Do you ever think Zeerust is boring, or just a small town?
In the past 12 months, I have witnessed the 5-amazing developments which have transformed what we know as a small town into a buzzing town.
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2019 August, I arrived here in Zeerust relocating from Bellville in Cape Town. The mention of Zeerust town in Northwest was another drastic change in my life. I had decided I wanted to change my financial status by doubling my salary. So, I began to change my LinkedIn profile indicating I was available and open to working opportunities.
After receiving several calls, I finally secured an interview for an electrical superintended for a solar project in Northwest. I had no idea of projects which were being built, but the idea of being part of a project in the Northwest was amazing.
#1 First Development of 75 MW Zeerust Solar Photo-Voltaic (PV) Plant
I was told to go for an interview at Zeerust where the construction of the solar plant was in process. So, the first thing was to search google for directions to Zeerust Solar Plant. I could only find information on the grupocobra.com website which was the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) company. Google maps could not even guide me to the Zeerust Solar PV plant site.
The Zeerust Solar is the first photovoltaic (PV) plant constructed in 2019 and began supplying 75 MW of electricity to the Eskom grid. Being part of the construction team at the Zeersut Solar, we have constructed an 80 MVA substation known as Re-Capital 2 and the Eskom Switching station called Kameeldoorn. The Re-Capital 2 substation feeds power from the 250080 photovoltaic solar modules to the Zeerust Distribution substation through a 132 kV transmission 1 km overhead line.
The Zeerust Solar PV plant is estimated to operate for the next 20 years in Ramoiloa-Motshere Moiloa municipality. Does it now mean the municipality will not experience the load shedding plaque when affected by Eskom? Unfortunately, since the PV solar facility began generating onto the Eskom grid, various stages of load-shedding stages were implemented, and the Ramotshere Moiloa Municipality was never spared from any of them.
#2 First Nandos Drive-Through in Ramotshere-Moiloa- Zeerust Town.
Nandos is the mark of most South African affluent towns since 1987 according to the story of Rossentenville. When I came for an interview in 2019, I had to stop for my lunch there to enjoy my pita meal with extra cheese. Nando’s restaurant was on the famous church street which is our national road called N4. Within 300m on the left and right sides, there are Chicken Licken and Chicken Express restaurants.
I was amazed that there is more chicken serving restaurants and almost no steak ranch outlets. Why people in Zeerust do not have steak ranch outlets like Spur, Turn ‘n tender, Pachos, Cattle Barron, etc? This was my complaint and my Spanish fellow engineers who have traveled to most larger cities. Last year in 2021, Nandos relocated to its new venue corner of Church Street (N4) and Viljoen Street, opposite Total garage and Steers outlet. The first Drive-Thru was to be developed in Zeerust and with its amazing interior sitting space.
For those traveling through or visiting Zeerust, Nando’s is not just one of the best places to get the best meat and service, but it is open from 9:00 until 22:00. If you are in a hurry, then a Drive-Thru may be a tempting option, however, my personal experience is that the shop offers faster and more accurate service.
#3 The First Double Storey KFC with a Drive-Thru
KFC restaurant is one of the largest and most popular restaurants in South African towns. Although it’s an American company, it has adapted itself well as a South African company. Their specialty is fried chicken but it gained popularity when it began to serve pap. The Zeerust KFC was situated at the corner of Gerrit Maritz Street and Chruch Street (N4 Toll-route) and recently relocated to 48 Church Street (N4 Toll-Route).
The KFC restaurant has elevated its status in terms of capacity, the newest look while providing a Drive-Thru and upstairs seating. This has become one of the face-lift changes within Zeerust Town. From the small congested Cornershop to a more spacious and KFC elegant look we know from big cities.
#4 The First Zeerust Double-Storey Latotos Night Club & Restaurant, and Guest House Lodge
Latotos Tavern and Lounge received its face-lift during the COVID-19 Lockdown period which was pronounced by our beloved South Africa’s president honorable Cyril Ramaphosa. In 2019 when I got here, Latotos was one of the 3 best places in Zeerust for stokvel travelers or any person who wanted a hang-out or a place to have a drink while enjoying the music.
Latotos Tavern and Lounge provide some great activities for business promotions, a restaurant that serves barbeque or what we call braai in South Africa, swimming pool for those who have a love for water or want to picnic. It also boasts grand elegant seating spaces, with some nice lighting and hosts some skilled DJs for a variety of musical flavors.
Latotos Night Club & Restuarant has extended its wing as a Latotos Guest House which is another expansion and a great addition to the Zeerust Accommodation Fleet in the Northwest Tourism Industry. This giant world-class nightclub and restaurant are situated at 12 Melt Street, nested in the industrial site which was a former industrial site of Zeerust.
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#5 The First Zeerust Autumn Leaf Mall
Finally, in the last quarter of 2020, the long-awaited Zeerust Autumn Leaf Mall went into construction. Since 2007, I saw the board along the N4 Toll Route showing the Mall is opening soon and that never happened. Why does a small town like Zeerust with a population of 30 000 people need a mall? Taking into consideration that almost 46% of these people are unemployed and the rest are on government grants?
The Zeerust Autumn leaf mall is currently under construction and will occupy almost 17 000 square meters. This R400 million investment by Akani properties is expected to boost the economic activity of the Ramotshere-Moiloa municipality by creating more than 4000 jobs during construction. The construction of the mall comes just after the serious economic meltdown blown by COVID-19 lockdowns and some concerning political states within the Northwest province.
I must attest that, just like many other projects such as the Zeerust Solar PV plant, the mall is also suffering from some the political setbacks and interferences. The mall is expected to be opening in September 2022 and stimulating positive economic activities for the communities in the Ramotshwere Moiloa.
Zeerust small town nay no longer be known as another small town between Rustenburg and Mahikeng or Botswana, but it is rising up to become a growing and developing town.
The town is currently the only town in Ramotshere Moiloa municipality and is surrounded by rural communities. These 5 new developments are actually creating massive temporary employment and also generating a new economic stimulus in the region.
If you are passing through Zeerust on the N4 Toll Route road from the eastern regions of South Africa, to either going to Mahikeng, Gaborone, Zambia, Namibia or Zimbabwe, then Zeerust is a great place to wind down and chill at some of these 5 amazing developments.
You are welcome to share your comments and your experience in Zeerust.