STS035-080-032 Johannesburg, South Africa December 1990
The city of Johannesburg and numerous mine dumps (crushed waste rock from the gold mines in the area) can be observed in this low-oblique, north-looking photograph. The mine dumps are rectangular, buff-colored patches. North of the city lies the sprawling, multipointed Hartbeespoort Reservoir, east of which lies the city of Pretoria (barely seeable). Johannesburg, besides being a gold mining center, is South Africa's manufacturing and commercial center. The city's major manufacturers produce cut diamonds, industrial chemicals, plastics, cement, electrical and mining equipment, paper and paper products, glass, leather products, food products, and beer. Founded as a mining settlement in 1886, when gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand (meaning "white waters ridge"--from waterfalls cascading down the white quartzite faces of the gold-bearing rock), Johannesburg has grown into South Africa's largest city. The city, at an altitude of 5750 feet (1754 meters), is located on the central plateau, which is an undulating grassland broken occasionally by highlands areas; it experiences a pleasant year-round climate.
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