The early years
The farm Rietfontein No 9 was originally owned byTobias Mynhardt whose home is still in evidence today and is called FrankMarret Park.
In the early 1890’s, Mynhardt subdivided the areainto four portions, selling Eastleigh to Father De Lacey and Edenvale to a MrAmm, a leading Johannesburg grocer.
The major portion, which extended from ModderfonteinBoundary to Elandsfontein station was sold to the Rietfontein Gold MiningCompany, while the remaining portion of Edendale was retained by Mr. Mynhardt.
The first erven/lots were sold in 1903 and the townnamed after John Eden who was a part owner of Rietfontein in 1900. Owing to theproximity of the land to the Rietfontein Mining Company, the new owners wereinduced to lay out the land as Townships. Eastleigh was laid out in one acrelots while Edenvale and Edendale were sub-divided in quarter acre stands (991sq metres).
In 1903, stands were offered for sale to the publicat 20 pounds per stand, on terms of 2 pound deposit and 1 pound per month. Notsurprisingly this cheap ground, which was also free of tax, encouraged folk tosettle in Edenvale. At that time, Rietfontein Mine employed Cornish Minerscalled “Cousin Jacks” and they settled In Edenvale and Eastleigh in brick-linedwood and iron house, some of which can still be seen today
In 1907, the first school was opened in a house forthe Edenvale children. In 1913, Rietfontein Mine was closed due to the first miningstrike and miners were absorbed into mines in the Germiston area. During thisperiod many Afrikaans families came to live in Edenvale, as an interest inmining grew.
The infamous Rand Revolt of 1922, which grew out ofthe strikes on the gold and coal mines, stifled the growth of Edenvalesomewhat. As a largely mining community, many families were hit hard as minerswere unemployed for many months. To assist these families, a voluntarycommittee, organized by the late Harry Sneech, opened soup kitchens to feed theneedy
By 1924, a Vigilance Association was formed andraised money to build a concrete bridge which linked Edenvale to Eastleigh.From 1935 to 1938 this committee also functioned as a health Committee.
In 1939 Edenvale became a village and in 1954 wasproclaimed a Municipality. Lights and water installations, which became available in 1938, stimulated a building boom in the Edenvale Municipal area.Industrialists also became more interested with the availability of cheap land,so forming the nucleus of today’s Sebenza Industrial Township (meaning “towork” in Zulu).
(Source: An article by Margot Cohen – Eastern Express January 30, 1980)
And now -
Modern Edenvale has become a very well-known part of the Ekurhuleni
In the last ten years the area to the north of Edenvale (Modderfontein) has expanded significantly. Five malls have been erected, Greenstone Shopping Centre, Stoneridge Mall, Eden Meadows, Stonehill Crescent and Green Valley as well as an array of complexes and townhouses, in an area now called Greenstone Hill and Greenstone Park, just west of Illiondale.