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Boksburg

The meaning of «boksburg»

Boksburg is a city on the East Rand of Gauteng province of South Africa. Gold was discovered in Boksburg in 1887. Boksburg was named after the State Secretary of the South African Republic, W. Eduard Bok. The Main Reef Road linked Boksburg to all the other major mining towns on the Witwatersrand and the Angelo Hotel (1887) was used as a staging post.

Boksburg is part of the City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, that forms the local government of most of the East Rand.

The Mining Commissioner Montague White built a large dam which, empty for years, was dubbed White's Folly until a flash flood in 1889 silenced detractors. The 150,000 square metre dam is now the Boksburg Lake, and is surrounded by lawns, trees, and terraces.

Prior to 1860, the present municipal area of Boksburg and its immediate environs comprised mainly the highveld farms called Leeuwpoort, Klippoortje, Klipfontein and Driefontein. Carl Ziervogel bought the farm Leeuwpoort in 1875 and for 300 morgen of barren, rocky veld he paid £75. In September 1886 Pieter Killian, a young Afrikaans prospector, discovered quartz reefs on Leeuwpoort.

He also discovered quartz reefs on the farm Vogelfontein, named after Adolf Vogel.

Samples of the quartz were sent to Pretoria for assaying,which confirmed the presence of gold. Killian advised Dr W.E. Bok, Secretary of State for the Transvaal Republic, of the results of the assay. The result was the proclamation, on 10 March 1887, of the two farms as public diggings. Carl Ziervogel, who had been trying to sell Leeuwpoort, now opened the first gold mine on the East Rand, the Ziervogel Gold Mining Company.

Cornish miners were brought out to work the diggings. Unfortunately, it soon transpired that heavy expenditure was necessary for development, and as the Directors were unable to finance this, the mine closed down.

Mr Abe Bailey of the Barnato Group, which owned the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company (JCI), bought the farm Leeuwpoort in 1894 for £100,000. The mynpacht (mining lease) was controlled by JCI, who established E.R.P.M. Ltd, which is still carrying on mining operations after 120 years. JCI also developed many residential suburbs over the years.

Gold was also found at Elsburg, 8 km to the southwest. Elsburg was a recognized stopping point for coaches and wagon traffic. The first Government offices were at Elsburg and what was to become Boksburg was but a suburb of Elsburg. With the real centre of mining being centred on Boksburg, however, soon President Paul Kruger ordered that a new town be laid out to accommodate the miners. Land for the new town was released by having the boundaries of the farms Leeuwpoort, Driefontein and Klipfontein moved back from where they met. The newly created farm was called Vogelfontein, on which 1000 stands of 50x50 feet each were created. The new town of Boksburg was named after Dr Bok. In 1887 the first auction sale of stands took place, at which prices of £5 to £25 were realized.

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