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Benoni (South Africa)

Gauteng Province

Last modified: 2015-07-25 by bruce berry
Keywords: benoni |
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image by Martin Grieve, 16 June 2005

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 Benoni (? - 1994)

Benoni is located on the East Rand, east of Johannesburg, and is part of the larger Witwatersrand conurbation. It was established in 1881 and owes its existence to gold-mining and manufacturing and achieved municipal status in 1907. Oscar winner Charlize Theron was born and bred in Benoni!

Benoni previously flew a typical armigerous flag with a full achievement in that its former flag comprised the full municipal arms in the centre of a light blue field.
These arms were granted by the College of Arms in London in 1938 and subsequently registered at the South African Bureau of Heraldry in 1966. I don't have the exact date on which the flag was adopted but with the re-organisation of local government in South Africa in 1994 and again in December 2000 when Benoni was incorporated into the Ekuruhleni Metropolitan Municipality, this flag is now no longer in use.

The blazon of the arms granted to Benoni by Letters Patent on 16 March 1938 is as follows:
ARMS: Or, a turreted castle of three storeys Sable on a chief Sable, three escallops Argent, all within a bordure Gules charged with four bezants and four heraldic fountains alternatively
CREST: In front of a sun rising Or an arm embowed, the hand grasping a sledge-hammer proper
SUPPORTERS: Two Springboks proper each gorged with a collar Azure charged with three bezants
MOTTO: AUSPICIUM MELIORIS AEVI (A pledge for better times).

scan by Bruce Berry, 31 Aug 2006

Sir George Farrar, the chairman of a mining company, undertook the beautification of the rapidly growing mining town in 1904. Mine water was channeled into a band of marshland, and reservoirs stocked with fish were created. Today these reservoirs remain and the area is dotted with many lakes where people fish, boat and relax and is the explanation for the light blue field on the former flag.

The triple castle in the Arms is derived from the Arms of the town of Bedford (England) and the three silver escallops occur in the Duke of Bedford's arms. The gold roundels in the border - heraldically known as bezants - represent the gold-mining industry around Benoni. The other four roundels with the alternate silver and blue bands - heraldically known as fountains - symbolise the four fountains of Kleinfontein, Modderfontein, Rietfontein and Vlakfontein, all situated within the municipal area. The arm embowed wielding a hammer stands for industry and the rising sun for the ascending destiny of the municipality. The Springboks bear upon their collars bezants representing the gold-mining industry.
Bruce Berry, 31 Aug 2006

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