The people staying in Chaneng are called Bachana (people of Chaneng). Chaneng was founded in the by the 1800s by a community who bought their land through selling of their cattle. This community through political transitions became part of Bafokeng tribe today known as Royal Bafokeng Nation. The community of Chaneng initially resided in the north toward the Eland River known as Kgetleng.
This traditional community lived in mud buildings and thatch roofed houses. Traditional doctors were central to health care to the Rabupi community. The burial of loved ones was done in the same areas not far from their place of residence. Land use was at its optimum as cattle and crop farming was the basic way of living. Chaneng farms were located at Boskoppies farm which is now called Rasimone village.
Women working in the fields and men herding cattle and hunting was the way in which people lived their lives.
Relocation from Rabupi came after a recommendation by kgosi Mokgatle of Bafokeng that during flooding people may drown.The relocation, to the current Chaneng, happened between the years 1839-1900. This was when the Bafokeng Kgosi was becoming more influential and recognized by many communities which bought their farming land similar to the people of Chaneng. Kgosi Mokgatle then deployed one Mr. Molongoane to serve as a messenger who then transcended to be the headman.
Malongoane then formed four Makgotla to easily manage the growing community of Bachana. The Makgotla were divided into kgotla ya Matebele , Matuane/Ramogotsi, Phokeng and Setshoane as the leading kgotla.
Since then the system of Makgotla has been important in uniting the community and ensuring effective communication within Bachana.
The Situation Today
Though a lot has changed with regards to more reliance on traditional health care system, traditional healers are widely consulted especially for illnesses which are not curable by medical health care system.
Now Chaneng is a neighbor to Mafenya village which most of its residents have relocated from Rasimone and Chaneng. Their traditional councils are based in either of the two villages.
Livestock farming is the only form of agriculture activity as mining companies have occupied the community farms. Besides farming the community has a variety of improvements including the involvement of women in Makgotla. The youth is now recognized in decision making.
Bachana are now faced with many challenges as a the birth rate is increasing and the population is close to 7000. The increase of population is linked to the growth in mining industries surrounding our village.
Today the youth and elders are united in the communities struggles. Chaneng Youth Organisation (CYO) took the initiative to merge with the councils representing our community at large in order to find solutions for the challenges they are faced with and to ensure that any decisions made do not affect anyone in a negative way. The relationship between the CYO, community and council’s representatives is stable because all matters arising within the parties are brought/presented and negotiated in attendance of all organizations.
(extract from Rustenburg Review 2011)