Lephalale Municipality
History
Vision and Mission
Organisational Structure
General
  

History

San hunters lived and hunted across the Waterberg range over 20 000 years ago. Their passage is vividly recorded in the rock paintings in caves and shelters throughout the region.

Later iron ore miners and traders, who frequented the region, left evidence of ore smelters and stone enclosures. The iron ore deposits at Thabazimbi would have attracted miners from as far as the settlements of Mapungubwe. The discovery of gold near Polokwane in the early 1880's attracted prospectors, miners and traders to the region and opened the Waterberg to settlement by farmers and trades people.

In 1941 Iscor commenced an exploration programme to test the extent of coal deposits in the Lephalale are, where the present Exxaro Grootegeluk mine is located. The first town ships were proclaimed in 1960 thereby creating the town of Ellisras, currently known as Lephalale.

The name Ellisras is a combination of the names Ellis and Erasmus, who settled on the farm Waterkloof in the early 1930's. Full municipal status was granted to the town in 1986.

In 1974, Iscor commence mine exploration at Grootegeluk attracting an immediate influx of people to the town. The coal mine then went into full production in 1982. The value and the extent of the steam coal deposits led to the construction of Matimba Power Station on the edge of the town. This project was completed in November 1989. Construction on a second power station, situated close to Matimba started in 2007. Medupi Power Station is a dry-cooled coal-fired power station being built by Eskom. The name chosen for the station, Medupi, is a Sepedi word for "rain that soaks parched lands. The Medupi site covers 883 hectares and the highest point of the plant, the chimneys, will reach 220m. When complete, Medupi will be the fourth-largest coal power station in the southern hemisphere, and the largest dry-cooled coal power station in the world.

 

 

 

Back to top