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Germiston is a small city in the
East Rand The East Rand is the urban eastern part of the Witwatersrand that is functionally merged with the Johannesburg Johannesburg ( , also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is ...
region of
Gauteng Gauteng ( ; tn, Gauteng; Sotho language, Northern and Southern Sotho: ; zu, eGoli; ts, Gauteng/; Southern Ndebele language, Ndebele, xh, iRhawuti; nr, I-Gauteng; ve, Gauteng) is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. The name in Sotho-T ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 60 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most ...

South Africa
, administratively forming part of the
City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality The City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is a Metropolitan municipality (South Africa), metropolitan municipality that forms the local government of the East Rand region of Johannesburg, Gauteng. The municipality itself is a large suburba ...
since the latter's establishment in 2000. It functions as the municipal seat of Ekurhuleni, hosting the municipal council and administration.


History

It was established in the early days of the gold rush when two prospectors, John Jack from the farm of
Germiston Germiston is a small city in the East Rand The East Rand is the urban eastern part of the Witwatersrand that is functionally merged with the Johannesburg Johannesburg ( , also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli), informally k ...
near
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia'' ...

Glasgow
and August Simmer from Vacha in Germany, struck paydirt on the farm of ''Elandsfontein''. In August 1887, the pair were on their way to the Eastern Transvaal when they ''outspanned'' (rest the pack animals) on the farm ''Elandsfontein'' and decided to stay and buy the land. Both men made fortunes and the town sprang up 2 km from the Simmer and Jack mine named after Jack's fathers farm. In 1921 the world's largest gold refinery, the
Rand Refinery Rand Refinery (Pty) Limited is the largest integrated single-site precious metals refining and smelting complex in the world. It was established in 1920 to refine gold within South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa ...
, was established at Germiston. Seventy percent of the western world's gold passes through this refinery. Although gold mining gradually wound down in Germiston, to the point that by the end of the 20th century it was no longer a mining centre, the Rand Refinery remains as busy as ever.


Geography


Architecture

The city has a number of historic buildings. Among these are the St Andrew's Presbyterian Church which was built in 1905, and St Boniface Church designed by
Sir Herbert Baker Sir Herbert Baker (9 June 1862 – 4 February 1946) was an English architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the de ...
, which was built in 1910 (this is the second church on the site, as the Anglican Parish was founded in 1897). The church also houses the historic 1910 English Romantic Norman and Beard Organ. The Alexander Hotel was also partly designed by Baker, using his traditional stone appearance. This building has recently been completely renovated and now houses a well-known law firm. The builder of the hotel, Alexander Stuart, some of whose descendants still live in Germiston, died when the RMS Lusitania was torpedoed in the First World War on 7 May 1915. The hotel thus remains a memorial to his pioneer work in the city over a hundred years ago.


Demographics

According to the 2001 census, the population of Germiston consisted of 139,719 people living in 49,062 households, and its land area was . Of this population, 49.8% described themselves as "
White White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully diffuse reflection, reflect and scattering, scatter all the visible spectrum, visible wa ...
", 46.8% as "
Black African Black people is a racialized In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses variou ...
", 1.9% as "
Coloured Coloureds ( af, Kleurlinge or , ) are a multiracial people, multiracial ethnic group Indigenous peoples of Africa, native to Southern Africa who have ancestry from more than one of the various populations inhabiting the region, including Khoi ...
", and 1.5% as "
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
or
Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cuisine, food based on the style of food of the people from Asi ...
". No language was predominant, with the breakdown of
first language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) ...
s being as follows:


Economy

South African Airways South African Airways (SAA) is the flag carrier A flag carrier is a transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one locatio ...
moved its head office from
Durban Durban ( ) ( zu, eThekwini, from meaning 'the port'), nicknamed ''Durbs'',Ishani ChettyCity nicknames in SA and across the worldArticle on ''news24.com'' from 25 October 2017. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
to Rand Airport in Germiston on 1 July 1935. It later moved the offices first to
Johannesburg Johannesburg (, also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli ), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is the largest city in South Africa, classified as a Megacity#List of megacities, megacity, and is List of urban areas by ...

Johannesburg
, then to . The city is an industrial centre with steel manufacture and distribution being the largest industries. It has large railway workshops, a large glassworks, engineering companies, gas distribution firms, and many other heavy and light industries.


Sports

Victoria Lake is better known today simply as Germiston Lake, however, the famous Sailing and Rowing Club retains the name of the Victoria Lake Club. The club is home to some of the best canoeists and rowing crews in the country, including the twenty-time South African School Champions, St Benedict's College. The lake is very popular at weekends for water-skiing and regattas. The lake grounds have recently been re-landscaped and the braai areas and shelters rebuilt. The motorsports facility was located in the city, but it was sold to industrial estate developers in November 2007. The Raceway was formerly the Gosforth Park Race Club, one of the major horse racing facilities in Gauteng. Germiston Stadium (formerly the Herman Immelman Stadium), home stadium of Moroka Swallows FC is also located in the city. This is also the home ground for the Germiston Simmer Rugby Club and has a
tartan track Tartan Track is a trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal contro ...
for athletics.


Law and government


Government


Coats of arms

* Municipal (1) By 1931, the Germiston municipality had assumed a pseudo-heraldic coat of arms, depicting (1) buck in the veld, (2) a scene showing mineshafts, (3) a railway train in a landscape, and (4) a half-tented ox-wagon in a landscape, the quarters separated by a red cross. The motto was ''Salus populi suprema lex''.The arms were depicted on
cigarette card
issued in 1931.
* Municipal (2) A proper coat of arms was granted by the
College of Arms The College of Arms, or Heralds' College, is a royal corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by ...
in August 1935. It was registered with the Transvaal Provincial Administration in August 1963Transvaal ''Official Gazette'' 2400 (19 August 1963). and at the
Bureau of Heraldry The Bureau of Heraldry is the South African heraldic authority A heraldic authority is defined as an office or institution which has been established by a reigning monarch or a government to deal with heraldry in the country concerned. It does ...
in February 1968.http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za The arms were: ''Gules, within two bendlets Or between two ox wagons Argent, three bezants'' (i.e. a red shield displaying three gold coins between two diagonal gold lines between two ox-wagons). The crest was a rising falcon (representing Rand Airport); the supporters were two eland, each resting a foot on an heraldic fountain (a white and blue striped disc); the motto was ''Salus populi suprema lex''.


Infrastructure


Transportation


Roads

Germiston is well-connected to five major
freeway A controlled-access highway is a type of highway A highway is any public or private road A road is a wide way leading from one place to another, typically one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles and bikes can use. ...

freeway
s or motorways that service the Greater Johannesburg region. These include to the west of Germiston, the M2 motorway that connects the southern
Johannesburg CBD The Central Business District, commonly called Johannesburg CBD, is one of the main business centres of Johannesburg Johannesburg ( , also ; ; Zulu language, Zulu and xh, eGoli), informally known as Jozi, Joburg, or "The City of Gold", is ...

Johannesburg CBD
, the N3 Eastern Bypass, the N12 South. On the southern side, the N17 and N3 and in the north, the N12 East and the R24 service the city.


Railways

Being a
mining Mining is the extraction of valuable mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occu ...

mining
and industrial city, Germiston is serviced by passenger rail and the CBD has several stations, the main one being Germiston Station. The industrial areas are serviced by rail spurs and stations and the
Transnet Transnet SOC Ltd is a large South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers ...

Transnet
has a large depot north of the CBD in Keswick Road.


Airports

Germiston is also the location of Rand Airport, at one time one of the busiest in Africa and the southern hemisphere. Today it caters largely for light aircraft and flying schools, but is also home to the South African Airways Museum. As a result of this, two of the earlier Boeing 747 Jumbo aircraft used by SAA now reside there on permanent display.


Health systems

Germiston is served by the Bertha Gxowa Hospital, a public state hospital. Other private hospitals include Life Roseacres Hospital in Primrose.


Education

The oldest high school in the city is part of the
combined Combined may refer to: * Alpine combined (skiing), the combination of slalom and downhill skiing as a single event ** super combined (skiing) * Nordic combined (skiing), the combination of cross country skiing and ski jumping as a single event * Th ...
St Catherine's School, an independent Catholic school which was founded by the Dominican Sisters under the leadership of Mother Rose Nyland in the city centre in 1908. The school then relocated to Piercy Avenue in the suburb of Parkhill Gardens in the 1940s. Today it is considered to be one of the leading private schools in Gauteng. Germiston High School was founded in 1917 alongside Victoria Lake; from the 1940s to 1963, the girls were based in Fourth Avenue in Lambton, at what was known as Germiston Girls' High School, whilst the boys remained at the 1917 campus as Germiston Boys' High School. In 1964, due to the need to relocate the Afrikaans Delville Primary School, the girls were moved back to combine with the boys in the original historic buildings. The school celebrated its centenary in 2017. Famous past pupils include Dr Sydney Brenner, winner of the 2002
Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, busines ...
. The Germiston Boys' High School cadet band was known throughout South Africa as one of the greatest school cadet bands ever to compete and parade in South Africa. This cadet band's record of achievement is unparalleled in the history of South African school cadet bands. The band started its success from the year 1952, running up to and including 1964. Often the band would record an average mark of 99 percent overall. (Music performance, drumming, bugle and trumpet ensemble, along with drill, dress and discipline). The school boasted a very large and active music centre for a number of years, which grew largely due to the work of the late George Burgess. The various jazz and concert bands that were the product of the music centre recorded various long playing records, won awards in various Eisteddfods and national competitions and appeared on television. Sadly, due to education department budget restructuring, the music centre was closed. The school still enjoys the singing of an excellent choir. The rowing club, which won the South African National Championships in 1980, is still flourishing, and the oarsmen and women compete at all the school regattas.


Notable people

Notable people to come from Germiston include: * Dr
Sydney Brenner Sydney Brenner (13 January 1927 – 5 April 2019) was a South African biologist A biologist is a professional who has specialized knowledge in the field of biology, understanding the underlying mechanisms that govern the functioning ...
, winner of the 2002
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded yearly by the Nobel Assembly , native_name_lang = , image = Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.jpeg , size = , motto = , formation = 190113 March 1978(as a forma ...
*
Neville Colman Neville Colman (July 30, 1945 in Germiston, South Africa– February 11, 2003 in New York City, United States) was a hematologist and forensic DNA expert who made ground-breaking discoveries about folate and nutrition. He also founded the West Side ...
, hematologist and DNA expert *
John Cundill John Cundill (1936–2016) was a South African born television scriptwriter, playwright, journalist and actor. He is best known in South Africa as the television scriptwriter for ''The Villagers'' and ''Westgate'' series. He would later write seve ...
, journalist and playwright * Jeannie de Gouveia (better known as Jeannie D), TV presenter, media personality and founder of Finery Gin. *
Trevor Denman Trevor Denman (born 24 September 1952) is a South African American sportscaster and public-address announcer specializing in Thoroughbred horse race, Thoroughbred horse racing. Background Denman was born in Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa. A part ...
, an American sportscaster and public-address announcer specialising in thoroughbred horse racing *
Arlene Dickinson Arlene Dickinson (born October 8, 1956) is a Canadian businesswoman, investor, author, and television personality. She is the General Partner of District Ventures Capital and CEO of Venture Communications and is represented by CBC Television as a s ...

Arlene Dickinson
, South African-Canadian entrepreneur * Mike dos Santos, strategist, dancer and writer *
Ernie Els Theodore Ernest Els (; born 17 October 1969) is a South African professional golfer. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands ) along with his fluid golf swing. Among his 71 career victo ...

Ernie Els
, golfer who attended Delville Primary School and Jan de Klerk High School. *
Malcolm Marx Malcolm Justin Marx (born ) is a South African professional rugby union player for the South Africa national rugby union team, South Africa national team and the Kubota Spears in the Japanese Top League. His regular position is hooker, but he did ...
, South African rugby player (2019 Rugby World Cup winner) *
Ted Grant Edward Grant (born Isaac Blank; 9 July 1913 – 20 July 2006) was a South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million peo ...
,
Trotskyist Trotskyism is the political ideology and branch of Marxism developed by Ukrainian-Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and by some other members of the Left Opposition and Fourth International. Trotsky self-identified as an Orthodox Marxism, orth ...
politician and theorist *
Bertha GxowaBertha Gxowa (née Mashaba November 26, 1934 - November 19, 2010) was an anti-apartheid and women's rights activist and trade unionist in South Africa. Biography Gxowa was born in Germiston. She first started working as an office assistant in the ...
, anti-apartheid and women's rights activist and trade unionist * , Lebanese South African former footballer *
Albert Johanneson Albert Louis Johanneson (13 March 1940 – 28 September 1995) was a South African professional association football, footballer who was one of the first high-profile Black people, black men, of any nationality, to play top-flight football in ...
, professional footballer and first black player to play in the FA Cup *
Bobby Locke Arthur D'Arcy "Bobby" Locke (20 November 1917 – 9 March 1987) was a South African professional golfer. He won four Open Championships, nine South African Open (golf), South African Opens, seven South African PGA Championships and 15 PGA Tour ev ...

Bobby Locke
, professional golfer, winner of four
Open Championship The Open Championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, is the oldest golf tournament in the world, and one of the most prestigious. Founded in 1860, it was originally held annually at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. Later th ...
s * André Nel, South African cricket fast bowler * Sir Hugh Saunders, air chief marshal * Stanley Skewes, mathematician *
Helen Suzman Helen Suzman, OMSG, DBE (née Gavronsky; 7 November 1917 – 1 January 2009) was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician. She represented a succession of liberal and centre-left Centre-left politics (British English ...
, anti-apartheid activist and politician * Marie Warder, journalist who went on to champion the cause of
hemochromatosis Iron overload or haemochromatosis (also spelled ''hemochromatosis'' in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varietie ...


References


External links

* {{Authority control East Rand Populated places in Ekurhuleni Populated places established in 1886