Saturday 5 February 2022

JOHANNESBURG in the 1930'S


CAPE TIMES - 1933, August 31

Well within living memory the site of the City of Johannesburg can be recalled as a barren, impoverished farm.
Barely 45 years have elapsed since the conversion of the farm was undertaken, and in that comparatively brief interval has arisen a city that the nations of the world recognize as one of the most important among the whole of the wide-flung British Empire.
It is a fact that without courage, foresight, incredibly hard work and unshakable belief in what must have been nothing more than a dream city, Johannesburg could never have grown to its present state of urban beauty which most effectively cloaks the mining activity to which the city owes its being.
For the newcomer to the Union the most likely jumping-off place from which to make the journey to Johannesburg is Cape Town.
The first pleasurable surprise must logically be the railway accommodation. The Union Express is probably the finest, fastest, most luxurious single-track train in the world. It covers the 1 000 miles that separate Cape Town from Johannesburg in the amazingly fast time of 29 hours, making a 6 000 feet ascent in the course of the trip. Every carriage is steam heated, there is a covered-in corridor running the entire length of the train and an observation coach like a small greenhouse, furnished with deep leather armchairs and couches that cannot fail to add pleasure to the journey. 

Of the food served on the Union Express no praise can possibly be extravagant. For an absurdly small sum the travelers can obtain a six-course dinner that would put any city hotel on its mettle. And a valet service and hot bath are two more delightful surprises awaiting the tourist who has arrived in South Africa imbued with ideas of ox-wagons and mule-carts.
Of the social amenities of Johannesburg little need be said. The city is rich with opportunities for diversion, and the people warm-hearted, hospitable and generous to an extreme, see to it that the stranger within their gates is kept amused and happy throughout the length of his stay.


THE STAR Johannesburg - 1935, August 2

It has been generally assumed that JOHANNESBURG was named after Mr. JOHAN RISSIK, Surveyor-General of the South African Republic. Recent research in the archives at Pretoria, however, shows that the city was also named after Mr. CHRISTIAAN JOHANNES JOUBERT, then head of the Mines Department.

In a letter dated February 26, 1896, Mr. T. J. Krogh, Acting Under-Secretary, wrote: “This town was named after Mr. JOHAN RISSIK, the present Surveyor-General, who was first clerk in the department of the Surveyor-General when the town was laid out, and by whom the stands were surveyed, as well as after Mr. CHRISTIAAN JOHANNES JOUBERT, head of the Mines Department. I may add that the names of towns in the Republic are fixed by resolution of the executive council.”

This clears up any doubts about the origin of the names of Johannesburg. Most authorities give the origin of the name as being after Mr. Johan Rissik, and no mention is made of Mr. Joubert.


THE STAR Johannesburg - 1935, August 6

Dr. Gustav S. Preller questioned the report in The Star of the 2nd Aug. 1935 regarding the origin of the name JOHANNESBURG. He assumed that the name of President PAUL JOHANNES KRUGER was coupled with that of Mr. JAN (JOHANNES) MEYER (Johannesburg’s first Mining Commissioner) and that it might probably also have been linked with that of Mr. CHRISTIAAN JOHANNES JOUBERT (Minister of Mines).



THE STAR Johannesburg - 1935, August 10

State letters in the archives at Pretoria seem to dispose of the theory that the name of Johannesburg was derived from the second name of President Paul Johannes Kruger.

In a letter dated February 26, 1896, T. J. Krogh, Acting Under-Secretary for External Affairs, stated that Johannesburg was named after Mr. JOHAN RISSIK, Surveyor-General, and Mr. CHRISTIAAN JOHANNES JOUBERT, head of the Mines Department. 

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