Vanderbijlpark

Population nearly 96,000 People
Elevation1,485 m
Area177.84 km2
MakeupBlack42.5%
Coloured1.3%
Indian/Asian0.9%
White54.4%
Other0.9%

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. 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.

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