Centurion, South Africa

Centurion (previously known as Verwoerdburg, after Hendrik Verwoerd) is located between Pretoria and Midrand in Gauteng. It is located at the intersection of the N1 and N14 highways. The R21 passes through Centurion and the Hennops River flows through the heart of Centurion.

Short history

Centurion developed from the initial Lyttelton Township that was established on the farm Droogegrond in 1904. Centurion was granted City Council status in 1962 as Lyttelton, formed by combining the areas of Doornkloof, Irene and Lyttelton.

In 2000, the Centurion local government became part of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, which includes Pretoria.

Centurion has come a long way from being a sleepy southern suburb of Pretoria, with smallholdings and large open spaces. Having experienced stupendous growth since 1994, many businesses have relocated here, and property development is boosting the ever expanding city limits.

There is now little space between the outskirts of Pretoria to the north, and Midrand and Johannesburg to the south. The Gauteng Provincial Government envisages that, according to current growth trends, much of the Gauteng province will be a megalopolis by 2015.

Suburbs

Suburbs of Centurion include Lyttelton, Clubview, Irene, Raslouw, Sunderland Ridgel, The Reeds, Rooihuiskraal, Wierda Park, Doringkloof, Eldoraigne and Zwartkop.

Infrastructure

Centurion features modern shopping malls, such as Centurion Mall and the Mall@Reds, several entertainment spots, a theatre, golf courses and a driving range. Several hotels and a host of guesthouses offer accommodation to visitors. The UNITAS Hospital, part of the Netcare group, is considered the largest private hospital on the African continent. Technology companies like Aerosud, Denel Dynamics, Siemens, SAAB Grintek Technologies, Telkom and others are located here. The Gautrain has a station in Centurion.

The Centurion Mall

Established during 1983/1984, the Centurion Mall was constructed around the Centurion Lake (on the Hennops River) and was the only shopping centre with the standard big-name retailers of that time in Centurion until the 21st century. In 2003, the mall underwent its first major revamp which was estimated at around R250,000,000. The mall's total was increased to 105,000 m2, making it the second largest shopping centre in the Tshwane Metropolitan area.

The mall is famous for its man-made colour water fountain, which is located in the centre of the lake, on the North side of the mall (also known as the 'bay' area). This water feature has been used as emblem for the former City of Centurion, seen at many of the entrances of the previous municipality.

The Waterkloof Air Force Base, as well as the Swartkop Air Force Base (which includes the South African Air Force Museum) are located in Centurion.

Sport

Cricket is the most popular sport in Centurion - many cricket tournaments like 2003 Cricket World Cup, 2005 Women's Cricket World Cup, 2007 ICC World Twenty20, 2009 IPL and 2009 ICC Champions Trophy have been hosted here.

The SuperSport Park (previously Centurion Park), cricket ground is situated in Centurion. The capacity of the ground is 22,000 spectaors. The Titans cricket team, formerly known as Northern Transvaal, play their home games here.

Weather

Centurion is located in the Highveld and has dry, sunny winters (maximum daytime temperature around 20°C dropping to a crisp average minimum of 5°C), and warm to hot summers (October - April). Summer temperatures range from the mid 20°C to the mid 30°C. Centurion's weather tends to be slightly warmer compared to that of Johannesburg.