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Towns & Cities in and around the Vaal

Vaal Triangle Info

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On the northern bank of the northernmost loop of the Vaal River lies Vereeniging, founded on coalfields discovered on the farm Leeuwkuil ('den of the lions') in 1878 by the geologist George Stow. Vereeniging’s coalfields were developed by Samuel Marks and his cousin and partner Isaac Lewis, who established "De Zuid-Afrikaansche en Oranje Vrijstaatsche Kalen en Mineralen Mijn Vereeniging" (The South African and Orange Free State Coal and Mineral Mining Association). Mining began in 1879 and in 1882, and Sammy Mark’s company applied for permission to establish a township on Leeuwkuil. Permission was granted and the town of Vereeniging was proclaimed on 28 July 1892, with full municipal status being granted in 1912.


Vereeniging was richly endowed to become a future industrial town. Not only were coal and water in plentiful supply in the vicinity, but there was also glacial conglomerate to provide fire-clay, dolomite for calcium and lime production, black reef to supply silica, and excellent quarry stone for building purposes. The railway also provided a vital transport link from the south to the gold mines of Johannesburg.


Vereeniging was, after World War II, to develop into the busiest manufacturing area in the country. The establishment of Iscor and the building of Sasol, saw the emergence of many heavy engineering firms appearing in Vereeniging. Specialised services and other manufacturing operations soon sprang up to process raw steel output into crafted finished products. Foundries, machinery, cables, chains, steel tubing, wire, farm implements, refractory bricks and ceramics were just a few of the products produced by a host of manufacturers.

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