VAAL INDUSTRIAL & BUSINESS GUIDE
When the National Party came to power in 1948, segregation along ethnic lines started to become a greater issue. In 1952 it was decided to change the former Vaal Triangle plans for black residential areas. The minister for Native Affairs, H.F. Verwoerd, established the Mentz Commission to investigate the regional planning of residential areas.
The Commission visited the Vaal Triangle in 1952. It was decided that the Vaal Triangle couldn’t maintain four black residential areas in a single white area. It was therefore decided to build the infrastructure for the new macro residential area south of Evaton. The Mentz Commission recommended the area between the Iscor Vanderbijlpark Iron works and Evaton, which was known as the N3 Dominion. This area was later renamed Sebokeng. The main purpose of the establishment of a new macro residential area was to remove and resettle all the black people from out of the white areas of the Vaal triangle. The first houses were built in 1965.
Since its inception, Sebokeng has been the administrative headquarters for six townships, which made up the then Lekoa municipal authority, instituted early in 1984. The Lekoa council was established in accordance with the provisions of the Black Local Authorities Act of 1982. The municipal area of Lekoa was divided into 39 wards and the council was elected in a 14,7% poll in 1983. Economic rentals, (i.e. rentals which were expected to fund the township’s administration and services) were introduced in the Vaal Triangle area in 1984 by the Lekoa Council, much against the wishes of residents. The new local authority raised tariffs for rents and services in September 1984, which prompted violent protests.
The negotiations were conducted by the Vaal Trade Union Co-coordinating Committee (VTUCC), initiated by trade unions in the area, which attempted to negotiate with the local council and local business leaders to end the protests and boycott. The VTUCC indicated that the community’s refusal to pay the increased rents was not as a result of defiance, but rather of economic factors: in other words, the rents were too high for residents. Population (2005) is 222 000 residents.