Vanderbijlpark, Southern Gauteng

Vanderbijlpark is one of the industrial centres of Gauteng, just south of the urban metropolis of Johannesburg. Unlike many of its gold-mining neighbours in the Vaal Triangle (which include Vereeniging, Meyerton and Sasolburg), though, this area was established as a residential area for the local steel workers and their families in 1947. Since then, it has flourished and grown, and is now home to the largest steelworks in the southern hemisphere.

Vanderbijlpark was named after a young scientist in America, Dr HJ van der Bijl, who was asked to return to South Africa to plan the industrial development of this country. It was Van der Bijl that oversaw the inauguration of ISCOR (Iron and Steel Corporation), thus proving himself a worthy namesake for this city.

The streets of Vanderbijlpark are lined with hundreds of thousands of tall green trees, which give them a luxurious look and tranquil feel. The Vaal River is another important feature of this city, not only for its enormous proportions and the water that it provides, but also for the many water sports on offer here. Visitors and locals enjoy the regular regattas, boat cruises, and opportunities to boat, ski, fish and swim in pretty surrounds. This river forms the border of Gauteng.

The Vaal Show is held in Vereeniging, less than 30 minutes’ drive from Vanderbijlpark. This is an agricultural and entertainment show that is a hot event on the local calendar, and there is little doubt why. Here, a huge agricultural section showcases cattle, birds and horses; while fantastic clothes, jewellery, art and furniture can also be found here. You may even find your next boat on exhibition at this exciting and multifaceted show.

Vanderbijlpark is conveniently located about an hour’s drive from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

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