There’s probably a lot of things that you didn’t know about Roodepoort (which is located in Gauteng, South Africa). Today my aim is to change that and inform you a bit.
Here are 10 Facts That You Might Not Have Known About Roodepoort
1. Roodepoort became a municipality in 1904
Roodepoort was originally a ramshackle town that grew around a failed gold mine. Fred and Harry Struben had discovered gold in the area in 1884. Lots of people flocked to the area (following the discovery of gold at Langlaagte in 1886), but their mine didn’t yield much gold.
2. Roodepoort was a city on its own from 1977 until the late 1990s
The city of Roodepoort originally incorporated the towns of Hamberg, Florida and Maraisburg. The municipality was originally known as Roodepoort-Maraisburg. The “Maraisburg” part was dropped in 1963. It became part of the Johannesburg municipality (along with Sandton & Randburg) in the late 1990s.
3. SA’s youngest Botanical Garden is located in the area
The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (previously known as the Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden) was establised in Roodepoort area in 1982. It’s the youngest of South Africa’s Botanical Gardens. It covers an area of 300 hectares. The garden has been recognised as one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world.
4. Roodepoort means “red valley” in Afrikaans
It gets its name from the red soil that is found in the area.
5. Early Stone Age Man settled in the area
Archaeologists working on an excavation in 1998 in the Kloofendal Nature Reserve found stone tools dating back to the late Stone Age.
6. Kloofendal Nature Reserve is one of the oldest nature reserves in Gauteng
The 128 ha nature reserve offers urbanites a retreat from city life. It has been around since 1972 and is home to a number of small mammals. The reserve has remains of early gold mining activities. It’s recognised as the first gold mine in Johannesburg.
7. The Old Roodepoort Municipal Office building was completed in 1906
The building was designed by Charles Hosking. It was in use from 1906 to 1936. It was declared a national monument in 1985 and is still being used a library.
8. Westgate Shopping Centre was opened in 1985
The shopping centre (which is in Roodepoort) was refurbished in 2016. It has 6 gates and 184 shops. It has a gross lettable area of 109,418 square metres. Today it’s one of the biggest shopping centres in Johannesburg.
9. Roodepoort Town School was built in 1913
It’s the oldest school building in the city. In 1914 it was temporarily taken over by the military to be used as a barracks and a horse paddock. It was still used as a school until 1970. In 1996 the school became St. John the Baptist Catholic school.
10. The Old House dates back to the 19th Century
The Old House in located in the Delarey suburb. It was built in the late 1890s and is one of the few remaining examples of the early wood and iron structures.
Well, there you have it, 10 facts that you might not have known about Roodepoort. I trust that you find this info useful and interesting.
If you have a fact that you can add, feel free to drop a comment below. Feedback is welcome.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.