|Dr HJ van der Bijl, a brilliant young scientist working in the United
States, was called back to South Africa in 1920 by Prime Minister
Jan Smuts to advise the government on planning South Africa'a industrial
development. Van der Bijl oversaw the inauguration of the Iron and
Steel Corporations's (ISCOR) first plant at Pretoria in 1934 and,
with increased demand, 10 000ha was bought to build a large steelworks
and model city for its employees - Vanderbijlpark.
The steelworks, the largest works in the Southern Hemisphere, began
operating in 1947 and the town, which forms Gauteng's border along
the Vaal River, was proclaimed in 1949 and attained municipal status
Vanderbijlpark's 500 000 trees shade streets named after scientists,
engineers, composers, poets, writers and medical practitioners.
They house one of the most cosmopolitan communities in the country.
An extensive riverbank development.
Built in 1922, this all-encompassing watersystem provides Southern
Gauteng with over a billion litres daily. Unsprisingly, it has become
a popular watersports destination with excellent facilities.