"Holland Street Mall: Johannesburg's mining history" Top 5 Page for this destination Downtown Tip by CatherineReichardt

Downtown, Johannesburg: 42 reviews and 65 photos


In tandem with the adjacent Main Street precinct, the Hollard Street precinct (between Fox and Main Streets) is part of the highly successful urban renewal project that has been undertaken to celebrate Johannesburg's extraordinary mining history.

The Marshalltown and adjacent Ferreirasdorp areas - now part of the Jo'burg CBD - were key to the development of the Witwatersrand gold mining industry and still house the South African headquarters of several international mining houses. Companies such as Anglo American and BHP Billiton were founded in South Africa and have used their South African assets as a springboard to develop truly international portfolios. Virtually all of the major South African mining houses are now listed on international stock exchanges as well as the local Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) which used to be located in Diagonal Street, but which sadly joined the exodus of companies to the perceived safety of the Sandton CBD in 2000.

Hollard Street was named after an Austrian-born lawyer who settled in Pretoria. It is extremely short and houses only two buildings with stunning Art Deco credentials: the BHP Billiton headquarters and the Chamber of Mines building, which forms the backdrop to this photo.

This piece of equipment is a stamp mill, which was steam driven and used to crush the rock as the first step in extracting the gold. The stamp mills were imported and transported to the Witwatersrand by ox cart, and within a few years of the first gold find, over 10,000 were operating across the region. This particular stamp mill was commissioned in 1886 at the Robinson Mill at Langlaagte and was one of the earliest on the Rand. It was displayed at the Empire Show in 1939, and was subsequently donated to the City of Johannesburg.

The Hollard Street precinct extends over onto the northern side of Fox Street, where you'll find an interesting collection of mine locomotives and cocoa pans (used to move men and materials underground) as well as the gorgeous replica of the Mapungubwe rhino.

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  • Updated Oct 5, 2012
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