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Pretoria is sometimes regarded as being divided into three sections: West, East and north, relative to the CBD. Pretoria is contained within the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality as one of several constituent former administrations (among which also Centurion and Soshanguve). Pretoria itself is sometimes referred to as "Tshwane" due to a long-running and controversial proposed change of name, which has yet to be decided, as of 2014.
The original name for Laudium was Claudius, (originally reserved for White residents), named after Claudius Marais de Vries who owned a farm called Mooiplats and was a former mayor of Pretoria.
Laudium was created by the Apartheid government as part of their policy aimed at moving ethnic groups out of Marabastad and central Pretoria, which were zoned as 'White Areas' following the passage if the Group Areas Act. Laudium was proclaimed an Indian township in 1961. As for its former inhabitants, older aerial photographs still show remains of circular type dwellings to the west of Laudium.
The eastern portion of the original Claudius retained its name and white population for a time, but the white population of Claudius has long since been displaced by Indians (it was eventually also declared an Indian area by the Apartheid government, to reduce housing shortages in Laudium), and Claudius had effectively become an extension of Laudium by 1980.
Claudius straddles the R55 (Quagga Road), and parts of Second Avenue, Third Avenue, and Cuprene Street technically are part of Claudius, along with Sunrise School , however this smaller part of Cladius, west of the R55 is often regarded as part of Laudium, with the R55 being commonly thought of as the dividing line.
Extensions 2 and 3 are hilly, and lie north of a railway line that linked the PPC dolomite quarry near Erasmia with Iscor's Pretoria Works. The railway line was abandoned by the mid-2000s, however the railway right-of-way is still clearly visible, and it limits the road linkages between the upper and lower parts of Laudium to a bridge connecting Bengal Street to First Avenue, and a link between 19th Avenue and 33rd Avenue that was constructed in the early 1990s.
In 2012, Claudius east of the R55 had a wall and security gate system (road closure) installed, which residents have free access to as every resident paid a small portion of the cost of building the wall however, visitors have to fill out an entry/visitors book before entering, making it a gated community.
During 1981, an Umkhonto weSizwe rocket attack on the Voortrekkerhoogte (now Thaba Tshwane) military base was launched from Laudium. The homes of local politicians who supported Apartheid were also bombed in the 1980s.
Although Laudium was initially part of Pretoria, it was incorporated into Centurion following the end of apartheid. Centurion, including Laudium, was incorporated into the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality in 2000.
Dolomitic sinkholes occasionally cause significant damage to property and streets in Laudium.
Laudium lies west of the R55 road, which links Laudium to central Pretoria as well as Centurion. A dual carriageway links Laudium with central Pretoria, while the deteriorated single-carriageway link to Centurion was upgraded to a dual carriageway by 2013. Freeway access is served by the N14, which is accessed via the R55 a few kilometers south. The N14 westbound from the R55 connects Laudium and surrounding areas to the West Rand, and the eastbound lanes are used to access the N1 to Johannesburg, via the Brakfontein interchange in Centurion.
Road links to the economically and academically important eastern suburbs of Pretoria are poor, usually requiring drivers to traverse the city centre or rat run across the Thaba Tshwane military base.
Although not a strict street grid, Laudium's street names follow a pattern, with north-south streets being numbered "Avenues" (with a few exceptions in Extension 3 where some avenues are named after cities in South Asia), while east-west streets are named, often after minerals and gemstones, colours (Extension 1, white blocks) or South Asian geographical features (Extensions 2 and 3).
Andrew Anthony Primary School
Hillside Primary School
Himalaya Secondary School
Jacaranda Primary School
Laudium Heights Primary School
Laudium Primary School
Laudium Secondary School
Rosina Sedibane Sports School
PMT Sunni School
Central Islamic School
Pretoria Hindu School
Pretoria Muslim School
Al Ghazali College (in Erasmia)
Al-Asr Educational Institute (in Claudius)
There is also an Islamic educational institute which specialises in teaching Islamic Sciences called the Sunni Darul Uloom Pretoria
The Transvaal College of Education, which trained Indian teachers in the former Transvaal province was moved to a large campus in Laudium. However, after the end of apartheid, the college was deemed redundant and closed down (Indian teachers were no longer barred from colleges formerly used by white teachers). The college campus is now used by the Rosina Sedibane Sports School.
The Laudium Hospital, a state hospital created under apartheid for Indians from Laudium and surrounding areas, closed down, and is now the Laudium Community Health Centre.
Laudium has a number of private medical practitioners and pharmacies.