Roodepoort is a fast-growing city within the borders of the Gauteng Province, just outside Johannesburg, where it has now merged with the city’s suburbs.
The name Roodepoort means “red valley” and is named after the red soil found in the area. It is a sprawling residential area with light industry and businesses and some commercial activity in the form of Westgate, Constantia, Laser Park and Clear Water Mall.
The city is probably best known by Johannesburg locals as the home of the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. It is also the region most conveniently situated for access to Gauteng attractions such as the Cradle of Humankind, Magaliesburg and Pilanesburg.
The centre of Roodepoort is probably best avoided, although there are a few fine examples of historic buildings such as the Old House on the corner of 3rd Street and Boundary Road and the old municipal offices in Berlandina Street.
Roodepoort abounds in accommodation of all sorts - from budget accommodation to more exclusive B&B’s, self-catering chalets, hotels and guest houses.
Things to do and see
- Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
- Florida Lake
- Kloofendal Nature Reserve
- JCI Geological Trail
- Wilgehuewel Extreme Park
- Alice Art Gallery
- Roodepoort Museum
- Two Okes Brewery
- Westgate Shopping Centre
- Clearwater Mall
- Roodepoort Golf Course
- CMR Golf Course
- Durban Deep Golf Course
Roodepoort receives approximately 786 mm of rain annually with the majority falling during the Summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 21˚C.
There are daily flights into O R Tambo International Airport approximately 64 km away via the N12 as well as into Lanseria International Airport, approximately 30 km away via the Hendrik Potgieter Road/M47 and N14. Car Hire facilities are available at the airport.
On the farm Wilgespruit in 1884 the first gold mine on the edge of the Witwatersrand was built. The prospector Fred Struben found a vein of rock which he claimed contained payable gold.
Fred and his brother Harry showed some specimens to President Kruger and started to mine ore from the foot of what they called the Mont d'Or or 'mountain of gold'. The little mine however, proved uneconomic. Its so-called Confidence Reef was unpredictable but while it was being worked its noisy mill attracted many other prospectors to the area of Roodepoort, 'the red pass'.
There was a wild scramble all along the Witwatersrand after George Harrison's fabulous gold discovery in 1886. Several mines came to life in the Roodepoort area and a wild mining camp grew, with the usual grog shops and bawdy houses. In 1904 this untidy collection of shacks became, to its surprise, a municipality. It became a city in 1977 and incorporates within its boundaries Hamberg, Florida and Maraisburg.
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