Nechama Brodie, author of The Joburg Book: A Guide to the City’s History, People and Places, has written an article for In Your Pocket entitled “10 Key Moments in Johannesburg History”.
Brodie’s guide to the city was recently relaunched in a new, updated edition, and includes hundreds of historical photos, reference maps and an engaging and authoritative historical background.
Johannesburg was declared a city in 1928, but originally “sprang up from a tent-town mining camp”, where men had gathered in search of gold.
1. Johannesburg sits on the edge of the world’s largest known gold deposit – in the Witwatersrand Basin, once the site of a massive inland sea.
2. Two billion years ago, a giant meteor struck the earth at Vredefort, about 120km south-west of Joburg. The impact – the oldest and largest visible meteor impact site in the world – buried the Witwatersrand gold deposits up to several kilometres deep, protecting the gold from erosion and making for the deepest-level goldmines in the world.
3. Nobody really knows (exactly) where the name ‘Johannesburg’ came from. ‘Johannes’ was – and still is – a popular Dutch and Afrikaans name: the Boer president, the town surveyor, the mining head and the military commander present at the time the town was established all carried the name.
- The Joburg Book: A Guide to the City’s History, People and Places edited by Nechama Brodie
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