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Randfontein is one of the towns in Gauteng which owes its growth and expansion to the gold mining industry of the late 1880s. However, its first existence dates as far back as the 1550s. In the 1550s, the AmaNdebele lived in Emhlangeni, which is the area that we know as Randfontein today.
From the late 1870s to the 1880s, gold was discovered in various areas of the land which led to the establishment of the Randfontein Estate Gold Mining Company in 1889, which was acquired by the Harmony Gold Mining Company in 2000. From 1903, Randfontein was managed by Krugersdorp and it was only in 1929 that Randfontein broke away from Krugersdorp and became an independent municipality.
Randfontein is a rural town on the outskirts of Johannesburg in a particularly beautiful setting. It is home to one of the world’s largest stamp mills which was once used for preparing the pulp in early paper making.
Aside from its significance during the gold mining boom of the late 1880s in South Africa, Randfontein is also home to other historical events and holds rumors of its own. The Jameson Raid, which occurred from 29 December 1895 until 2 January 1896, happened in Randfontein and remnants of this botched raid against the South African Republic by the British colonial statesman can be found in Randfontein. The graves of fallen men William Charles Beatty-Powell, John Bernard Bletsoe, Harry Davies, John Foster, and C.E Hennessy can be seen at the Randfontein Estates Gold Mine Military Cemetery. A war memorial can also be found in the town.
In terms of rumors, it is believed that the Kruger Millions may be located on the Homestead ground. Paul Kruger and JB Robinson, who bought the properties and farms of the Randfontein district in 1890, were good friends and Paul Kruger is believed to have needed a place to hide his Kruger Rands to stop them from falling into British hands after the second Boer War. This led to the belief that the Kruger Millions were buried in Randfontein.
Places of interest that are in close proximity to Randfontein are the graves of the fallen British soldiers during the culmination of the Jameson Raid and the Mining Commissioner and Telegraph Offices in Kocksoord.