Polokwane pō˝lōkwän´ā [key], formerly Pietersburgpē´tərzbûrg˝ [key], city and local municipality (2011 pop. 625,811), capital of Limpopo prov., NE South Africa. It is primarily the commercial center for the surrounding agricultural area. Iron and other minerals are mined nearby. Polokwane was founded as Pietersburg in 1884 and named for Petrus (Piet) Joubert, a Boer (Afrikaner) general. In 1900 during the South African War it was for a short time the capital of both the Transvaal and the Orange Free State (see Free State). It was occupied by British troops in 1901. The city was renamed Polokwane in 1994, but the old name has persisted in popular usage. Nearby are Kruger National Park and the Univ. of Limpopo.
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