Witbank Deals, Specials & Catalogues
Witbank is a prominent city in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, and is a major population center as well as an industrial hub for the region.
In particular, the city and surrounding region is known for its focus on coal mining, with rich deposits of the resource nearby that contribute heavily to the country’s infrastructure (in particular, the coal-fired power plants that provide electricity to much of South Africa). The city’s name translates to ‘white ridge’, after the outcrop of white sandstone where wagon drivers once regularly rested on their journeys along the old wagon route that passes through the region. The town also goes by its indigenous name of eMalahleni, meaning ‘place of coal’.
Witbank was originally established as a settlement in 1890, and is thus a relatively new city in the history of South Africa. Like many South African settlements, Witbank started out predominantly as a farming community. The founders had intentions to exploit the abundant coal reserves to be found in the area, but were hampered in their progress until the village was finally connected to the railway network in 1894. Witbank developed quickly from this point, and was officially declared a town in 1904, and a municipality in 1914.
One of the most colourful stories surrounding Witbank’s early days is the arrival of Winston Churchill in the area following his escape from Boer captivity. Some Witbank residents who were loyal to British aided Churchill in making the final leg of his escape to Delagoa Bay (today known as Maputo), gaining the town some fame both at home and abroad once the details of this story were made known to the public.
In 2006, Witbank’s name was officially changed to eMalahleni, but the majority of residents continue to use its original name, and it is still known as such throughout most of the country. Today, Witbank’s prominence in the areas of industry and natural resources makes the city a popular destination for business pursuits both local and international (including the likes of Anglo American and SAB Miller), as well as making it an economic center for the country as a whole.
Witbank is located in the Highveld region of South Africa, and is part of the eMalahleni Local Municipality. The city is situated in the eastern part of the Mpumalanga province, and lies along the Pretoria-Maputo railway line, making it an important transport and logistical hub.
Witbank is home to a few notable landmarks, mostly industrial in nature. Foremost among these is arguably the Witbank Dam, one of the largest in South Africa and until recently a popular camping and recreational spot. A large number of coal mines, power plants, and industrial facilities (such as a steel mill) are also located in the vicinity.
Witbank is home to approximately 108,673 people, at a population density of around 660 per square kilometer.
The majority of the population is Black African, with Afrikaans being the most commonly spoken first language.