Tsakane is a township located in Ekurhule, East Rand, Gauteng, between N3 and N17 highways, South East of Johannesburg. The name ‘Tsakane’ means ‘goat’ in Sesotho, and refers to the frequent sightings of goats. The town is home to many residents from diverse cultural backgrounds and covers an area of 19.75 square kilometers. It has a population density of 6 900 people per square kilometre.
There are several primary schools, high schools and colleges within its boundaries. The township has also seen recent development to cater for the growing demand for commercial properties with businesses such as pharmacies, hardware stores and specialist shops opening up here. An industrial zone is also located on its outskirts where various small-scale manufacturers operate from.
History of Tsakane
Tsakane was founded in the late 1800s by Boer farmers who settled in the area and named it after the frequent sightings of goats in the area at the time. Even though Tsakane is a relatively new township, it has a rich social and political activism history. The township was one of the first to experience the impact of the HIV pandemic in the early 1990s. In the mid-1990s Tsakane was the site of an armed stand-off between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and members of the African National Congress (ANC). This was because the SAPS refused to hand over the bodies of two ANC members who had been killed during an attempted arrest. This incident was one of the sparks that led to the ANC-SAPS violence that occurred throughout South Africa in late 1995.
Climate in Tsakane
As with the rest of South Africa, Tsakane has a generally moderate climate, but with hot summers and cold winters. The warmest months of the year are October to February when the average daytime temperatures are between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius. The coolest period is June to August when temperatures drop to an average of between 8 and 15 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, although June to August is usually the wettest period.
The cost of living in Tsakane
The cost of living in Tsakane is lower in comparison to inner city living across most of the country. While groceries and other basic commodities are more expensive, the rental and service charges are lower. In terms of general living expenses, the average monthly cost of items in Tsakane is around R3 064. This includes your rent, water and electricity bills, food, and other items like phone, internet and car insurance.
Transportation in and around Tsakane
Tsakane is well connected to the rest of Gauteng, South Africa, and the rest of the world via the nearby OR Tambo International Airport and the Johannesburg central stations. The N3 highway is just a few kilometres away from the township, giving easy access to other areas of Gauteng. The Gautrain, which is the “first fully automated and electrified express railway” in Africa, does not pass through Tsakane but can be accessed by first going to Johannesburg.
Health care in Tsakane
Tsakane has one public hospital called Pholosong. The hospital serves a population of 900,000 people from Tsakane, KwaThema and Duduza. There is one public clinic and other smaller surgeries and clinics in the township that take care of the health of the people around the township of Tsakane. Clinics help patients with health issues such as high blood pressure, cancer, HIV/AIDS blood tests and treatment, etc. For minor health issues, the Gauteng Department of Health has a network of ‘wellness and disease prevention’ centers that offer basic services, like first aid and vaccinations. There are a number of major hospitals in the Johannesburg area, the central part of the province, but are relatively easily accessible from Tsakane.
Schools in and around Tsakane
There are several Primary and Secondary Schools in Tsakane. Primary schools in Tsakane mostly start from Grade 1-7 whereas the secondary schools start from Grade 8 to 12 except for African School for Excellence which is the only secondary school that starts from grade 7 in the area as well as being the only Cambridge School in that area.
Tsakane has one community radio station called EK FM 103.6. The radio station serves as a community development and communication media for Tsakane, Kwathema, Duduza and Daveyton communities.
Tsakane has a local newspaper: The African Reporter. The African Reporter is a weekly newspaper distributed on Fridays across the East Rand with an estimated circulation of 22,000 newspapers.
Tsakane also has a local magazine.
Valing! i.e. In closing
Tsakane is a vibrant township with a strong sense of community spirit. It is well-connected to the rest of Gauteng and has some good infrastructure for a township of its size. There is a good range of social and leisure facilities available, as well as a number of health and education services. The cost of living is low, which makes Tsakane an attractive place to live for many people.
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