way to Bulawayo, bringing their culture and influence to the BaKalanga/Kalanga area of north-eastern Botswana. Reportedly, Nyangabgwe was the nearest village to Francistown to have been visited by Europeans, when it was visited by the missionary, Robert Moffat. Moffat was followed in 1867 by a gold prospector, Karl Mauch who found the Bakalanga mining gold along the Tati River, and publicised the Tati Goldfields starting the first South Africa goldrush. [5]

The present town was founded in 1897 as a settlement near the Monarch mine and named after Daniel Francis, an English prospector from Liverpool who acquired prospecting licences in the region in 1869. [6] Francis was a director of the Tati Concessions Land (Tati Concessions Company), which acquired the land from Chief Lobengula. The centre of the new town was formed when the company sold off 300 lots in August of that year. The Monarch mine was not the only mine in operation at that time, and it was widely believed that Francistown would grow rapidly.

In the beginning, the town comprised one street east of, and parallel to the railway line. This street featured several companies, including two hotels, (the Grand and the Tati), retail and wholesale shops and three banks.

Prior to independence Francistown was Botswana's largest commercial centre. In 1897, the company sold part of the land for residential and commercial purposes, and one may say that this marked the birth of Francistown. The city started as a gold mining town, and gold sustained the area's economy from the late 1800s until the 1930s. When gold was discovered nearby in 1869 it sparked the first gold rush in Africa fifteen years before the gold boom at Witwatersrand in South Africa. The industry was hard hit by the global recession of the 1930s. Between 1936 and 1980s, the economy of Francistown was largely supported or dependent on the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association, a company that recruited labour for South African mines. The miners were recruited from many African countries, and transported to South Africa through Francistown by air or railway.

Haskins Street (named after a prominent family in the town prior to independence) was the first tarred road in Botswana. Since 1966, the city has grown significantly due mainly to active cross-border trading with Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, in 1997, Francistown became a city, Botswana's 2nd after Gaborone. With the city located astride Botswana's main road and rail transport routes, mining, commerce and agriculture have been essential parts of its economy. Tati Nickel, The Dumela Industrial Complex and Botswana Meat Commission are the main economic drivers in the city. Both government departments and private benefit the local economy.

There are a variety of places of worship, including Catholic churches, Muslim mosques, as well as Protestant churches some of which serve traditional African congregations such as the Zionist Christian Church. Education around the city is also diverse. There are several private English-medium schools (Mophato School, KTM and John Mackenzie School) and government schools such as Mater Spei College (partly run by the Roman Catholic Church), Francistown Teacher Training College, University of Botswana Campus and several technical colleges. Transport is also reliable, with railway links to Harare and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, road links with Ramokgwebana Border in the north, and Kazungula as well as Kasane, Maun via Nata. The airport has flights flying locally, to Gaborone, Maun, Kasane and other points around the country. Local taxis operate through the night.

Economy

Mining

Francistown is located on Botswana's main air and road transport routes; mining and agriculture are important. Principal mining companies include Tati Nickel, owned by Norilsk Nickel, which has operations at the Selkirk Mine and Phoenix Mine, producing principally cobalt, copper and nickel. [7] The Dumela Industrial Complex, an industrial park, is an important employer; the Botswana Metal Refinery was being built in 2008 near the city. However, the project was halted due to high costs. [8]

Media

The city's media fraternity is still at its infant stage. The media includes Botswana's The Voice newspaper, which was founded in 1993. This is a very popular tabloid newspaper that had also spread its wings to the capital city, Gaborone.

Climate

Francistown features a hot semi-arid climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters. The city on averages sees 460 millimetres (18 in) of precipitation annually. The city features a short wet season that spans from December through March and a lengthy dry season that covers the remaining eight months. Francistown receives on average only 3 millimetres (0.12 in) of precipitation at the peak of its dry season (from June through August), which is also when it experiences its chilliest temperatures. Average low temperatures routinely fall below 8 °C (46 °F) during the aforementioned months. The record high temperature registered in Francistown was 41.1 °C (106.0 °F) and the lowest temperature recorded was −6.5 °C (20.3 °F). [9]

Climate data for Francistown
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)29
(85)
28
(83)
28
(83)
27
(80)
24
(76)
22
(71)
22
(71)
25
(77)
28
(82)
29
(85)
30
(86)
29
(84)
27
(80)
Average low °C (°F)22
(71)
21
(69)
19
(67)
16
(61)
12
(54)
8
(47)
8
(46)
11
(52)
16
(60)
19
(67)
20
(68)
21
(69)
16
(61)
Average precipitation mm (inches)99
(3.9)
84
(3.3)
61
(2.4)
25
(1)
7.6
(0.3)
2.5
(0.1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
7.6
(0.3)
28
(1.1)
58
(2.3)
91
(3.6)
460
(18.1)
Source: Weatherbase [10]

Demographics and health

Ever since the founding of Francistown as a gold mining and railway centre in the nineteenth century, the city's population has consistently shown a steady increase. Francistown is Botswana's second largest city with 22.7% of the country's urban population in 1991. The growth of Selebi-Phikwe, Orapa and Jwaneng since 1971, together with the very rapid growth of Gaborone, has reduced Francistown's share of the total urban population from a figure of 34.7% in 1971. In the same period (1971-1991), the country's urban population grew by 427.2% from 54 411 to a population of 287,063. The Bakalanga, the second largest ethnic group in Botswana are traditionally centred around the town and the surrounding area. Recently, the city has seen a large influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring Zimbabwe. [11] [12]

YearPopulation % change
19649,521
197118,612+95
198131,065+65
199138,524+29
200184,406+110
2011100,079+19

Culture

Francistown is home to the Supa Ngwao Museum, with exhibits related to the area's history and heritage. The museum, which receives most of its funds from the government, is currently going through refurbishment as of October 2011. A new nature reserve, Tachila, has been established 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from central Francistown on an old Tati Company Farm, Lady Mary. The nature reserve is expected to be a tourism turn-over for the already flourishing city with its variety of wild animals.

Places of worship

Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana (Lutheran World Federation), Assemblies of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Christ Embassy, Roman Catholic Diocese of Francistown (Catholic Church). [13]

Education

The city has primary schools on almost all its townships, most if not all of which are run by the city council. Notable amongst these are Ikhutseng Primary School, Tati Town Primary School and Nyangabgwe Primary School, which are one of the oldest in the city. There is also Aerodrome Primary School, which has graduated notable citizens like Tony Tabona, the pride of the city's media and entertainment fraternity. The government also has junior high schools, trading as "secondary schools". Most of these were started as partnerships between government and society. It was only recently that the government took most of these over. Examples of these include Setlalekgosi, Montsamaisa and Selepa Junior Secondary Schools. These offer the best education at JC level and have a three-year course. There are private schools in the city as well, amongst others the historic and famous John Mackenzie School, which offers primary, junior secondary as well as senior secondary education. The school also offers O-Levels for students who have pursued the IGCS Examination. There is also Mophato English Medium School, TKM, Clifton Preparatory School and many more other smaller private schools. There are currently two senior secondary schools in Francistown, being Mater Spei College, partly ran by the Roman Catholic Church and Francistown Senior Secondary School, opened in 1978 and currently enrolling 1200 students. Located in the history-rich township of Aerodrome, it is one of the largest institutions in the city. [14] The Francistown Teacher Training College became one of the campuses of the University of Botswana in 1973. [15] The Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education was officially opened by former president of Botswana Ian Khama on 10 October 2008. The college was built in order to accommodate 1,500 learners on technical and vocational courses and teacher-training programmes. The college buildings are situated amongst a 4-hectare (9.9-acre) area in the suburbs of Gerald Estates. The city also hosts the Institute of Health Sciences, which is located near the Nyangabwe Referral Hospital. The institution, amongst others, offers courses in nursing and health care.

Transport and infrastructure

Francistown Bus Terminal Francistown bus terminal.jpg
Francistown Bus Terminal
BR Express, the passenger train BR Express 2.jpg
BR Express, the passenger train
Francistown City Bus and Taxi Rank Photo Submission by Aone Mokwena (4).jpg
Francistown City Bus and Taxi Rank

The city is a major transport hub. A railway line links the city with Harare in Zimbabwe via Bulawayo. The same line links Francistown with the capital city Gaborone and Lobatse in the south. Surfaced roads link the city to Ramokgwebana in the north, and to Kazungula as well as Kasane via Nata.

The city is served by Francistown International Airport, who was opened on 9 September 2011 after being built at a cost of P596 million, officially opened by Minister of Transport, Frank Ramsden. With a terminal building designated for traffic forecast of up to 2025, it has a larger capacity and has replaced the old airport, which is now used by the Botswana Defence Force's Air Arm.

Malls and plazas

Sports

Francistown Stadium Francistown Stadium Botswana.jpg
Francistown Stadium

Based at the Francistown Club, the Francistown School of Tennis is a professional tennis centre dedicated to developing young children (starting at 4 years old) into international tennis players.

Francistown also hosts several football clubs. These include TAFIC Sporting Club, TASC FC, ECCO City Greens FC, Great North Tigers FC (GNT) and others.

All the teams have played in the country's highest league, Botswana Premier League, sponsored currently by BTC Mobile. GNT was recently promoted to the Premier League, while TAFIC play in the lower division. The new Francistown Stadium is still under construction, and will be complete soon.[ citation needed ] The stadium will be the largest in the northern part of Botswana, with a capacity of 27,000 spectators, and will be home ground to some of the above teams. Other stadiums in the city include the Francistown City Council's Area S stadium.

Twin towns – sister cities

Francistown is twinned with:

See also

Related Research Articles

Transport in Botswana Transport in Botswana

Transportation in Botswana is provided by internal and extensive network of railways, highways, ferry services and air routes that criss-cross the country.The transport sector in Botswana has played an important role in economic growth in the 23 years following independence. The country has been fortunate in discovering natural resources to finance economic developments, and sound policies have ensured that the transport sector grew at an affordable pace commensurate with demands for services.

Bulawayo City and Province in Zimbabwe

Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe, and the largest city in the country's Matabeleland region. The city's population is disputed; the 2012 census listed it at 653,337, while the Bulawayo City Council claimed it to be about 1.2 million. Bulawayo covers an area of about 1,707 square kilometres in the western part of the country, along the Matsheumhlope River. Along with the capital Harare, Bulawayo is one of two cities in Zimbabwe that is also a province.

Palapye is a growing town in Botswana, situated about halfway between Francistown and Gaborone. Over the years its position has made it a convenient stopover on one of Southern Africa's principal north–south rail and road routes.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Place in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, popularly known as, Vic Falls, is a resort town and city in the province of Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. It lies on the southern bank of the Zambezi River at the western end of Victoria Falls themselves. According to the 2012 Population Census, the town had a population of 33,060.

North-East District (Botswana) District in Botswana

The North-East District is one of the administrative districts of Botswana. Its capital is Francistown. In 2011, North-East had a population of 60,264 people. The district is predominantly occupied by Kalanga-speaking people, the BaKalanga. The district is administered by a district administration and district council, which are responsible for local administration.

Bobonong is a town in the Central District of Botswana 80 km from Selibe Phikwe town. Bobonong has a population of around 19,000. The Babirwa tribe can be found in this town. The Botswana Pink semi-precious stones can be found in Bobonong region. The Babirwa are known for harvesting the mophane worm. The locals refer to the town as Bobcity or formerly Lekgarapeng, which was derived from the stoney landscape of the town.

Kasane Place in Chobe District, Botswana

Kasane is a town in Botswana, close to Africa's 'Four Corners', where four countries almost meet: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is at the far north-eastern corner of Botswana where it serves as the administrative center of the Chobe District. The population of Kasane was 9,244 in 2011 census.

The Tati Concession was a land and mining concession created in the western borderlands of the Matabele Kingdom. The concession was originally granted by the Matabele King, Lobengula, son of Mzilikazi, to Sir John Swinburne in exchange for gold and arms. It was administered by the territory known as the Bechuanaland Protectorate after 1893, but was formally annexed to it in terms of Proclamation Number 2 of 1911 by the High Commissioner of Bechuanaland. It was locally administered by a Justice of the Peace.

Plumtree is a town in Zimbabwe. Alongside marula trees, wild plum trees grow abundantly in area. The town was once called Getjenge by baKalanga. Another name which is mainly used is Titji, meaning station and referring to the railway station which was operating in the area around 1897.

Botswana Railways

Botswana Railways (BR) is the national railway of Botswana.

Ramokgwebana is a village in the North-East District of Botswana, close to the eastern border, which is defined by the Ramokgwebana River. Plumtree, Zimbabwe is on the other side of the border crossing.

Rail transport in Botswana Rail Transport in Botswana

Rail services in Botswana are provided by Botswana Railways in Botswana. Most routes in the country radiate from Gaborone. The railway network consists of 888 km, its gauge is 1,067 mm cape gauge.

Shashe River

The Shashe River is a major left-bank tributary of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe. It rises northwest of Francistown, Botswana and flows into the Limpopo River where Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa meet. The confluence is at the site of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The mining industry of Botswana has dominated the national economy of Botswana since the 1970s. Diamond has been the leading component of the mineral sector since large-scale diamond production began in 1972 by Debswana. Most of Botswana's diamond production is of gem quality, resulting in the country's position as the world's leading producer of diamond by value. Copper, gold, nickel, coal and soda ash production also has held significant, though smaller, roles in the economy.

List of Railway stations in Botswana include:

Prostitution in Botswana is not illegal, but laws such as public disorder, vagrancy, loitering and state recognised religious provisions are used to prosecute prostitutes. Related activities such as soliciting and brothel keeping are illegal. Botswana has made proposals to make prostitution legal to prevent the spread of AIDS. However, there has been mass opposition to it by the Catholic Church. Prostitution is widespread and takes place on the street, bars, hotels, brothels and the cabs of long-distance trucks.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Botswana

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Botswana refers to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members in Botswana. The first branch was organized in 1991 with fewer than 100 members. As of 2019, there were 3,653 members in 15 congregations in Botswana.

The Tati Goldfields are a mineral-rich band in Botswana and Zimbabwe in southern Africa. The band runs approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) long by 5 kilometres (3 mi) wide, and crosses the Tati River. It is the southernmost of the gold-bearing bands in the Archaen greenstone (schist) belts of Zimbabwe. It is estimated that between 1866 and 1963 over 200,000 ounces of gold were produced from mines in the Tati Goldfields.

References

  1. 1 2 Central Statistics Office (January 2009). "BOTSWANA DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY 2006" (PDF). Gaborone, Botswana. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  2. timeanddate.com
  3. Botswana Telecommunications Authority (11 September 2009). Botswana (country code +267). National Numbering Plans. International Telecommunication Union. Archived from the original (DOC) on 27 December 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  4. Laws of Botswana Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine , Ministry of Local Government Archived 18 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Eriksson, Patrick G.; Altermann, W.; Förtsch, E. B. (1995). "Transvaal Sequence and Bushveld Complex". Mineralium Deposita. 30 (2): 85–88. doi:10.1007/BF00189337.
  6. Fred Morton, Jeff Ramsay, Part Themba Mgadla, Historical Dictionary of Botswana, Scarecrow Press, USA, 2008, p. 120
  7. "Norilsk Nickel" . Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  8. Gabathuse, Ryder (6 June 2008). "P3bn Tati project crashes". Francistown, Botswana: Mmegi. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  9. "Botswana's Climate". Meteorological Services Botswana. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  10. "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Francistown, Botswana". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved on 24 November 2011.
  11. Gabathuse, Ryder (28 March 2006). "Security operation starts in Francistown". Francistown, Botswana: Mmegi. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  12. Pacione, Michael (1999). Applied Geography: Principles and Practice : an Introduction to Useful Research in Physical, Environmental and Human Geography. Routledge. ISBN   978-0-415-21419-3.
  13. J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 380
  14. Francistown Senior Secondary School. "A Brief history of our School". Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  15. University of Botswana. "Historical Background" . Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  16. "Stedenband Francistown". genk.be. Genk. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  17. "Brothers in Arms". thepatriot.co.bw. The Patriot. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2020.

Coordinates: 21°10′25″S27°30′45″E / 21.17361°S 27.51250°E / -21.17361; 27.51250