Lephalale is derived from the Setswana meaning "to flow".
Late Iron Age cattle posts belonging to the Letsibogo ceramic facies have been found in the area.
There is one National road running through the area and three main Provincial roads serve the area, namely: These roads serve as links between Thabazimbi, Vaalwater, Ellisras and Mokopane.
The P84/1 and 198/1 run mostly along the drainage subsystems in the area.
Iscor, the country’s largest steel producer, and also the biggest consumer of coking coal, actively participated in this programme. In 1957, Iscor obtained the surface rights to six farms, including Grootegeluk.
The first townships that were proclaimed in Ellisras were: Ellisras (Proper) - 7 December 1960 Ellisras Extension 1– Ellisras Extension 2–3 November 1971 A major influence on the growth of the farm Waterkloof 502LQ was the decision of Iscor in 1973 to continue with the development of the Grootegeluk Coal Mine.
Some rock engravings at Nelsonkop have been recorded.
The name Ellisras origins from a combination of the surnames of Patric Ellis and Piet Erasmus who settled in the 1930s on the farm Waterkloof 502LQ.
The Malmanie River and the Bulspruit River, two tributaries of the Mokolo, also enter the dam from its left side.
The dam mainly serves municipal and industrial purposes.
Since the opening of the main route between Vaalwater and Stockpoort during 1929 a railway bus stop developed on the farm.
The central function of the newly established nodes became more evident and other facilities such as schools, churches and shops were established on the farm.
These main roads are tarred and are in relatively good condition.