It is home to Vanderbijlpark Steel (previously part of ISCOR (Iron and Steel Corporation), now part of the global company Mittal).
With neighbouring towns Vereeniging and Sasolburg it forms the Vaal Triangle, a major industrial region of South Africa. Located in the district municipality of Sedibeng and the local municipality of Emfuleni. The townships Boipatong, Bophelong, Sebokeng and Sharpeville are close to the city. VECOR, the largest comprehensive heavy engineering works in the Southern Hemisphere, is also located in Vanderbijlpark. Vanderbijlpark is also home to Cape Gate (Pty) Ltd, a major market share holder in the wire industry.
There are over 60 primary and secondary schools within the Vaal Triangle area. Of these, 16 primary and 8 secondary schools are located in Vanderbijlpark.
The Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University is located in Vanderbijlpark. This campus is situated on the banks of the Vaal River and has student numbers exceeding 3000.
According to the 2001 Census, Vanderbijlpark occupies an area of 233 km². The population is 80,201, which can be broken down as follows: 70.2% White, 28.7% Black, 0.8% Coloured and 0.4% Asian. The population density is 344 persons per km² (888 persons per mi²).
It is no surprise to learn that the Vaal River forms a fundamental recreational role in the lives of Vanderbijlpark’s residents and that rowing regattas, boat cruises and water sports are a regular pastime. The Vaal Show, which usually takes place towards the end of September of every year, is one of the largest shows in the country. The agricultural section, which showcases horses, cattle, pigeons and poultry is large, to say the least, there is also a sizeable commercial section where clothing, jewellery, furniture, household goods, paintings, boats and other exciting exhibits draw thousands of visitors; it’s a popular event, in other words.
The half a million or so trees planted in Vanderbijlpark contribute greatly to the growing number of wonderful gardens and recreational areas the city boasts and the area is sought after as a weekend getaway, particularly as the access from Johannesburg is so easy.