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Vanderbijlpark is located in South Africa
 Vanderbijlpark shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 26°41′57″S 27°50′8″E / 26.69917°S 27.83556°E / -26.69917; 27.83556Coordinates: 26°41′57″S 27°50′8″E / 26.69917°S 27.83556°E / -26.69917; 27.83556
Country South Africa
Province Gauteng
District Sedibeng
Municipality Emfuleni
Established 1949
 • Total 177.84 km2 (68.66 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 95,840
 • Density 540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 42.5%
 • Coloured 1.3%
 • Indian/Asian 0.9%
 • White 54.4%
 • Other 0.9%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 51.0%
 • Sotho 19.9%
 • English 10.0%
 • Zulu 4.9%
 • Other 14.2%
Postal code (street) 1911
PO box 1900
Area code 016
The steel mill at Vanderbijlpark, owned by ArcelorMittal.

Vanderbijlpark (Afrikaans pronunciation: [fʌndɪɹbeɪlˈpɑːɹk])[Stress?] is an industrial city with 95 000 inhabitants on the Vaal River in the south of the Gauteng province of South Africa.

Named after Hendrik van der Bijl, an electrical engineer and industrialist, Vanderbijlpark is home to Vanderbijlpark Steel (previously part of ISCOR (South African Iron and Steel Corporation), now part of the global company ArcelorMittal). With neighbouring towns Vereeniging and Sasolburg it forms the Vaal Triangle, a major industrial region of South Africa. Located in the district municipality of Sedibeng and the local municipality of Emfuleni.

The historical black townships Boipatong, Bophelong, Sebokeng, Evaton and Sharpeville are close to the city.

Vanderbijlpark is also home to Cape Gate (Pty) Ltd, a major market share holder in the wire industry.


In 1920, Dr HJ van der Bijl, a young South African electrical engineer working in the United States at the time, was called back to South Africa by the then Prime Minister Jan Smuts to advise the government in the planning of South Africa's industrial development.[2] Van der Bijl oversaw the Iron and Steel Corporation's first plant at Pretoria, but with the increased demand after World War II, 100 km² was bought to build a large steel works and model town. The steel works began operating in 1947 and the town was proclaimed in 1949. The town attained municipal status in 1952 when Governor General Dr EG Jansen opened ISCOR's second steel works. The founder of the town, Hendrik van der Bijl, had his old house situated in Grieg street, in the affluent SW 5 proper suburb.


About 60% of the town's workforce are employed in factories. The rest work for the Government, private businesses, shops or in the service sector. Rossini Boulevard used to be a residential area, but in recent years most of the homes have been turned into informal businesses.


Vanderbijlpark is situated on the Highveld of South Africa on the banks of the Vaal River. Summers in the city are warm to hot with an average high between 31 and 35, and an average low between 15 and 22. Winters in the city are cool to warm with an average high of between 18 and 23 and an average low of between -1 and 5 .

Climate data for Vanderbijlpark
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30
Daily mean °C (°F) 24
Average low °C (°F) 17
Precipitation mm (inches) 149
Source #1: Hong Kong Observatory[3]
Source #2: South African Weather Service[4]


Vanderbijlpark has been designed in a circular design, which differs from the traditional grid design of towns. The town is divided into four distinct residential blocks, namely:

  • CE (Central East)
  • CW (Central West)
  • SE (South East)
  • SW (South West)

Vanderbijlpark CBD on Wikimapia

A map showing the suburbs of Vanderbijlpark.

The different suburbs are then named as follows:

  • CE1
  • CE2
  • CE3
  • CE4
  • CW1
  • CW2
  • CW3
  • CW4
  • CW5
  • CW6
  • SE1
  • SE2
  • SE3
  • SE4
  • SE6
  • SE7
  • SE8
  • SW1
  • SW2
  • SW5

The other suburbs of Vanderbijlpark are:

  • Boipatong
  • Bophelong
  • Bonnane
  • Flora Gardens

There are also a number of small holdings in Vanderbijlpark:

  • Theoville
  • Lamont Park


Most of the town's houses were built by ISCOR during the 1947–1964 period, these homes are all built in exactly the same format. About 60% of the town's population live in these homes. A few suburbs close to the Vaal River are modern and have wealthy areas. There are large and modern buildings and apartment buildings in the open areas around the CBD.[citation needed]

The suburb area SW5 houses some of the most extravagant and sought after houses in the Vaal triangle. Dr HJ van der Bijl and Aldridge had built their private estates in this area during the 1920s, and these homes are now privately owned and still preserved in the area. Some of the stands in the area range between 2–4 acres. The stands used to be much bigger in the day of Dr van der Bijl, however further development of the town increased the use of subdivided stands.[citation needed]

Another part of the Vaal's wealth lies on the Marlbank of the Vaal River towards Loch Vaal, west of the CBD. Some of these houses sized up to 2,000 square meters and more. The area is often also referred to as "millionaires bend" and houses some of the most expensive homes in South-Africa, ranging into the R10 millions for an estate.[citation needed]

Vanderbijlpark has major influences of French, German and Italian architecture, due to the settlement of foreigners in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The building industry used to be owned by a select group of wealthy developers in the early 1900s up until the late 1980s by companies such as Visser Properties, Dias Family, Storm Family to name a few. Construction and design companies thrived during these times, such as van der Merwe & Associates Engineering, DOS Gwendolyn van Wyk, Leslie van Wyk and Riscali who was renamed to Riscali from DOS in 2012.


There are over 60 primary and secondary schools within the Vaal Triangle area. Of these, 20 primary and 8 secondary schools are located in Vanderbijlpark. There are about 4 Private Schools in Vanderbijpark, Namely: El Shaddai School, Emmanuel Christian School, Vaal Primary School and Santa Maria Junior School.

Secondary Education[edit]

Secondary Schools located in Vanderbijlpark is Vaal High School, Hoërskool Suiderlig (formerly Hoërskool Lettie Fouche), Hoërskool Vanderbijlpark, Hoërskool Transvalia, Hoërskool Driehoek and Hoër Tegniese Skool Carel de Wet.

Tertiary Education[edit]

The Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University is located in Vanderbijlpark. This campus is situated on the banks of the Vaal River and has student numbers exceeding 3,000.

The main campus of Vaal University of Technology is located in Vanderbijlpark, about 1 km from the North West University.

Qualitas Career Academy, a national private college has its largest campus in SE4. It caters for full-time and part-time studies for students as well as corporate training and consulting services for businesses and government departments.

The Computer Training institute (CTI) has a satellite campus in central Vanderbijlpark.

Sedibeng College serves students from Qwaqwa and neighbouring Lesotho.

The Vanderbijlpark residential area has numerous homes and flats that are rented by students studying at the above-mentioned institutions.


Vanderbijlpark is home to the Emerald Casino Resort, Emfuleni Golf Course and the recently constructed Vaal Mall. There are public swimming facilities in the suburbs of SE 2 and CW 6. The Vaal Horse Race Course is about 3 km from the city.


According to the 2011 Census, Vanderbijlpark occupied an area of 178 km². The population was 95,840, which can be broken down as follows: 54.44% White, 42.52% Black, 1.27% Coloured and 0.89% Asian. The population density was 539 persons per km² (1,400 persons per mi²).[5]

Notable residents[edit]

Ray Jennings, former coach of the South African cricket team, was born in Vanderbijlpark. Shaun Sowerby, former Springbok rugby and Natal Sharks captain, was from Vanderbijlpark. He attended Oliver Lodge Primary school from 1985–1991, then attended Sasol High from 1992-1996.

Town twinning[edit]

Vanderbijlpark is town twinned with:

Netherlands Eindhoven, Netherlands


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Vanderbijlpark". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ Rosenthal, E: Southern African Dictionary of National Biography, Frederick Warne and Co. Ltd, 1966, pp. 389–390, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 66-15690
  3. ^ "Climatological Normals of Johannesburg". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Climate data for Johannesburg". South African Weather Service. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Mainplace Vanderbijlpark Census 2011

External links[edit]