Roodepoort, means “red valley” in Afrikaans. It is a residential area which gets its name from the red soil in the area. It dates back to 1884, when Fred Struben discovered the first payable gold in the area at what he called the Confidence Reef, a large rocky outcrop in the centre of Roodepoort. At the time the area was settled by scattered Boer farmers on nine farms. Four of the farms – Roodepoort, Vogelstruisfontein, Paardekraal and Wilgrespruit – were soon declared public diggings.
Jan Bantjies secured the prospecting rights on the farm Roodepoort and the next year, gold was discovered. The farm was opened for public diggings. The diggers needed a place to pitch their tents and so the farm Roodepoort opened up its land. A shantytown sprang up. Four mining towns, Roodepoort, Florida, Hamberg and Maraisburg, were proclaimed between 1886 and 1888. In 1886 the main reef at Langlaagte in Johannesburg was discovered. The gold at Confidence Reef, mostly surface gold in quartz rock, soon ran out, but by then a settled community was established in Roodepoort.
In 1963 the Roodepoort-Maraisburg municipality was changed to Roodepoort and city status was granted in 1977 (at which time Maraisburg was dropped from the name).
Roodepoort is a gold-mining center in the West Rand area. A monument commemorates the Jameson Raid of 1895.
The Old House on the corner of 3rd Street and Boundary Road consists of an early three-roomed wood and iron structure, which soon had a verandah and railing added to become an attractive cottage. The old municipal offices in Berlandina Street, an attractive plaster and stone building now used as a Roodepoort branch library. It was declared a national monument in 1985. Another national monument is the old Roodepoort Town School in Rex Street, on the site of the original building erected in 1894.
The Roodepoort region is an extremely attractive residential areas in Johannesburg. It has lovely views of the city to the east and the Magaliesburg to the west. There are golf courses and entertainment areas, as well as what many consider the city’s finest park, the Witwatersrand Botanical Gardens.
Roodepoort has a busy business centre, with a large variety of shops, shopping centres and shopping malls.
It abounds in accommodation of all sorts – from budget accommodation to more exclusive B & B accommodation. There are many self-catering chalets, hotels, guest houses and lodges to be found in Roodepoort.
Roodepoort is the region most conveniently situated for access to Gauteng attractions such as the Cradle of Humankind, Magaliesburg and Pilanesburg. The area offers a wide range of services including a museum, major private hospitals, shopping centres, schools, country lodges, trails, restaurants, golf courses and country clubs
It is well linked to the rest of the city with major roads, such as Main Reef Road, Ontdekkers Road, Beyers Naude Drive and Malibongwe Drive. It is also conveniently situated for access to leading Gauteng attractions, such as the Cradle of Humankind, Magaliesberg and Pilansberg.
The suburbs in the north of Roodepoort are among the most attractive residential areas in the metro, with houses dotted along rolling hills offering good views of the city to the east and the Magaliesberg to the west.
There are plenty of open spaces, golf courses and entertainment areas, as well as the city’s premier park, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, which was previously known as the Witwatersrand Botanical Garden.
Region C is also home to two universities – the University of South Africa’s Florida campus and the local campus of Australia’s Monash University, in Ruimsig. It is well-served by amenities, including shopping centres, schools, a museum and theatre, health facilities, country lodges, restaurants, sporting facilities and nature trails.