"Gauteng – Place of Gold" Gauteng by MikeAtSea

Gauteng Travel Guide: 1,530 reviews and 3,109 photos

History of the powerhouse of South Africa only goes back towards the end of the 19th century. The city that was born on 4 October 1886 out of an undulating savannah when the first gold diggers staked their claims and heaved their picks into the stony ground, Johannesburg has grown from a mining camp into a city of international stature. Stories abound about the first people to strike gold. However, some believe that title belongs to the Struben brothers who found what looked to be the first "payable" seam, in 1874. They called their mine Confidence Reef.
Their reef, however, lasted no more than a year and the two brothers joined the rush to Kimberley when diamonds were discovered there in 1871.
Apparently, three of the Struben brothers' workers were among those who struck gold in the main reef. Who made the discovery, though, remains mired in controversy.
The naming of this young settlement is also dogged by controversy, with plenty of theories on the origin of the name.
What is known, however, is that the settlement was named after Johann, a common Dutch name. Apparently, any Johann could have claimed credit, but it is believed that the credit belongs to two men involved in land surveying and mapping - Johannes Meyer and Johannes Rissik from the then government - who decided to name the settlement Johannesburg in honour of themselves.
Captain Carl von Brandis read out a proclamation of the Witwatersrand goldfields on 20 September 1886, and residential development is believed to have started later than 4 October.

The Gauteng province, which was created after the apartheid regime fell in 1994 today comprises the cities of Johannesburg, the capital city of Pretoria, all the regions in between the two main cities as well as cities and towns of the West and East Rand.
Many attractions are found here, which I will highlight in the various tips given for this bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis.

  • Last visit to Gauteng: Sep 2005
  • Intro Written Oct 7, 2005
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  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2005 at 7:48 AM

    It's an honour to be the first. I hope there will be more on here later.

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