There are no grounds for rumours that Magaliesburg is planning to become an independent state that manages its own affairs. The truth is that Magaliesburg’s business leadership in the form of the Magaliesburg Business and Tourism  Forum (MBTF) has matured over the past decade to the point where it can identify the community’s commercial needs, plan for them, seek funding and implement its plans without looking outside its own skills set to do so. Ranyaka and Nedbank still have roles in this village, but the village has taken on an approach to commercial life of that is uniquely its own.

Proof of this is that the Olde World Broekies-lace facades of a decade ago have been replaced or renovated by bright paint into a more vibrant image. Any tourist driving through Magaliesburg towards the wildlife of Botswana and casinos of North-West, cannot fail to have their eye caught by the bright neon image of the ‘new look’ Magaliesburg. Central to this image is the bridge over the Magalies River that is now electric yellow with neon green pillars. These are not traditional African or colonial colours, but exciting, youthful colours that should provoke a ‘What the… ‘response and hopefully bring vehicles to a halt for long enough to boost the economy of the village.

Lotto Land has funded this Business Forum project for good reasons. This isn’t just an initiative to boost established shops. It aims at promoting job creation in the informal trade in the expectation that this will provide a measure of relief to the poor. No longer will vendors have to spread out their wares on the village lawns. Hawker trade has had its image promoted by the Forum’s construction of hawkers’ stalls to sell local produce. The stalls were built by local job-seekers, which generated paid employment as well as communal interest and pride. Local businesses donated extra labour and paint to ensure the budget would work and the stalls would be well-made. The hawkers will operate at the busy main taxi rank and on the main street through the village in their new formal micro trading areas. Their presence has been formalised by Mogale City’s invaluable assistance in erecting flags with solar panels on the village lamp-posts. Security in the village has been enhanced by the purchase and installation of security cameras to protect traders and tourists alike.  

On another commercial level, a new synergistic business venture called Galloway Gardens is in the process of development on the Rustenburg Road where it passes through the recreational and hospitality area to the north of Magaliesburg. The Gardens will provide the offset point for artisanal food products produced using fresh produce from a vegetable garden project to provide participants with financial relief and a commercial outlet for processed surplus produce. Nedbank’s Proud of My Town (PoMT) has been approached for Agriculture assistance to enable 125 local families throughout the area to grow vegetable gardens using seed packs  provided by Laerveld Agrochem’s AgricultSURE. Participants will be trained to use these packs by Magaliesburg Development Initiative (MDI). The first step in this process is a workshop on risk management with The Institute Of Risk Management South Africa for food security, which Christelle Marais, CEO of Lucidum, will present with the help 100+ risk managers and project funders from all over the province. The workshop will be at the Bekker High School Agricultural Hub, which already produces branded products from Bekker School’s  own farm produce. Not only will the workshop promote risk management in food production, but it will expose affluent and influential people to some of the progress that we are making in Magaliesburg and potentially attract further investment to the area. This could facilitate what Nedbank’s PoMT has been striving to achieve over the past decade.

PoMT projects are administered in Magaliesburg and nationally by Ranyaka, which provides funding and support to the MBTF for the promotion of business and tourism in Magaliesburg. Each August there is a three- day Magalies Rocks Festival to promote community cooperation between the business and tourism sectors of the community. Tourism maps are distributed to thousands of participants and drivers travelling through Magaliesburg. Some festival visitors are exposed to the town for the first time and there have been a notable number of new property buyers with their own ideas for new businesses in Magaliesburg.

Synergy, neon paint, progress, initiative, positivity – all signs of growth and maturity in a community with hope for the future and the drive to create what they strive towards. No politics, no false promises, just positive people-power and some savvy funders. That’s the state of Magaliesburg 2024.

Special Thanks to the following organizations for their support with the town clean-up