West Rand
The West Rand is the name of the urban western part of the Witwatersrand
The Witwatersrand is a low, sedimentary range of hills, at an elevation of 1700–1800 metres above sea-level, which runs in an east-west direction through Gauteng in South Africa. The word in Afrikaans means "the ridge of white waters". Geologically it is complex, but the principal formations...

 that is functionally merged with the Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

. This area became settled by European
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

s after a gold-bearing
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 reef discovered in 1886 and sparked the gold rush
Gold rush
A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a dramatic discovery of gold. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.In the 19th and early...

 that gave rise to the establishment of Johannesburg.

The West Rand extends from Randfontein
Randfontein, Gauteng
Randfontein is a gold mining town in western Gauteng, South Africa, 45 km west of Johannesburg. With the Witwatersrand gold rush in full swing, mining financier JB Robinson bought the farm Randfontein and, in 1889, floated the Randfontein Estates Gold Mining Company...

 in the west to Roodepoort
Roodepoort, Gauteng
Roodepoort is an area in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. Johannesburg's most famous botanical garden, Witwatersrand National Botanical Gardens , is located in Roodepoort...

 in the east, and includes the town of Krugersdorp
Krugersdorp, Gauteng
Krugersdorp is a mining city with between 378,821 and 408,065 inhabitants in the West Rand of the Gauteng province of South Africa. Krugersdorp was founded in 1887 by Marthinus Pretorius and named after Paul Kruger....

. The areas of Carletonville
Carletonville, Gauteng
Carletonville is a gold-mining town in western Gauteng, South Africa. It is one of the richest gold-producing areas in the world. At 3,749 m, Western Deep Levels is one of the world's deepest mines....

 and Westonaria
Westonaria, Gauteng
Westonaria is a close-knit conurbation of ten suburban townships with 156,598 inhabitants in the west of Gauteng province of South Africa. It is situated in the Westonaria Local Municipality in West Rand. During the apartheid era, blacks lived outside town in Bekkersdal....

 are sometimes included as being part of the Far West Rand. The areas are economically linked to the city through the gold mining industry. Following the creation of the Johannesburg unicity in 1999, Roodepoort, which is traditionally regarded as part of the West Rand, became part of Johannesburg municipality. After 1999, much of the area (excluding Roodepoort, which became part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality
City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality
The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality is a metropolitan municipality that manages the local governance of Johannesburg, South Africa...

) became part of the newly formed West Rand District Municipality
West Rand District Municipality
The West Rand District Municipality is one of the districts of Gauteng province of South Africa, that covers the West Rand area, with the exception of Roodepoort. The seat of the district municipality is Randfontein. The most spoken language of its 744 168 people is Setswana...


Despite being a separate municipal area, like the East Rand, the West Rand is included in the Greater Johannesburg metropolitan area
Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area
The Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is the name of the area surrounding the city of Johannesburg, in South Africa. It includes Johannesburg and the areas of the East Rand and West Rand. It is often referred to as the Witwatersrand, or Rand, after a low mountain range that runs through the...

. To this end, the West Rand shares the same dialling code  as Johannesburg (011 locally). It is not uncommon for residents of the West Rand to work
Economies of agglomeration
The term economies of agglomeration is used in urban economics to describe the benefits that firms obtain when locating near each other . This concept relates to the idea of economies of scale and network effects...

in Johannesburg proper and vice versa.
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