Tunatazama - Community Monitors

History Of Bophelong by Lebohang Motsoari (Tsebo Community Organization)

The overview history of Bophelong is that it was built in the 1940’s as residence for migrant workers who worked for the then Iscor which is now called Arcelor Mittal Vanderbijlpark.

At first the houses built were meant for black male workers and not their families.  The architecture of the houses was semi-compounds or hostels with two houses joint.  The other infrastructure in the area was a shopping complex, public hall, satellite police station which are still there to this day.  There was also a beer hall in the area.

With growing resistance to the apartheid regime in the late 1950’s the Iscor workers fought and won the right to bring their families to their residences hence the area was turned to family units.  This came with minor infrastructural development, e.g. clinic, library and not forgetting schools.  In 1997 the post apartheid government built R.D.P houses around Bophelong, forming Bophelong extensions.  In 1998 people from the old Bophelong backyards, descendants of ex-Iscor workers and squatter camps dwellers moved into the new R.D.P. houses.

The area has now five primary schools, three secondary schools, one clinic, one library, a satellite police station, youth centre, one main hall, one mini hall and not yet used taxi rank facility.