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Trip Planner Africa  /  South Africa  /  Gauteng  /  Greater Johannesburg  /  Randfontein


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Randfontein is a gold mining city in the West Rand, Gauteng, South Africa, 40km west of Johannesburg. With the Witwatersrand gold rush in full swing, mining financier JB Robinson bought the farm Randfontein and, in 1889, floated the Randfontein Estates Gold Mining Company. The town was established in 1890 to serve the new mine and was administered by Krugersdorp until it became a municipality in 1929. Apart from having the largest stamp mill in the world (used in early paper making for preparing the pulp), Randfontein, like many of the other outlying areas of Johannesburg, is essentially a rural collection of farms and small holdings in a particularly beautiful part of Gauteng.HistoryEarly historyRandfontein’s existence dates back to the 1550s when the AmaNdebele lived as one nation at Emhlangeni (today’s Randfontein area) under King Mhlanga approximately between 1550-1580. The name of Emhlangeni is translated today into the Sesotho language as Mohlakeng, which is one of the southeastern suburbs of the town.FormationRandfontein was established formally on 3 March 1890 and proclaimed a municipality in 1929.Some important dates in Randfontein's history: 1857: Bootha and Jonker families arrive in the area. (They owned the farm Groot Elandsvlei where the suburbs of Randgate, Loumarina, and Wilbotsdal are today.) 1874: Gold discovered in Blaauwbank stream near Magaliesburg by Henry Lewis an Australian propector. 1886: Discovery of gold on the Rand by Harrison and Walker; start of the Reef gold rush. 1886: JB Robinson arrives on the Reef; starts prospecting in the Randfontein area. 1889: Randfontein Estates Gold Mining Company (REGM) registered. 1890: JB Robinson buys properties and farms in the Randfontein district. 1894: The first shop, Fedlers, opens. 1901: The first car, owned by Hector Mackay, arrives in town. 1904: Chinese miners arrive in Randfontein. 1929: Randfontein Municipality established; independent from Krugersdorp which managed the town from 1903. 1979: Randfontein celebrates 50 years as an independent municipality. 2004: Hilton Hamann writes a comprehensive history on Randfontein. His book Randfontein: A Town Like No Other is freely available via the local publicity association. This marked the 75th anniversary of Randfontein.
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