Coal was discovered around Springs in 1888 and six collieries were opened to supply fuel for the gold mining industry of the Witwatersrand.
The railway service known as the 'Rand Tram' carried the coal to Johannesburg. Most of the miners were Welsh and the Springs Male Voice Choir became famous in the Transvaal.
For various technical reasons the coal mines were not a success. The coal was of a type that tended to catch fire spontaneously, the ground was prone to subsidence and the collieries were gradually abandoned.
New discoveries of gold brought rapid expandion and at one time, with eight important gold mines surrounding it, Springs was the largest single gold-producing area in the world.
Apart from gold there are now substantial local industries producing paper, glass, foodstuffs and cosmetics.
The unique Martiens Kotze Park is built on an old mine dump and laid out with statues, windmills, aloe gardens, attractive walks and fountains.
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