The Making of an Urban Region
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Dimensions and Pages: 200 x 240 mm, 272 pp
  • EAN: 978 1 86814 543 0
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 39.95

Ekurhuleni – The Making of an Urban Region is the first academic work to provide an historical account and explanation of the development of this extended region to the east of Johannesburg since its origins at the end of the nineteenth century. From the time of the discovery of gold and coal until the turn of the twenty-first century, the region comprised a number of distinctive towns, all with their own histories. In 2000, these towns were amalgamated into a single metropolitan area, but, unlike its counterparts across the country, it does not cohere around a single identity.

Drawing on a significant body of academic work as well as original research by the authors, the book traces and examines some of the salient historical strands that constituted what was formerly known as the East Rand and suggests that, notwithstanding important differences between towns and the racial fragmentation generated by apartheid, the region’s history contains significant common features. Arguably, its centrality as a major mining area and then as the country’s engineering heartland gave Ekurhuleni an overarching distinctive economic character.


Phil Bonner is Professor of History at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he holds the National Research Foundation (NRF) Chair in Local Histories and Present Realities. He was historical consultant to and executive producer of a six-part documentary television series entitled Soweto: A History, which was screened on Channel 4 in Britain, on SBS in Australia and SABC TV 1 in South Africa to considerable critical acclaim. He was co-curator of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. Bonner has published widely on urban and labour history. His most recent book, co-authored with Noor Nieftagodien, is Alexandra: A History.

Noor Nieftagodien serves as the Deputy Chair of the History Workshop and is Senior Lecturer in the History Department at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His most recent book is Alexandra: A History, co-authored with Phil Bonner. He serves on the board of the South African History Archives. His primary area of research is on liberation movements and local, urban history. He is currently writing the histories of Orlando West (Soweto), the Vaal Triangle and the Chemical, Electricity, Paper, Plastic and Allied Workers’ Union.

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