Vanderbijlpark

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Vanderbijlpark
Vanderbijlpark from the air
Vanderbijlpark from the air
Vanderbijlpark is located in Gauteng
Vanderbijlpark
Vanderbijlpark
Vanderbijlpark is located in South Africa
Vanderbijlpark
Vanderbijlpark
Vanderbijlpark is located in Africa
Vanderbijlpark
Vanderbijlpark
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
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceGauteng
DistrictSedibeng
MunicipalityEmfuleni
Area
 • Total177.84 km2 (68.66 sq mi)
Elevation
1,500 m (4,900 ft)
Population
 (2011)[1]
 • Total95,840
 • Density540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African42.5%
 • Coloured1.3%
 • Indian/Asian0.9%
 • White54.4%
 • Other0.9%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans51.0%
 • Sotho19.9%
 • English10.0%
 • Zulu4.9%
 • Other14.2%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
1911
PO box
1900
Area code016

Vanderbijlpark is an industrial city with approximately 75 000 inhabitants, and 95 000 inhabitants in the metropole, situated on the Vaal River in the south of Gauteng province, South Africa. The city is named after Hendrik van der Bijl, an electrical engineer and industrialist.

Vanderbijlpark is home to Vanderbijlpark Steel, previously part of the South African Iron and Steel Corporation (ISCOR), which subsequently became a subsidiary of the global company ArcelorMittal. With neighbouring towns Vereeniging and Sasolburg, it forms the Vaal Triangle, historically a major industrial region of South Africa. It is situated in the local municipality of Emfuleni and district municipality of Sedibeng.

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

History[edit]

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 construct a large steel works and establish a model town. The steel works began operating in 1947 and the town was proclaimed in 1949.[3] The town attained municipal status on 29 October 1952 when Governor General Dr EG Jansen opened ISCOR's second steel works.[3]:302 The founder of the town, Hendrik van der Bijl, had his old house situated in Grieg street, in the affluent SW 5 proper suburb.

Climate[edit]

Vanderbijlpark is situated on the highveld of South Africa, at 1,500 masl on the banks of the Vaal River. Summers in the city are warm to hot with an average high between 31 and 35°C, and an average low between 15 and 22°C. Winters in the city are cool to warm with an average high of between 18 and 23°C and an average low of between −1 and 5°C.

Climate data for Vanderbijlpark
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 43
(109)
36
(97)
35
(95)
33
(91)
28
(82)
25
(77)
25
(77)
28
(82)
32
(90)
35
(95)
38
(100)
38
(100)
43
(109)
Average high °C (°F) 29
(84)
28
(82)
27
(81)
24
(75)
22
(72)
19
(66)
20
(68)
22
(72)
26
(79)
27
(81)
27
(81)
28
(82)
25
(77)
Daily mean °C (°F) 22
(72)
21
(70)
20
(68)
17
(63)
14
(57)
10
(50)
11
(52)
14
(57)
18
(64)
19
(66)
20
(68)
21
(70)
17
(63)
Average low °C (°F) 17
(63)
16
(61)
15
(59)
5
(41)
−1
(30)
−2
(28)
1
(34)
7
(45)
12
(54)
14
(57)
16
(61)
17
(63)
12
(54)
Record low °C (°F) 8
(46)
11
(52)
6
(43)
2
(36)
−3
(27)
−7
(19)
−4
(25)
−1
(30)
2
(36)
4
(39)
7
(45)
7
(45)
−6
(21)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 154
(6.1)
75
(3.0)
82
(3.2)
51
(2.0)
13
(0.5)
7
(0.3)
3
(0.1)
6
(0.2)
22
(0.9)
71
(2.8)
98
(3.9)
120
(4.7)
703
(27.7)
Average precipitation days 14 11 10 7 3 1 1 2 3 9 12 15 87
Mean monthly sunshine hours 261 235 254 246 283 271 289 296 284 275 254 272 3,220
Source 1: South African Weather Service[4]
Source 2: The Weather Network (sun only) [5]

Suburbs[edit]

Vanderbijlpark was designed in a circular outlay, rather than 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

Economy[edit]

The steel mill at Vanderbijlpark, owned by ArcelorMittal.

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.

Since 2015 the town has had a gradual negative economic growth, to such a degree that the local council was declared bankrupt in November 2019. This happened when billions of property tax proceeds to the municipality were stolen by local government officials.

Architecture[edit]

Most of the town's houses were built by ISCOR during the 1947–1964 period, and these homes are all built in exactly the same format. About 60% of the town's population lives in these homes. Some modern suburbs were established by the wealthy on the verge of the Vaal River. Large, modern buildings and apartment blocks were erected in 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. 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 are 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 million for an estate.[citation needed]

Vanderbijlpark has major influences of French, German and Italian architecture, due to the settlement of foreigners during the late 1800s and early 1900s. From the early 1900s up until the late 1980s the local building industry was owned by a select group of wealthy developers represented by companies such as Visser Properties, Dias Family and Storm Family to name a few. Construction and design companies thrived during these times, such as van der Merwe & Associates Engineering, Stutco structural engineers, DOS Gwendolyn van Wyk, Leslie van Wyk and Riscali. DOS was renamed Riscali in 2012, and is currently owned by Jean Marx-Ubbink and Charl Marx-Ubbink. In 2018 a furniture and decor design company; Vinostein, was launched as a spinoff of the already established Riscali brand.

The town center also consists of many old houses showcasing the beautiful homes built during the early 1900s, though they have fallen into dramatic decay over the years. Continuous efforts are however undertaken by some individuals and companies to restore these classic homes to their former glory.

SW5 Proper and Vaal riverfront properties remain some of the most extravagant and largest homes in the country to this day. The value of these properties has however dramatically declined since 2015 due to corruption in local government. The 2019 bankruptcy of the local government was due to billions of unpaid accounts to Rand Water and Eskom. Investigations of late 2019 led to findings that R800 million was stolen by the mayor of the town within the short period of 8 months. This has caused a significant collapse in industries and in turn; building development in the town.

Education[edit]

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 are Hoër Tegniese Skool Carel de Wet, Hoërskool Driehoek, Hoërskool Suiderlig (formerly Hoër Handelskool Lettie Fouché), Suncrest High, Hoërskool Transvalia, The Vaal High School and Hoërskool Vanderbijlpark

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.

Entertainment[edit]

Vanderbijlpark is home to the Emerald Casino Resort, Emfuleni Golf Course, and the recently constructed Vaal Mall and with the Pont de Vaal wine estate, hotel and restaurant right around the corner. 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.

Demographics[edit]

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).[6]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Ray Jennings, former coach of the South African cricket team, was born in Vanderbijlpark.
  • Behati Prinsloo, Namibian supermodel, was also born in Vanderbijlpark and lived there briefly before moving to Namibia.
  • 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.
  • Francois Pienaar, captain of the 1995 IRB World Cup winning Springbok rugby team, was from Vanderbijlpark.
  • Diaan Lawrenson, known for her role as Paula in local soapie "7de Laan", is also from Vanderbijlpark.

Town twinning[edit]

Vanderbijlpark is town twinned with:

Netherlands Eindhoven, Netherlands

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b Erasmus, B.P.J. (2014). On Route in South Africa: Explore South Africa region by region. Jonathan Ball Publishers. p. 401. ISBN 9781920289805.
  4. ^ "Climate data for Pretoria". South African Weather Service. June 2011. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Climate Statistics for Pretoria, South Africa". Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  6. ^ Mainplace Vanderbijlpark Census 2011

External links[edit]