A short history of gold in the 'city of gold' Johannesburg.
Johannesburg back in the 1800's - The Gold Reef.
Johannesburg, the city of gold today.
Johannesburg is not only known as the business hub of South Africa but also aptly known as the City of Gold for good reason. Johannesburg is built right on top of one of the biggest natural goldfields known to man. Word spread fast and prospectors from all over the globe came to Johannesburg to try their luck at mining in the Witwatersrand area. It is widely believed that the Struben brothers were the first pioneers to actually find gold - but their luck quickly ran out.
The South African government (in the late 1800's) wasn't convinced of the profitability of the gold rush on the gold reef and refrained from investing too much in the new fad until much later. They did however realize that the large settlement of miners needed to enjoy more formalized services and the start of the city Johannesburg was born.
Gold became the foundation of the monetary system and was to dominate the South African economy and its politics for many decades to come.
The new settlement "Johannesburg" was named after two officials, Johannes Meyer and Johannes Rissik of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republijk. The two of them worked in mapping and land surveying. As both were named Johannes, they decided to use their common first name to which they added 'burg' which also means city. Johannesburg's first real mine 'Confidence Reef' never quite lived up to its name and was quickly closed. By the 1890's there where more than 100 000 people employed directly by the mining industry, only 10% of whom were "Afrikaners".