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Definition: Pretoria from Collins English Dictionary


1 a city in N South Africa, the administrative capital of South Africa; formerly capital of Transvaal province: two universities (1873, 1930); large steelworks. Pop: 741 651 (2011) Also called: Tshwane

Summary Article: Pretoria
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

City in Gauteng Province, South Africa, and the country's administrative capital; population (2001) 1,986,000. The city is a centre of rail communications and also a major centre of industry, with iron- and steel-works, engineering, chemicals, cement, diamonds, granite quarrying, and food processing.

History Founded in 1855, the town was named after Boer leader Andries Pretorius (1799–1853). In 1900 it surrendered to the British military commander, Lord Roberts, and was made the capital of the Union of South Africa in 1910; it was the capital of Transvaal Province 1860–1994.

Features Pretoria is situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg, 1,370 m/4,495 ft above sea level. Pretoria is the headquarters of the South African Iron and Steel Corporation (ISCOR) which produces most of South Africa's steel. The Voortrekkers monument, a granite memorial to the Afrikaner pioneers of South Africa, is 6 km/4 mi from central Pretoria. The city has many fine public buildings, including the Union Buildings, which house the prime minister and ministerial departments and the head of the civil service. It has jacaranda-lined avenues. The University of Pretoria (1908) is the biggest residential university in South Africa and there is also the University of South Africa (1873) which offers tuition by correspondence. Pretoria is the home of the Council for Scientific and Industrial research, and Onderstepoort, 11 km/7 mi from the city, has one of the world's largest veterinary research stations. Pretoria also has the Transvaal Museum, Paul Kruger's house, and the Police Museum.

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