As with many communities in Gauteng, the location of the city of Boksburg was founded on the discovery of gold in the area. In 1886 gold was found by a prospector, PJ Killian, on the farm Leeuwpoort. Its owner, Carl Ziervogel, opened a gold mine here. Boksburg is named after Eduard Bok, a former State Secretary of the South African Republic. The first stands were offered here in 1887. In 1888 coal was also discovered. In 1903 Boksburg became a municipality and is now part of the Ekhuruleni Metropolitan Municipality.
Boksburg's East Rand Shopping Mall offers all the large stores, restaurants and cinemas and is one of the most modern Malls in Gauteng. Amenities include Wild Waters, a pleasure park with water features, Bokkie Park, which offers children farm experiences, an ice-skating rink and ten-pin bowling. The Le Grange Bird Park and Boksburg Lake, once dubbed a folly until filled by a flash flood in 1889, are picturesque parks with picnic and braai facilities.