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Kanana Township




Kanana Township



 



Kanana is an
African Township located outside the town of Klerksdorp. The name 'Kanana' is
derived from the name Biblical name  'Canaan', the land of honey.
Just like other African townships, Kanana came into being due to the
eviction or removal of African people whose presence in the town itself
was considered 'undesirable' by whites. Although Kanana was proclaimed a
Township in June 1948, the year the Nationalist Party government came to power,
there were no houses built in it yet, until 1950. Towards the end of 1951,
Africans previously living in Milner (or Meneng) Bridge were moved to
Lepai-Laitlhatswa subsequently renamed Kanana Township where the government had
built them 300 houses. In 1964, more houses were built in Kanana to accommodate
the increasing number of residents. The township’s first municipal clerks were
Mr Nonkonyane and Mr Direko. To maintain law and order, Kanana Police Station
was housed in house number 251 and all visitors to the township had to obtain a
pass at the police station before entry. A health clinic was opened probably in
the 1960’s and was first headed by a nurse named Grace Mokhomo, the name which
the present-day clinic bears. When Kanana was established, the government did
not build any schools for the township children’s education, with teaching and
learning taking place in a hall, in some residential houses and under trees.
Schooling went up to Standard Four. For higher classes, pupils went outside the
township to the Methodist School at Vierfontein and Makweteng Amalgamated
School of the Roman Catholic Church. The first proper government-built school, was
the Bantu Community School, which opened in the early 1960’s. Churches that worked
among the township’s communities were African Methodist Episcopal Church, the
Methodists and the Roman Catholics. The most common forms of transport were
buses and taxis, some of them owned by residents of the township. In their free
time, residents played or watched soccer, or drank beer. The best known
township soccer teams were Motherwell, Black Pirates and Zebras. A Mr R. Mpeqeke
is remembered as having played the most active role in organising soccer in the
township -- the Kanana Stadium subsequently being named after him. during. During the 1980's, the streets of Kanana were the scene of a number of political marches against Bantu Education, often running into pitched battles between the youth and the South African police. One of the victims of that violence was Tumelo Lekoto who was shot dead by police, on his way to school. Following the achievement of democratic freedom in 1994, Lekoto's statue was erected close to the Kanana Public Library and is located within the Tumelo Lekoto Freedom Square.






South Africa's North-West province: A Guide to its History and Heritage. © 2017

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