Krugersdorp

Population nearly 141,000 People
Elevation 1,713 m
Area 247.22 km2
Makeup Black 42.3%
Coloured 1.4%
Indian/Asian 5.4%
White 50.2%
Other 0.8%

Krugersdorp is the site of a December 1880 gathering at which more than 6,000 men vowed to fight for the Transvaal’s independence. Founded in 1887 by Marthinus Pretorius after the discovery of gold on his farm, Paardekraal, thereafter the mining industry played an important role in the development of the city. Two important events in the history of South Africa: the Transvaal War of Independence (1881) and the discovery of the Witwatersrand Goldfields (1886) took place in Krugersdorp. These events had far-reaching political and economic consequences for the country’s development.

By the time the town was founded, the existence of the gold reef along the Witwatersrand had become common knowledge, and thousands seeking their fortunes pitched their tents and pegged claims. In 1888, Krugersdorp was proclaimed a separate gold field.

During the Anglo Boer War the British built a concentration camp in the valley that is now occupied by the Centenary Dam. This camp was overlooked by the “D” Shaft of the Luipardsvlei Estate Gold Mining Company, which was shut down in around 1929 when mining shifted to deeper ore bodies that offered the prospect of larger tonnages. As of 2014 this shaft is being brought back into production. Part of the heritage of the area will feature in a museum to be built post-closure. An essential part of the museum’s content will be the Boer War legacy.

In 1952, the West Rand Consolidated Mine was the first in the world to extract uranium as a byproduct of the gold refining process.

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