This article is about the town in South Africa's North West province. For other uses, see Marikana (disambiguation).

 Marikana shown within North West

Coordinates: 25°41′53″S 27°28′19″E / 25.698°S 27.472°E / -25.698; 27.472Coordinates: 25°41′53″S 27°28′19″E / 25.698°S 27.472°E / -25.698; 27.472
Country South Africa
Province North West
District Bojanala Platinum
Municipality Rustenburg
  Total 17.54 km2 (6.77 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
  Total 19,522
  Density 1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
  Black African 98.3%
  Coloured 0.1%
  Indian/Asian 0.5%
  White 0.9%
  Other 0.2%
First languages (2011)[1]
  Xhosa 30.0%
  Tswana 19.7%
  Tsonga 18.1%
  Sotho 14.4%
  Other 17.9%
Postal code (street) 0284
PO box 0284
Area code 014

Rooikoppies, also known as Marikana, is a town in Rustenburg local municipality, Bojanala Platinum District Municipality district in the North West province of South Africa.

The name Rooikoppies means 'red hills' in Afrikaans.

Neighbouring localities include Marikana train station (1 km; 0.62 mi to the north-east), Wonderkop (4 km; 2.5 mi), Ramala, Rietfontein, Rustenburg (29 km; 18 mi); Swaershoek (30 km; 19 mi); Mooinooi (31 km; 19 mi); Brits (36 km; 22 mi); Monnakoto (38 km; 24 mi); Hartbeespoort (43 km; 27 mi); Kosmos (48 km; 30 mi).[2]


The town was laid out in 1870 on the farm Rooikoppes, and the settlement later expanded into seven white-owned farms. In 1933, the Buffelspoort Dam was built, allowing the local farmers to irrigate their crops.[3]

The farming community grew in the 1960s on the back of lucrative tobacco farming, but other diversified farming practices i.e. cattle, maize, chillies, paprika, soya, lusern and sunflower amongst the main groups was the main economic driver of the area. In the 1970s mining was introduced and grew to become the main industry in the region. The main mining activities are PGMs and chrome. Since the introduction of mining activities the informal and form population had a growth explosion.

The Marikana miners' strike of 10 August 2012 and the subsequent killing of 34 workers by police made headlines in the international media.[4]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Main Place Marikana". Census 2011.
  2. Travel distances from Marikana
  3. "Marikana". North West History. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  4. "South Africa's ANC to discuss mine shootings row". BBC News. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.

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