Vanderbijlpark is an industrial city next to the Vaal River in southern Gauteng, South Africa.
It is home to Vanderbijlpark Steel (previously part of ISCOR (Iron and Steel Corporation), now part of the global company Mittal).
With neighbouring towns Vereeniging and Sasolburg it forms the Vaal Triangle, a major industrial region of South Africa. Located in the district municipality of Sedibeng and the local municipality of Emfuleni. The black townships Boipatong, Bophelong, Sebokeng and Sharpeville are close to the city. VECOR, the largest comprehensive heavy engineering works in the Southern Hemisphere, is also located in Vanderbijlpark. Vanderbijlpark is also home to Cape Gate (Pty) Ltd, a major market share holder in the wire industry.
It all started when Dr HJ van der Bijl, a brilliant young scientist working in the United States at the time, was called back to South Africa in 1920 by the then Prime Minister Jan Smuts to advise the government on planning South Africa's industrial development.
Van der Bijl oversaw the Iron and Steel Corporation's first plant at Pretoria, but with the increased demand after World War II, 100 km² was bought to build a large steel works and model town. The steel works began operating in 1947 and the town was proclaimed in 1949. The town attained municipal status in 1952 when Governor General Dr EG Jansen opened ISCOR's second steel works.
There are over 60 primary and secondary schools within the Vaal Triangle area. Of these, 16 primary and 8 secondary schools are located in Vanderbijlpark.
The Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University is located in Vanderbijlpark. This campus is situated on the banks of the Vaal River and has student numbers exceeding 3000.
According to the 2001 Census, Vanderbijlpark occupies an area of 233 km². The population is 80,201, which can be broken down as follows: 70.2% White, 28.7% Black, 0.8% Coloured and 0.4% Asian. The population density is 344 persons per km² (888 persons per mi²).
Dating back to 1950, the town of Sasolburg originated around the first petrol-from-coal plant the world has ever seen. Since then a sprawling, but modern and well-planned, town grew around a fast developing industrial complex headed by the Sasol Company. The latter today is a global petro-chemical giant listed inter alia on the New York Stock Exchange.