Boksburg is a diversified industrial and mining centre. It has become one of the most important gold-producing towns on the Witwatersrand. Boksburg is also any shoppers delight with its East Rand Mall which is one of the most popular and biggest malls in Gauteng.
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.
The discovery of Gold
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 the 10th 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 was controlled by JCI. who established E.R.P.M. Ltd, which is still carrying on mining operations after 118 years.
JCI also developed many residential suburbs over the years Gold was also found at Elsburg, 8km 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. Also in 1887 the Republican Government built the Post Office and the Mining Commissioner’s office. Business and residential properties began to be built in the fledgling town in its first year of existence.
The discovery of Coal 1888
In 1888 coal deposits were discovered right on the boundary of the new town, and here coal was first mined in the Transvaal. This started an era of company promotion and syndicate formation, with ground fetching high prices. Enterprises of all kinds were set up and Boksburg began to emerge from a mining camp atmosphere to a fully-fledged town. Coal ensured that the gold mining industry would grow to a formidable size
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