Dutch Reformed Church, Vereeniging
|Motto: Per Pacem Ad Industriam
("From peace to industry")
|• Total||188.19 km2 (72.66 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,479 m (4,852 ft)|
|• Density||530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||55.0%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||1930|
Vereeniging (Dutch pronunciation: [fəˈreə̯nəχɨŋ]) is a city in Gauteng province, South Africa, situated where the Klip River empties into the northern loop of the Vaal River. It is also one of the constituent parts of the Vaal Triangle region and was formerly situated in the Transvaal province. The name Vereeniging is derived from the Dutch word meaning "association" or "union", and in both languages is currently spelled vereeniging, with two e's.
Vereeniging is situated in the southern part of Gauteng Province, and its neighbors are Vanderbijlpark (to the west), Three Rivers (east), Meyerton (north) and Sasolburg (south). The city is currently one of the most important industrial manufacturing centres in South Africa, with its chief products being iron, steel, pipes, bricks, tiles and processed lime.
The city was founded in 1892 and much of its early growth was due to the nearby coal mines.
The city is known for being the location where the Treaty of Vereeniging ending the Second Boer War (1899–1902) was negotiated. During this conflict, a concentration camp was set up by the British military in the area. The concentration camp at Vereeniging was set up in September 1900, and by October 1901 housed 185 men, 330 women, and 452 children. Conditions at the camp were very poor, water was brought by cart (there was no direct water supply) and only 24 latrines. Most inmates lived in bell-tents but there was a dispensary and a school. Today, the site of the concentration camp has been replaced by the Maccauvlei Golf Course.
Vereeniging was one of the first municipalities in South Africa to provide better housing for Africans. Near Vereeniging is the predominantly black community of Sharpeville, Gauteng, the site of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960.
Since 1994, Vereeniging has been the home of southern Africa's annual LED Festival.
Trade and industry
The city's motto is Per Pacem ad Industriam (Through peace to industry). It is currently one of the most important industrial manufacturing centres in South Africa, with its chief products being iron, steel, pipes, bricks, tiles and processed lime. Several coal mines are also still situated in the area, with reserves being estimated at four billion tons. Other mines nearby extract fire-clay, silica and building stone. Vereeniging also has several Eskom thermal power plants that supply electricity to the nearby goldmines.
Vereeniging has been mentioned jokingly as the town in South Africa which has the most vehicle dealerships per square metre.
Suburbs and municipality
In the census of 2001 the population of Vereeniging was recorded as 73,283.
Vereeniging consists of 20 suburbs:
Since 1999, Vereeniging has been part of the Emfuleni Local Municipality, along with Vanderbijlpark and the smaller Three Rivers.
Various health services are available in Vereeniging. The majority of these services are located in or near the major medical centres. These include:
- Vereeniging Medi-Clinic
- Midvaal Private Hospital
- Kopanong Hospital
- Sebokeng Hospital
- Nkanyezi Private Hospital
- Johan Heyns Hospital
- 3 Rivers Christian Academy (English medium - ACE)
- Milton Primary (English medium)
- Suikerbos Laerskool (Afrikaans medium)
- Handhawer Laerskool (Afrikaans medium)
- Sonland Park Laerskool (Afrikaans & English)
- Unitas Park Laerskool (Afrikaans medium)
- Selborne Primary (English medium)
- Arcon Park Primary (English medium)
- Three Rivers Laerskool (English & Afrikaans)
- Vryheidsmonument Laerskool (Afrikaans medium)
- Risiville Laerskool (Afrikaans medium)
- Vereeniging Gimnasium (Afrikaans medium, amalgamation of Vereeniging High School and Technical High School)
- Three Rivers High (Afrikaans & English)
- Overvaal High (Afrikaans medium)
- Riverside High (English medium)
- General Smuts High (English medium)
- Word of Life School (English medium - CIE)
- Phoenix High (English Medium, at old premises of Technical High School)
- A campus of the University of South Africa
- Damelin College
- Sedibeng College
- It is also close to the North-West University's Vaal Campus, and the Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijlpark.
- F.W. de Klerk was first elected to the South African parliament in 1969 as the member for Vereeniging.
- Bles Bridges, a well known Afrikaans country singer, also stayed in Vereeniging, until his death in 2000.
- Charl Schwartzel (the 2011 US Masters champion), Morné Morkel and Albie Morkel attended Vereeniging High.
- Although named after Vereeniging, the Treaty of Vereeniging was actually signed at Melrose House, Pretoria.
- General Smuts High School, one of the English language schools founded in Vereeniging, was named after the famous General Smuts of the League of Nations fame. It also produced the rugby Springbok flyhalf Gerald Bosch.
- It is said that Mohandas K Gandhi was briefly incarcerated in the old town jail, the ruins of which were visible in the grounds of Handhawer Primary School.
- The motto of the city is "Per Pacem ad Industriam" ("Through peace to industry").
- Famous actor, comedian, film-maker, presenter and singer Leon Schuster was born in Vereeniging on May 21, 1951
The latest crime statistics for Vereeniging Police Precinct was issued by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in September 2010. The SAPS crime report showed the following information:
|Type of crime||2008/2009||2009/2010|
|Burglary at non-residential premises||302||348|
|Burglary at residential premises||505||797|
|Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle||586||609|
In December 2010 and January 2011 the southern part of Gauteng and Mpumulanga experienced a higher than normal rainfall. This resulted in the need to release more water from the nearby Vaal dam. As a consequence, parts of Vereeniging and the rest of the towns downstream were flooded.