Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) is situated in South Africa's manufacturing heartland. Originally a rich gold mining region, it has a well developed transport network which has contributed, over the years, to noyable industrial growth, making it the industrial hub of Gauteng. Ekurhuleni is easily accessible to major centres in Gauteng, and has a well developed air. road and rail infrastructure.
Development is characterised by low- to medium-density residential areas supported by a variety of commercial centres and industrial areas. The urban structure follows an east-west axis, with the western areas, adjacent to Johannesburg, the most highly developed. There are large parcels of vacant land in the mining belt around the urban core, with low development densities; and historically disadvantaged communities are situated on the urban periphery.
Historically, urban development has been closely associated with gold mining: Germiston, Boksburg, Benoni, Brakpan Springs and Nigel were located on the mining belt, while Edenvale, Alberton and Kempton Parkdeveloped adjacent to the goldfields. Asa aresult, Ekurhulenihas today a multi-nodal structure with no single, dominant node of activity.
Within the mining-belt, there are three main pockets of activity: the Germiston-Boksburg, Benoni-Brakpan-Springs and Springs-Nigel areas. As mines are closing, redevelopment of some areas is being considered, as is the rehabilitation of mine dumps and slimes dams across Ekurhuleni.