Some 120km northwest of Johannesburg lies the platinum-mining town of RUSTENBURG, the oldest town in the former Western Transvaal. With its grid of prefabricated chain stores and shopping malls, the place is a pretty dreary hymn to misguided town planning and eminently missable. Still, you may end up staying if you’re visiting the glorious Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, 7km south of town.
Rustenburg’s historic centre is limited to two blocks of Burger Street, from Nelson Mandela Drive to Oliver Tambo Drive. Here you’ll find two churches: the old Anglican church, dating from 1871, and the 1850 Dutch Reformed church. Facing the latter is the graceful 1935 town hall and a statue of Paul Kruger by French sculptor Jean Georges Achard, showing the president in his last days in exile in France, sitting grumpily in an armchair. After this quick sightseeing tour, head to the gleaming Waterfall Mall, 5km east of town (follow Nelson Mandela Drive), for the province’s best shopping.