Witwatersrand

From Academic Kids

Witwatersrand is a low mountain range which runs through Gauteng in South Africa. The word in the Afrikaans language means "the ridge of white waters". It forms a continental divide with water that runs off to the north draining into the Indian Ocean and water that runs off the south draining into the Atlantic. This is also apparent in slight climatic changes in the area, as the low range of hills produces a windward/leeward effect, with Johannesburg's northern suburbs being more lush and well-watered, and the south more dry and arid. The Witwatersrand is part of Gauteng Province, which was called the PWV Province for a brief period as an acronym for Pretoria, Witwatersrand, Vereeniging or Vaal Triangle.

The "Rand" or reef is famous for being the source of 40% of the gold ever mined from the earth. It is 100 kilometres (60 miles) long and 3.6 kilometres deep in places.

The Witwatersrand is also another name often used to describe the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area, which spans the length of the gold-bearing reef. The metropolitan area is oblong in shape and runs from the area of Randfontein and Carletonville in the west to Springs in the east. It includes the vast urban areas of the East and West Rand, and Soweto. To this end, the whole metropolitan area shares the same dialling code (011 locally). Substantial growth of the area, however, has prompted Telkom, South Africa's largest telephone company, to consider a second dialing code for the area. The new code is likely to be 010.

As yet, here is no freeway that spans the entire length of the Rand, but plans are in motion to extend the N17 freeway from central Johannesburg to Krugersdorp, so that a motorist could cross the area in less than an hour. The new stretch of freeway will be tolled.

The University of the Witwatersrand, built to serve the residents of the whole area, is located in Johannesburg.de:Witwatersrand fr:Witwatersrand nl:Witwatersrand pl:Witwatersrand

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