Alberton is a town situated on the East Rand of the Gauteng Province in South Africa which celebrated its centenary year in 2005. As of 2007 it had a population of 202,202 inhabitants. It is known as a typical bedroom community, a community primarily residential in character, with most of its workers commuting to work in nearby suburbs or cities. The town has multiple access roads to all major freeways in Gauteng, most notably the R59, N3 and N12. Alberton is situated on the banks of the Natal Spruit close to the major urban centres of Johannesburg (15 kilometres south east) and Pretoria (76 kilometers).
Founding and history
Org Meyer's GraveAt the age of 13 a boy by the name of Johannes Petrus Meyer bought 11 hectares of his father’s farm Elandsfontein. He later built a house next to the Alberton stream or Natalspruit, close to where the civic centre stands today, and married. After his wife died in 1870 at the birth of their fourth daughter, he decided to start a general store and built his farmhouse mansion in 1890. The house was miraculously left unharmed during the Anglo Boer War of 1899 – 1902 and can still be seen today from the bypassing N12 freeway.
Jan's brother, Johan Georg (Org) Meyer, took over the farm after Jan's death. General Hennie Alberts, a veteran of the war, purchased a part of the farm Elandsfontein from Org and he decided on the name Alberton.
The Afrikaans medium primary school Jan Meyer was named for the original owner of the farm, and the affluent suburb Meyersdal also refers to the family whose original farmhouse mansion still stands on the land behind the Meyersdal koppie. The primary school Generaal Alberts, and Hennie Alberts Avenue in the suburb of Brackenhurst, are named after the town founder.
The first official post office was opened in 1926, and in 1938 building work started on a town hall. Street names in the Alberton North suburb were renamed after Voortrekkers in 1938, to coincide with the 100 year commemoration of the Great Trek. The well-known Blou Meul was established in 1954 in Van Riebeeck Street, Alberton North, and is still trading today as a general store specializing in outdoor activity equipment.