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Kempton Park is a city on the East Rand, in the Gauteng province of South Africa. It forms a central hub for logistics and transport for the region, and indeed the entire country, as the area in which OR Tambo International Airport (Africa’s busiest) is located. As a result, the city is also something of an economic center, with many airlines and logistics companies being headquartered in or near the airport itself.

Kempton Park was formerly an independent municipality as part of the Transvaal, but since 2000 has formed part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

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Kempton Park was originally established in 1903 by German immigrant Karl Wolff, a prominent businessman and landowner. Wolff had been transferred to South Africa in 1875 by his company, Adolph Mosenthal & Co. He later moved to Johannesburg to open another branch of the same company, and became a leader among the German community in the region.

Due to Wolff’s status as well as his international connections, he was chosen by the South African Republic as an intermediary in their negotiations with the Nobel Trust, who were responsible for building dynamite factories in the region (dynamite being a crucial resource in the booming mining industry at the time). Wolff established Kempton Park by subdividing his Zuurfontein farm into residential plots, creating a town that he named Kempten after the Bavarian town in which he had been born. The name was later anglicised to become Kempton Park.

During the apartheid years, Kempton Park was the scene of a few significant events, most notable the storming of the Kempton Park World Trade Center by several paramilitary right-wing Afrikaner groups in 1993. These groups opposed the discussions being carried out at this venue that were intended to bring about the end of the apartheid system by organising the country’s first free and fair elections.




Kempton Park is situated on the Witwatersrand, northeast of the city of Johannesburg and south of Pretoria. The city is located next to Tembisa, one of the largest townships in the whole of South Africa. In recent decades, the boundaries between Kempton Park and its neighbouring cities have become so close as to warrant the widespread view (in the public eye, at least) of the area as part of the greater Johannesburg/Pretoria region.




Kempton Park is home to a few significant landmarks. Most notable among these is of course the OR Tambo International Airport, which is the main feature of the region and the reason for most visits to the area. The Emperor’s Palace Casino, one of the country’s largest, is also located in the city. The Kempton Park Golf Course is noted for being the place where celebrated golfer Ernie Els first learned to play.


Interesting Statistics


  • Kempton Park is home to approximately 171,575 people, at a population density of around 1200 per square kilometer.
  • The majority population is more or less an even split between White and Black African groups.
  • Afrikaans is the most commonly spoken language in Kempton Park.

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