Erasmus is one of 489 cities and towns in Gauteng, which is the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces. This page has some very basic information about this town or city. If you live in Erasmus or know a lot about it, how about sending us some information to make this page better.
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Although many of these towns are small and unheard of by most South Africans, except those people that live there of course, Erasmus is better known than most.
The origin of the word town varies according to the culture you come from. In German Stadt is thought to be the origin and Zahn meant a fence, while in Old Norse language – yep I had never heard of it either – it was called a tun. The meaning of tun is a grassed area in between farmhouses which still has a meaning quite similar in Norwegian.
The Dutch and English meaning at one time was defined as the space enclosed by fences. Of course in those days fences were put up around a town to keep wild animals out. Nowadays we put up fences to keep our tamed animals in. But I digress!
In some parts of the world, England for instance, it was called a town or small city if it wasn’t allowed or could not afford to build walls, and instead built what’s called a stockade or sometimes a palisade.
Town can also be a different name for village, particularly a large one, or even city. In South Africa it is often short for township as in the case of towns close to Erasmus.
The economic character of a town can often be seen as what defines whether it’s called a town, village, hamlet or township. Very often a town’s people earn a living from commerce or industry instead of farming.
The urban character is not generally determined by the population size. In places like India, for example, certainly until recently, what is called a village there may be double or triple the number of residents as there may be in one of the provinces of South Africa.
So how do you decide if a place is a town or a city? Well it’s not that easy. In the USA they tend to call most towns cities, regardless of the size. Again it depends who you ask.
As opposed to a town, a city is generally a human settlement that is big and permanent. In Gauteng, as in all the provinces where Erasmus is situated, have large and medium sized cities.
Remember you can send us more info about your town for us to publish on the website.