Benoni is situated on the East Rand, in the South African Province of Gauteng. The Area forms part of the Greater Johannesburg Region. Since 2000 has been part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. Benoni began in 1881 when the Surveyor-General of the time, known as Johan Rissik, found it difficult to assign title deeds to all unclaimed State Property. He named the Area Benoni meaning son of my sorrows, after the Hebrew name given by Rachel to her son, (in the Biblical Book of Genesis.) In September 1887, Gold was discovered at the Chimes Mine. This mine was then established by men from England. Sir George Farrar, the Chairman of a Mining Company, undertook the beautification of the rapidly growing Mining Town in, 1904. The Mine water was channeled into a band of Marshlands and Reservoirs stocked with vibrant fish were created. Today these beautiful Reservoirs remain in the Area where people can fish, boat and relax.
Thousands of trees were also planted in the new Suburb and it achieved Municipal status in 1907. During the 1990's Benoni was the site for the WOMAD Festival (the World of Music, Arts and Dance), an International Cultural festival held annually around the World and used to showcase various artists. Founded by Peter Gabriel, who is a British musician and was lead singer of the progressive rock band 'Genesis'!
Today, Benoni is very diverse, with people of every colour and denomination living there. Over time, Gold Mining has decreased in importance. Today the Town is focused more on Industry and services and is used as a marketplace that accesses consumers to find service providers around them. This is also for the other Towns in the East Rand. Such as Brakpan, Nigel and Springs. Benoni also has a Heliport Site, for the use of Helicopters. When visiting Benoni, one can enjoy a visit to the local Museum, enjoy superb picnics by the many Lakes or Shop at the Lakeside Shopping Mall or Northmead Square Mall. The Lakeside Shopping Mall was built in the shape of a Mississippi Steamboat on one of the Lakes. The Northmead Square is known as the first Shopping Centre to bring Cinemas, back to Benoni. Near to Northmead Square is the Bunny Park boasting hundreds of gorgeous rabbits as well as other small animals and is aimed at entertaining children. For the sport lovers, visit the Willowmoore Park which is a Provincial and One Day International Cricket Venue. The World famous Oscar winning actress Charlize Theron was born in Benoni! Benoni was also the setting for the MTV-inspired, popular cult movie known as: "Straight Outta Benoni", released Internationally in 2005. Benoni contains numerous attractive and tree-lined Suburbs, quite unlike many other East Rand Towns, which tend to be more Industrialized.