JOHANNESBURG, as everyone knows, is the heart of the gold industry. Right through Johannesburg City runs the gold reef on whose product is largely based the economic system of the world. The tarnished-silver mine-dumps form part of the skyline of Johannesburg. And, on still nights, in some parts of the town, when the wind is blowing a certain way, it is possible to hear a distant murmur, like the faraway beating of waves against a shore; and that murmur is the crushing, crushing, crushing of the ore by the battery stamps, the whispering end of that noise in whose immediate presence the ears grow tight and the voice falls dead. But it is a noise no louder in the life of Johannesburg City than the beating of a heart in the body it inhabits. Those battery stamps are the heart of the Rand, and as secret. One does not hear their throbbing except when the blare of living is hushed.
Johannesburg was born in the year 1886. Then Rhodes, describing "its wonderful climate, its facilities for work, its enormous auriferous deposits," quoted the spreading view that "the Rand is the biggest thing the world has seen."
Did Rhodes really think that, so strangely and rapidly as Johannesburg had risen--with its gold, its climate, its pas
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Publication information: Book title: The People of South Africa. Contributors: Sarah Gertrude Millin - Author. Publisher: Knopf. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1954. Page number: 75.
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