Gantsi only rarely features in the news - hardly surprising for a place that is yet to decide how it should be spelt.
But then it probably would not expect to get much of a mention given that it is separated from most of the rest of the country by miles of nothingness.
In fact, geographically it probably belongs more to Namibia than to this country. But then out of the blue came a clarion call for the place to be developed into a thriving metropolis and to replace Lobatse as the country’s beef capital. (Mmegi Monitor 20.4.15) It was a heady call.From the occasional shots of it we see on BTV the place does appear to have developed considerably from the bad old days when it was little more than a joyless colonial outstation. But obviously it still has a very long way to go before it can justify its status as a township or become the envisaged, booming metropolis.
But then, perhaps I am commenting out of turn having been there just once many years ago – so long ago that I have almost completely forgotten how it looked, why I was there and even how I got there – although this must have been air because, travelling there by road was an experience that no one ever forgot. Then also out of the blue came a photo of the place taken from the air in 1967 by Brian Anderson, then Assistant Superintendent of the Police, who was stationed there for a time. This photo helped me to understand why I have always been unable to recall anything about it - the reason being, as is obvious from this photo, that there was nothing much to recall! It was just a few standard buildings situated in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, with apologies to those who are addicted to it, let me give you Brian Anderson’s guide to those buildings as they existed in 1967.
The road at the top is to Maun
The road to the left is to Mamono on the border
The bendy road at this end of the airport is to Lobatsi
The nearest buildings are the school
The twelve buildings are police lines.
The other buildings are other government civil servants (local)
The lone building to the left of the road is the Kalahari Arms Hotel.
On the right is the row of government offices.
The bottom of the three is the vet
The District Commissioner
To the left of the police lines is the prison
To the right of the three government offices is the whites only school closed down before Independence by the local whites as they did not want locals.
The clinic is beyond the hotel on the other side of the road
The Reg Vize store is on the crossroads left of the runway the row of houses nearest the runway are senior officers accommodation
With George Silberbauer’s house on the other side of the road
The butchery de Graff is the tiny building at the end of the road up from Reg Vize’s store near the Maun road.