Main Place


Quick Fact
  • 22,168

  • 7,058

  • 6,1%

  • 68%

  • 97,8%

  • 96,7%

Boipatong was established in 1955 under the name Tshirela but it was later renamed. Meaning 'place of shelter' or 'place of hiding' in Sotho, it is said that the name was given because the owner of the farm originally permitted unemployed families to live in huts on the farm property. During apartheid the township housed blacks who were a source of cheap labour for the nearby steel metal works, Iscor. On 17 June 1992, 46 residents of Boipatong were killed by local hostel dwellers in what is now known as the Boipatong massacre. The massacre was one of the reasons that led to a suspension of the COSESA (Convention for a Democratic South Africa) negotiations between the apartheid government and liberation groups. (GPS coordinates: 26.6719 S, 27.8509 E).

Character(s) left.
  • Raper PE. 2004. New dictionary of South African Place Names. Jonathan Ball Publishers.

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Key Statistics 2011

Total population22,168
Young (0-14)26,2%
Working Age (15-64)69,2%
Elderly (65+)4,6%
Dependency ratio44,5
Sex ratio102,1
Population density5145 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+4,3%
Higher education aged 20+6,1%
Matric aged 20+33,8%
Number of households7,058
Average household size3,1
Female headed households36%
Formal dwellings88,4%
Housing owned/paying off54%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage96,7%
Weekly refuse removal97,6%
Piped water inside dwelling68%
Electricity for lighting97,8%

Place names

Emfuleni Municipality