National Heritage Site declaration: 02 September 2011
Kaditshwene is historically considered a capital of the Bahurutshe nation and the largest Batswana settlement in Southern Africa with a population of 6000 to 20000, around the early 1800’s. The large population of Kaditshwene is evidenced by extensive settlement remains that include house foundations, tone walls, ash middens as well as evidence for metal working industry. Kaditshwene presents physical remnants of an ancient civilization renowned for the smelting and mining of iron and copper.
Oral testimonies tell us that the thriving Iron Age economy was based on the indigenous technique and technology of smelting of Iron and mining of Copper. In this regard, the Bahurutshe were famed for their exceptional skill as miners and smelters of iron and copper. There are visible traces of iron melting furnaces and manufactured implements.
Other strong elements of the sophisticated indigenous building techniques are evident in the built environment such as the ruins of stone walls and circular dwellings of Kaditshwene. Drawing from empirical observations on the built environment in the neighbouring villages ofLekubu and Mokgola, there are prominent recurring features of building techniques and styles similar to the circular ancient stone walls of the architectural dwellings of Kaditshwene. This denotes the perpetual transmission of indigenous knowledge system, through the recent application of the traditional skills and techniques, from the past to the present Bahurutshe generation.
The indigenous knowledge system associated with the infrastructural developments of Kaditshwene underpins the historical achievements and contribution of the Bahurutse of Zeerust to the socio-economic development of South Africa.