JHB History | General

RANDBURG   ~~~  ❤️  ~~~

Randburg was an area located in the north-west of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Formerly a separate municipality, its administration devolved to the newly created City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, along with neighbouring Sandton and Roodepoort, in the late 1990s. 

During the transitional period of 1996–2000, Randburg was part of the Northern Metropolitan Local Council (MLC)

Randburg was founded as a town in 1959, as the amalgamation of 32 suburbs, northwest of Johannesburg. Although economically linked to Johannesburg, residents chose to create their own town council. The name Randburg was chosen in a competition and is derived from the South African Rand currency, which was introduced at around the same time that the new municipality was established in 1959.   The earliest inhabitants of the area now called Randburg were tribesman roaming the open veld. Examples of their Iron Age craftsmanship can still be found on some of the local koppies. Little is known of the culture and history of these early people.

What we call ‘history’ – that is what is documented and recorded – starts in Randburg in the middle of the last century. In the 1850s four farms were settled by Boer pioneers. These were called Klipfontein, Driefontein, Olievenhoutspoort and Boskop, and were later subdivided amongst the sons of the farmers, as was the usual tradition. The original farm Driefontein extended from the Northern Boundary of Bryanston to the present Braamfontein! It was later subdivided into nine plots by his sons. The portion was so large that it was later sub-divided into the suburbs of Kensington B, Beverley Gardens, Brian Brink and Vandia Grove. Randburg's first windmill - in Milner Street - was erected in 1924 by Daniel Brink and is still in the possession of one of Brink's descendants.

 

Charles Rocher, a Frenchman from Bordeaux, bought one of the sections and named it after his mother town. He was one of the early pioneers of the Cape deciduous farming on the Transvaal. Some of the older plots in the area still have fruit trees growing in groves. A portion of the Boskop farm was brought by the famous Rand entrepreneur, Dale Lace, who converted a farmhouse into a ‘country residence’, as was the style of the time. In 1929 Tom Kelly restored the home and named it ‘Hy-Many’ which is presently being considered as a National Monument.

With the discovery of Gold, Randburg became fashionable as an investment for rich English gentlemen like Abe Bailey. Street names like Carlton Road, Church Street and Pritchard Street sprang up in the veld. Perhaps it was rumours of gold that caused the purchases, or it could have been the fabulous hunting that existed in Randburg. Antelopes and birds teemed in the hills and velleys and the name Hunters Hill bears witness to these early, never-to-be-repeated times when game was plentiful in this corner of Gauteng.

A major influx to Randburg came with the great depression of 1928-1934 and the crippling drought which lasted four years. Thousands of platteland farmers flocked to the city, but many preferred the rural areas and settled in Randburg. These pioneers constructed their own homes, without any assistance from the state. Life was simple and unhurried and there was plenty of food for the pot. Development began in 1950, when there were less than 9000 inhabitants in Randburg. Ten years alter there were 13 townships, a newspaper called ‘Noord-Nuus’ and shops and businesses were opening apace.

 

On 23 May 1956, a town council action committee was formed with the goal of establishing an independent town separate from the then North Western Area Committee of the Peri-Urban Council. Robert van Tonder, who settled in Ferndale in 1952, was elected chairman. An independent magisterial district was created in 1975 and the Magistrate's Court was established. District headquarters for the SA Police was housed in a new building in 1978.

 

With development came the question of municipal status – should Randburg be part of Johannesburg or not? In 1959 the name of Randburg was decided by means of a competition.  The prize was 100 pounds. Editors of six newspapers, as well as Mr Nienaber of the Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, and Mr Thys van Lille of the SABC were to be adjudicators. A total of 700 names were submitted. In all, 12 names which included the word "Rand" were proposed. The three chosen as final proposals were Randburg, Mooirand and Randstad. Six lucky people who proposed Randburg shared the 100 pounds… (other names submitted were Fairydale, Ego and Zuriel) and Randburg was inaugurated as a municipality.

 

 

In 1968 Johannesburg put forward the idea of incorporating Randburg into its municipal boundaries, but Randburg remained independent and today its jurisdiction is almost 100 square kilometres. In 1972 the Town Council set guidelines for the development of townships, residential areas, the CBD and industrial areas. The success of this plan is seen in the development of Randburg, undoubtedly a boom town with tremendous future potential.

In 1959 Randburg was granted municipality status. A plan was drawn up to develop a central business district with retail, civic and office uses. in the early 1960s retail activity comprised a shopping strip along Jan Smuts Avenue and Hendrik Verwoerd Drive arterials. A new plan in 1972 resulted in an outdoor mall, built in 1976.

Randburg contains 32 suburbs, most of them residential. These include Darrenwood, Linden, Cresta, Aldara Park, and others. 

In the 1950s Randburg was a low-density residential area inhabited by mostly Afrikaans-speaking people.

 

Developers and investors seized the opportunities in the eastern section of Randburg - opportunities that are being created afresh in the new and bigger Randburg West. It is here, where developers and investors have the opportunity to take a second bite at the apple, that the framework has been created for sustained growth and development in the fields of property development, light industries, township development, retail outlets, and service industries. With a clear vision for the future of the Randburg of tomorrow, a number of planning studies in which the precise details of future residential trends, manufacturing and industrial requirements, retail developments, and recreational needs, have been planned. With this vision of Randburg's development over the next couple of years and beyond, future residents and investors are welcomed in advance. With so many residents, investors, and businesses showing their loyalty to the town, a dynamic period lies ahead for Randburg. Randburg is being planned for the people who live and work in it.

 

Randburg has over 32 suburbs, most of them residential. It is an upmarket area filled with many family friendly entertainment facilities and park like areas.

 

The municipal area of Randburg contains numerous suburbs; many of these are residential. Some larger areas include: 

• Aldara Park

• Blairgowrie

• Bordeaux

• Boskruin  :  The beauty of Boskruin is that it lies in the shadow of a lovely koppie, known as the Boschkop Nature Reserve that runs north from the dip in Ysterhout Drive. Staying close to this green space creates an effortless commune with nature, particularly if your home has sighting of the dassies that make the koppie their home. 

It used to be that Boskruin (crown of bushes) lay virtually on the perimeter of Randburg, a haven on the edge of development. Whilst it has become seriously more developed as townhouse complexes abound in this pretty part of the far northern suburbs of Johannesburg, the presence of the Boschkop Nature Reserve and a similar green belt off Beyers Naudé Drive give credence to the description of Johannesburg as the largest man-made forest in the world. 

 

• Bromhof

• Cresta

• Darrenwood

• Fairlands

• Ferndale

• Jukskei Park

• Kensington 'B' :  (Kensington B is a suburb in Randburg, which is an area located in northern Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Kensington B should not be confused with Kensington, on the eastern side of Johannesburg. Kensington B forms part of ward 104 of the City of Johannesburg represented by Counselor Mike Woods. The area forms part of the KenBrink Residents Association which represents the interests of residents living in the suburb.

• Malanshof

• Northriding  : Situated on the northern outskirts of Johannesburg, close to the city’s ubiquitous Dome at Northgate, North Riding was once an area given over mainly to small holdings; plots of land on the outskirts of Johannesburg carefully selected by those seeking to exchange the hum of city dwelling for that of something a little more like country living.

• Northwold

• Olivedale

• Randpark Ridge : Lovely Randpark Ridge - neighbour to Boskruin, Honeydew and Weltevredenpark.

• Robindale :  Pretty Robindale - the Jo'burg land of Robin Hood, or as close as you can get in the northern suburbs where one of the streets is named after the famous man who robbed from the poor to give to the rich, and still others are named after his merry man and Maid Marion - lies next to the other leafy suburbs of Linden, Fontainebleau and Blairgowrie.

• Robin Hills

Windsor East

Windsor West

 

Zoo Lake, situated almost across the road from the Johannesburg Zoo, is a favourite with Joburg residents and offers some of the best daytime picnic spots as well as an assortment of activities for the whole family. 

The history of the Park dates as far back as 1904, when the founders of Johannesburg made a gift of the Zoo and Zoo Lake to the city under one condition, that the Park remains open to the public and to people of all races. At the time black and white South Africans were living separately, despite being before the apartheid period. Since its opening, the Park has been used as a place to house wild animals, hunting, riding and picnics and today still enjoys serving the public as a favourite recreational venue. 

The Park lies around the large manmade lake which has a central fountain, added in 1937, known as the Coronation Fountain because it was built to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Visitors can take a little row boat out on the lake or a one to two hour stroll around the lake, depending on which route you follow. Dogs are allowed so bring along your best friend to enjoy the walk with you. 

 

Rolling lawns provide ample space for a family picnic or braai and the children are welcome to feed the ducks, which there are plenty of! If you prefer, you can grab a bite at the Sports Club which offers sumptuous affordable pub grub or for a special African-themed experience you can head over to Moyo for a traditionally African fare with a view of the lake.

  

When Cresta Centre opened in 1976 in the Randburg vicinity, it attracted many shoppers. 

Shopaholics unite at the popular Brightwater Commons mall in Randburg, Johannesburg. Thanks to this positioning, it is close to other shopping hotspots like the Sandton City Shopping Centre, as well as to many other attractions, historical sites and cultural hubs.

The Brightwater Commons is a great family mall, thanks to the variety of stores and restaurants to which it is home (around 70 in number). In addition to these, it also boasts a particularly pretty setting, with plenty of greenery and a large grassy lawn on which to sit and enjoy the vibe, together with smaller grassed areas. Opposite the commons is a market (the Randburg Flea Market), where stalls are located and visitors are encouraged to stroll among the arts and crafts for a taste of South African culture

The musical fountains operate from 19h30 to 19h45 from Mondays to Thursdays, and from 19h00 to 19h45, 20h00 to 20h45 and 21h00 to 21h45 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the summer. Young and old alike delight in watching the show, and will, no doubt, love the effect of light, water and sound.

 

Randburg is well known for its plethora of shopping malls and entertainment nodes.

Malls

Northgate Mall

Cresta Shopping Centre

Brightwater Commons

Randburg Square (formerly Sanlam Shopping Centre)

Shopping Centres

Appletons Village

Banbury Cross Village

Blairgowrie Plaza

Bram Fischer Shopping Center

Boskruin Village

Bromhof Village Centre

Brightwater Commons

Ferndale Shopping Centre

Lifestyle Garden Centre

Northlands Deco Park

Summerfields Shopping Centre, Boskruin

Randridge Mall

Windsor Glen