Ekonomiese ontwikkeling en die invloed daarvan op Carletonville, 1948–1988 : 'n historiese studie
Van Eeden, Elize Sonja
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The area in which the local government of Carletonville currently operates, was formerly known as the Gatsrand Ward of the Potchefstroom district. As the region developed economically, it stimulated the proclamation of new towns and the restructuring of area boundaries. In this process the name Gatsrand faded away. Today the name Gatsrand features only as a reference to a series of ridges and as a geographical feature in the Western Transvaal. Economic events and development in the municipal area of Carletonville form part of, and are supplementary to, the historical development of the broader society of the Far West Rand and of the South African economy. This is a study of the economic history of the Carletonville municipal area since 1948 and the influence on community activities till 1988. Since 1937 gold mining development has stimulated definite advances in local development. Up to 1948 six towns for whites have been proclaimed of which Carletonville has become the prime town. In this process the local agricultural sector lost its economic dominance of over nearly 100 years to the mining sector. After 1948 the rich gold discoveries in the so-called West Wits Line area expanded and by 1982 had resulted in the development of seven gold mines within the municipal boundaries of Carletonville, each equipped with an infrastructure for the needs of its own black workers. The gold mines, with the exception of West-Driefontein, via the financial assistance of the mine group Gold Fields of South Africa, supported the settlement and development of a white mining community in Carletonville. Gold mining expansion not only resulted in the development of mines and of mining communities but also led to the establishment of numerous enterprises in the tertiary economic sector. Most of the enterprises in the secondary sector, however, have been developed to provide for the needs of the mining sector. The result is that the manufacturing industry has not yet expanded along such lines as to be an economic substitute capable of preserving the mining community, should mining activities end. Due to the above mentioned economic expansion since 1948, more towns have been proclaimed, communication channels developed, parishes formed, housing, medical facilities and roads expanded to accommodate the needs of the growing number of white inhabitants. The numbers of schools and pupils have also increased. Furthermore, service organisations, cultural, leisure and sporting activities have been organised, especially by the mining companies, to help ensure a vital and balanced society. This also concerns the community of Khutsong outside the northwestern boundary of the Carletonville municipal district, which was established in 1958, in order to accommodate blacks who mainly offered their services to the business sector in the surrounding white communities. The only outstanding negative event which affected the economy, emotions, family life and future of the society in the Carletonville area was the appearance of several frightening sinkholes, especially during the period 1962 to 1970. As a result of the continuation of gold production and the determination of the local and central government to ensure the survival of the area, this unforgettable traumatic setback has been overcome with distinction.