Lobatse – Town Endowed With History

| January 6, 2015

Although a bit timeworn, Lobatse is a richly historical and unique town that lies some 70 kilometres south of Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone.

During her visit to the relatively small town recently BOPA reporter was inspired to share the hilly town’s rare attributes with readers.

Lobatse is generally hilly and as one approaches what looks like a quiet town, they are instantly struck by a magnified white lettering up one of the town’s eastern hills that reads: ‘Welcome to Lobatse’.

As the bus pushes deeper into the town centre, the unfolding view of bigger and densely positioned buildings, intrigue one to the point of astonishment.

What is more, the monkeys and baboons that romp about on the sides of the A1 road, and the fact that the animals seem to be at ease as they are clearly looking for something to eat adds to the fast rising intrigue.

Even Mr Lesego Motlhabane, a 29-year-old man from Mochudi has chosen to spend the festive holidays here against his home village.

“I like this town because it is a place you come to when you just want a quiet atmosphere and peace of mind,” he says in an interview.

Mr Motlhabane says once in Lobatse there is everything one can ask for including modern malls and shopping complexes.

The town’s oldest mall of several decades is still intact and looks even better after being phase-lifted to include prominent shops like Pick ‘n Pay and Ackerman’s recently.

The Hillside Mall, which, as the name suggests, is situated on a hillside opposite old Lobatse stadium in the suburban area of Jacaranda, is relatively new with good view that gives a sense of urban atmosphere.

Places of residence include Boswelatlou, Delta, Thema, Pitikwe, Woodhall, and Botoka, among others, and 21-year-old Ms Kedibonye Gaboinewe of Peleng says she admires the fact that the shopping complexes are easily accessible, some even within walking distances.

Talk of Peleng it is the most historical residential area in Lobatse and the residents here live carefree but to some extent rough life styles redolent of the famous ghettos of the world.

Still on Peleng, one needs not be reminded that the place is where former president of South Africa, the late Mr Nelson Mandela, took refuge for some time during the apartheid years.

Typically people here can be seen sitting outside their houses, basking in the sun and most probably drinking alcohol, and that is not to distract a visitor because the drinkers are warm and mean no harm after all.

Their friendliness will take you aback “they are always warm, one hardly hears of fights breaking out or anything of that nature here,” says the youthful Ms Gaboinewe.

That Lobatse is historical and unique in many ways is well documented, and, who does not know that the country’s beef industry, which has earned the town the nickname ‘the town of beef’ is based here!

For a long time the small town has also been the seat of the country’s Court of Appeal the home of Geological Surveys and Botswana Meat Commission.

A drive around the town reveals buildings that house different government departments and parastatals, among them the Botswana Police, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, commercial banks, and post offices.

Lobatse has seen a number of developments in the recent years, including a psychiatric hospital called S’brana located along the A1 Road just after the Lobatse High Court.

The hospital’s view draws a passer-by’s attention with its modern architectural designs that seem to echo the phrase ‘high class’ without hesitation.

The development of Thema 2 and Pitikwe locations is also characterised by two police stations, two senior secondary schools – one government’s and the other a private school.

Sports facilities include the old Lobatse stadium, the new sports complex and the BMC bowling club.

About six government health facilities occupy the beautiful town which include two hospitals and four clinics.

There are several private medical practitioners in the town.

Banking is a very important aspect in the days where money matters most.

There are three banks which include Barclays bank, First National Bank and Standard Chartered bank.

Of course the night crawlers have been catered for also because there is the Cumberland Hotel and Casino, with this most popular spot in Lobatse situated along the A1 Road.

There are also community halls which include Woodhall, Civic Centre and Peleng Community Hall which usually play host to beauty pageants, weddings, cultural shows and other social events. There is never a dull moment in Lobatse.

For those who like to swing their waist to the rigorous beat-dancing, there are spots like the Nosey Road club and several bars in the town which cater for them, says Ms Dineo Radimo, a 28-year-old woman who has lived in Lobatse since she was born.

For a person who simply wants some quietness and serenity and just to see what the town is all about, Lobatse holds hotels, a motel, guest houses, and some bed and breakfast accommodation.

Whether a person is considering residence or just a weekend get-away, Lobatse is the place to be.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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