Sharpeville Tribute: A Little Bit Of History
It all started when Dr. HJ van der Bijl, a brilliant young scientist working in the United States at the time, was called back to South Africa in 1920 by the then Prime Minister Jan Smuts to advise the government on planning South Africa’s industrial development.
Van der Bijl oversaw the Iron and Steel Corporation’s first plant at Pretoria, but with the increased demand after World War II, 100 km² was bought to build a large steelworks and model town. The steelworks began operating in 1947 and the town was proclaimed in 1949. The town attained municipal status in 1952 when Governor-General Dr. EG Jansen opened ISCOR’s second steelworks.
Vanderbijlpark’s 500 000 trees shade streets named after scientists, engineers, composers, poets, writers, and medical practitioners. They house one of the most cosmopolitan communities in the country
There are over 60 primary and secondary schools within the Vaal Triangle area. Of these, 16 primary and 8 secondary schools are located in Vanderbijlpark.
The Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University is located in Vanderbijlpark. This campus is situated on the banks of the Vaal River and has student numbers exceeding 3000. The Vaal University of Technology (previously the Vaal Triangle Technikon) was established more than 40 years ago in 1966 an boasts more than 17 000 students.