|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2007)|
|• Total||77.16 km2 (29.79 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,570 m (5,150 ft)|
|• Density||1,600/km2 (4,100/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||26.5%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||1447, 1448, 1449, 1450, 1452, 1453, 1454, 1455, 1456, 1457, 1458, 1481|
Alberton is a town situated on the East Rand of the Gauteng Province in South Africa which celebrated its centenary year in 2005. As of 2007[update] it had a population of 202,202 inhabitants. It is known as a typical bedroom community, a community primarily residential in character, with most of its workers commuting to work in nearby suburbs or cities. The town has multiple access roads to all major freeways in Gauteng, most notably the R59, N3 and N12. Alberton is situated on the banks of the Natal Spruit close to the major urban centres of Johannesburg (15 kilometres south east) and Pretoria (76 kilometers).
Founding and history
At the age of 13 a boy by the name of Johannes Petrus Meyer bought 11 hectares of his father’s farm Elandsfontein. He later built a house next to the Alberton stream or Natalspruit, close to where the civic centre stands today, and married. After his wife died in 1870 at the birth of their fourth daughter, he decided to start a general store and built his farmhouse mansion in 1890. The house was miraculously left unharmed during the Anglo Boer War of 1899–1902 and can still be seen today from the bypassing N12 freeway.
Jan's brother, Johan Georg (Org) Meyer, took over the farm after Jan's death. General Hennie Alberts, a veteran of the war, purchased a part of the farm Elandsfontein from Org and he decided on the name Alberton.
The Afrikaans medium primary school Jan Meyer was named for the original owner of the farm, and the affluent suburb Meyersdal also refers to the family whose original farmhouse mansion still stands on the land behind the Meyersdal koppie. The primary school Generaal Alberts, and Hennie Alberts Avenue in the suburb of Brackenhurst, are named after the town founder.
The first official post office was opened in 1926, and in 1938 building work started on a town hall. Street names in the Alberton North suburb were renamed after Voortrekkers in 1938, to coincide with the 100 year commemoration of the Great Trek. The well-known Blou Meul was established in 1954 in Van Riebeeck Street, Alberton North, and is still trading today as a general store specializing in outdoor activity equipment.
Town planning and geography
The only reason for Alberton's location is its proximity to the major population centre. It has large industrial areas, and has become a part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, together with other towns such as Germiston, Bedfordview and Edenvale. There are several shopping centres, libraries, clinics, hospitals and entertainment facilities.
The construction of the Alberton Boulevard was a major development started in the late 1980s with the aim of converting a section of Voortrekker Road that runs past the Alberton City Shopping Mall into a pedestrian-friendly zone.
The town's initial centre of development was in the area now known as Alberton North or ‘Old’ Alberton.
Alberton has an elevation of approximately 1570 m above sea level.
Over the years development sprawled out into adjacent areas, and today Alberton is made up of 19 suburbs: Alberante, Albermarle, Albertsdal, Alberton North, Alrode, Brackendowns, Brackenhurst, Eden Park, Florentia, General Alberts Park, Mayberry Park, Meyersdal, New Redruth, Palm Ridge, Randhart, Raceview, South Crest, Thokoza, and Verwoerdpark.
Alrode, which is Alberton's current industrial suburb, was established in 1943.
The original black settlement in Alberton was in the area of the Alberton Dam, but during the apartheid era inhabitants were removed to surrounding black townships, and a white suburb was established around the dam and named Verwoerdpark, after former prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd.
Facilities and recreation
Healthcare facilities include numerous government clinics as well the privately run Union Hospital and Clinton Clinic.
There are sports facilities and clubs for tennis, rugby, boxing, wrestling, cricket, jukskei, netball, hockey, soccer, bowls, korfball and ring tennis ( a sport invented by local man, Eddie Kok) in Alberton. It is also home to the Reading Country Club and Golf Course. Alberton was also home to the now defunct New Market Race Course.
Alberton enjoys a dry, sunny climate, with the exception of occasional late afternoon downpours in the summer months of October to April. Temperatures in greater Johannesburg are usually fairly mild thanks to the city's high altitude, with the average maximum daytime temperature in January of 26 ℃ (79 ℉), dropping to an average maximum of around 16 ℃ (61 ℉) in June. Winter is the sunniest time of the year, with cool days and cold nights. The temperature occasionally drops to below freezing at night, causing frost. Snow is a rare occurrence, with snowfall having been experienced in May 1956, August 1962, June 1964, September 1981 and August 2006 (light). Snow fell again on 27 June 2007, but was just ice rain. accumulating up to 10 centimeters (3.9 in) in the southern suburbs. Regular cold fronts pass over in winter bringing very cold southerly winds but usually clear skies. The annual average rainfall is 713 millimetres (28.1 in), mostly in the summer months. There are infrequent showers in winter.
Following the renaming of street names in Alberton to honor predominantly Afrikaner influenced history and figures in 1938, the first new suburb to be developed outside the town centre was named New Redruth and the street names have a predominantly English character with names such as Penzance, St Michael and Gatwick Circle. The majority of streets in Brackenhurst are named after flowers and in the case of Mayberry Park, after trees.
H.F.Verwoerd stood as the National Party's candidate for Alberton in the 1948 elections, the outcome of which saw the National Party ascend to power. Some years later, Hendrik Verwoerd was appointed as president of the party and ultimately Prime Minister of South Africa. Though a suburb is named for him, it is interesting to note that he lost out on the Alberton seat that year by 54 votes to the United Party candidate, Marais Steyn.
- Japie Mulder (Springbok rugby player)
- Arnold Vosloo (Actor)
- Carl Niehaus (Politician)
- Andrew Hall (Protea Cricketer)
- Andre Pretorius (Springbok rugby player)
- "Main Place Alberton". Census 2011.
- Alberton web site
- Alberton Blogging and Community web site
- Alberton Online Community Forum and Business Directory
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