Another explanation for the name of the town is that it was named after a prominent follower of Chief Mamogale, when these lands were being purchased from the Boers. Nkuwa), and his lands were often referred to as Ga-Rankuwa, or "at Mr.
Nkuwa's." Another meaning of the name came from the fact that the previous owner of the land had many sheep, and was known as the father of sheep (Rra-nku) 'Ga-Ranku' refers to the place of the father of sheep.
The early residents of Ga-Rankuwa were forcibly removed from fertile land in neighboring Lady Selborne, Bantule, Marabastad, Rama, Newclare, Eastwood and Sophiatown to mention but a few.
The area was named after a Bakgatla headman, Rankuwa Boikhutso. When they arrived in the area, which was infertile and unsuited for farming, they named it Ga-Rankuwa which means "We are not taken".
It is divided into 17 sections called zones, which are Zone 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,15,16,17,20,21,23,24 & 25.
Due to the fact that Ga-Rankuwa finds itself sandwiched between not only two areas of Pretoria (Pretoria North and Pretoria West) and also neighbouring province Limpopo, the climate is a mix of extremely hot and extreme rains in summer. Ga-Rankuwa is a diverse township whose residents speak many languages.
In 1860 thirty families who were an extension of the Bakwena people of Betanie got together and through a combination of selling some of their cattle and from savings from wages accrues from labouring put together one hundred and fifty Pounds towards three hundred Pounds that was used to purchase the Farm Hebron from the Traansvaal Republic Government.
This farm at the time extended to an area that consist half of the present Ga-Rankuwa.
Residents from this area provide the bulk of labour for the Rosslyn industrial area, a hub of motor vehicle manufacturing, and also for the industrial park in Zone 15.
Many of the residents of Ga-Rankuwa are middle class citizens working for the government.
Oral testimony and written records suggest that the local Veldkornet, Paul Kruger, who would become president of the Transvaal Republic or South African Republic, helped chief Mamogale and the missionaries acquire these lands.