Witbank, South Africa

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Witbank, South Africa

Region: Mpumalanga


Geographic Coordinates: -25.877000, 29.201000
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 30.0°C (50°F to 86°F)
Population: 108673
Language: Zulu

Witbank is a city in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, Located about 110 kilometers east of Johannesburg. It has gained fame for its coal mining industry since it was established in 1890. The city was named after a white sandstone outcrop that resembled a witbank or white ridge. Witbank’s location in the Highveld region makes it an ideal place for coal mining because of its vast deposits of coal reserves. The mines provide employment opportunities to thousands of people and contribute significantly to the local economy.

Apart from coal mining, Witbank also has other economic sectors such as agriculture, Tourism, And manufacturing. The agricultural sector produces maize, Sunflowers, And potatoes while the manufacturing sector produces textiles, Furniture, And chemicals. Tourism is also crucial to Witbank’s economy with attractions like Middelburg Dam that offers water sports activities such as fishing and boating. Emalahleni Nature Reserve boasts several hiking trails where visitors can enjoy nature walks while spotting various wildlife species. The city has excellent infrastructure with well-developed road networks connecting it to other major cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Public transportation options are available including buses and taxis making it easy for residents to move around within the city. In terms of education facilities, Witbank has numerous primary schools, High schools as well as tertiary institutions such as colleges offering vocational training courses on various fields including engineering courses related to mining activities within this region. Overall, Witbank offers residents access to basic amenities like healthcare facilities, Sports centers, And shopping malls. Therefore, It serves both locals and visitors alike as a vibrant city worth visiting.’



Important Landmarks

  1. Witbank Dam
  2. Highveld Mall
  3. Emalahleni Nature Reserve
  4. Duvha Power Station
  5. Witbank Golf Club
  6. eMakhazeni Local Municipality Cultural Village
  7. Middelburg Dam
  8. Loskop Dam Nature Reserve
  9. Tshwane University of Technology, Witbank Campus
  10. Witbank Civic Centre

Primary Industries

  1. Mining: Witbank has one of the largest coal mining industries in South Africa. There are several coal mines that supply both local and international markets.
  2. Energy: With rich coal reserves, Witbank is home to several power plants that generate electricity for the country.
  3. Manufacturing: There are several manufacturing companies in Witbank producing goods such as steel products, chemicals, and construction materials.
  4. Agriculture: The surrounding areas of Witbank are suitable for farming activities like livestock farming and crop cultivation.
  5. Retail: With a growing population and increasing economic activity, there are many retail businesses such as shopping centers and supermarkets serving the needs of residents.
  6. Services sector: Various service-based industries like finance, healthcare facilities (hospitals), education institutions (schools), transport services, etc., provide employment opportunities to people living there.

Noteable History

  1. The Witbank Dam was constructed between 1970 and 1977, and it is one of the largest dams in South Africa. It provides water to the city of Witbank.
  2. During the Anglo Boer War, Witbank played a crucial role for both sides. British forces occupied the town from 1900 to 1902.
  3. In 1994, Nelson Mandela visited Witbank during his election campaign and addressed a large crowd at the local stadium.
  4. The Eskom Power Station is located just outside of Witbank and is one of South Africa’s largest power stations.
  5. Hendrik Verwoerd, who served as Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 to 1966, was born in nearby Amsterdam and worked as a teacher in Witbank.
  6. Sasol is a major petrochemical company with its headquarters located just outside of Witbank that operates throughout southern Africa.
  7. During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), Colonel Robert Baden-Powell led a group of British soldiers on a daring raid on a Boer commando camp near Middelburg resulting in several hundred prisoners being taken captive.
  8. Johannes Coetzee was an Afrikaans poet who lived and worked in Witbank for much of his career.
  9. The Steve Biko Memorial Hospital serves patients from throughout Gauteng province including those living near or within close proximity to Witbank despite its location just outside Pretoria.
  10. Piet Retief Monument stands at KwaMahlangu on the border between Middelburg and Witbank commemorating Voortrekker leader Piet Retief who was killed by Zulu King Dingane in 1838.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Witbank Dam
  2. Emalahleni Local History Museum
  3. Tshwane University of Technology Art Gallery
  4. Middelburg Nature Reserve
  5. Tsakane Township Art Centre
  6. The Ridge Casino and Entertainment Resort
  7. eMakhazeni Local Municipality Cultural Village
  8. Kwa Guqa Heritage Centre
  9. Middelburg Mall
  10. Witbank Civic Centre


Sports Teams

  1. Witbank Spurs Football Club: The club was founded in 1962 and has since been one of the most successful football clubs in South Africa. They have won several championships and have produced many talented players who went on to play for top clubs both locally and internationally.
  2. Witbank Rugby Club: The club was established in 1970 and has been an integral part of the rugby community ever since. They have competed at various levels, including provincial competitions.
  3. Witbank Cricket Club: The club was formed in 1906 and is one of the oldest cricket clubs in South Africa. They have produced many talented cricketers over the years, some of whom went on to represent South Africa at international level.
  4. Witbank Golf Club: The golf course was established in 1907 and is known for its scenic beauty as well as its challenging layout. It has hosted several prestigious tournaments over the years.
  5. Witbank Titans Volleyball Club: Established on May 2019, they are now competing in the Mpumalanga Volleyball League (MVL).


Cultural Events

  1. Witbank Dam Festival: This festival celebrates the importance of Witbank Dam to the community and features live music, food stalls, and water sports.
  2. Emalahleni Cultural Festival: This event showcases local culture and traditions through music, dance, and art.
  3. Witbank Show: An agricultural show featuring livestock exhibitions, food stalls, and entertainment for all ages.
  4. Mpumalanga Wine Show: A wine tasting event that highlights some of South Africa’s best wines from various vineyards.
  5. The Big Walk: An annual charity walk that brings together people from all walks of life to raise funds for local charities.
  6. Witbank Carnival: A vibrant parade with colourful floats showcasing the diversity of cultures in the area.
  7. Lowveld Airshow: An aviation event that showcases vintage planes as well as modern aircraft displays.
  8. The Middelburg Agricultural Show: Another agricultural show held in nearby Middelburg with similar events like the Witbank show but on a larger scale.
  9. Mpumalanga Jazz Festival: A festival celebrating jazz music with performances by local musicians as well as international artists.
  10. Witbank Arts & Culture Festival: An annual festival showcasing various art forms including visual arts, literature, theatre performances among others.

Cuisine

  1. Braai (South African BBQ) – many locals enjoy grilling meats and vegetables over open flames.
  2. Pap en vleis – a traditional South African dish consisting of maize meal porridge served with grilled meat.
  3. Bunny chow – a Durban specialty that has become popular throughout South Africa, it is a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry.
  4. Potjiekos – a stew cooked in a cast iron pot over an open flame, often made with beef or lamb and vegetables.
  5. The Bank Restaurant & Bar – located in the heart of Witbank, this restaurant offers contemporary cuisine with an extensive wine list.
  6. The Deck Restaurant & Bar – situated on the banks of Witbank Dam, this restaurant serves seafood dishes and has stunning views of the water.
  7. The Red Apple Grill & Cocktail Lounge – known for their steaks and burgers, this restaurant also offers live music on weekends.
  8. 19th Hole Restaurant at Highveld Country Club – offering breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as catering services for events such as weddings or corporate functions.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Witbank Dam Nature Reserve offers hiking, fishing, and bird watching.
  2. Reyno Ridge Park has a playground, picnic areas, and walking trails.
  3. Highveld Mall is a shopping center with various stores and restaurants.
  4. Witbank Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course.
  5. Ridge Casino & Entertainment Resort features a casino, bowling alley, and cinema.
  6. Witbank Rugby Stadium hosts rugby matches and other sporting events.
  7. Ben Fleur Boulevard Shopping Centre is a shopping centre with various stores.
  8. Tshwane University of Technology Mbombela Campus offers educational opportunities.
  9. Witbank Civic Center hosts public events such as music concerts or theatre performances.
  10. Middelburg Dam Nature Reserve offers recreational activities such as camping and hiking.

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