Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest metropolis. It is the provincial headquarters of Gauteng, South Africa’s richest province.
The city is one of the world’s top 50 urban agglomerations. Following the finding of gold on what had previously been a farm, the city was named and formed in 1886. Because of the massive gold deposit located along the Witwatersrand, the city is sometimes referred to as the modern-day El Dorado. One or all of three figures engaged in the city’s founding are credited with the name. In ten years, the population had grown to 100,000 people. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the home of the Constitutional Court, which has the last say on the interpretation of the country’s constitution and other constitutional problems. Because of its position on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills, the city is the center of a large-scale gold and diamond commerce.
Johannesburg has a population of 4,434,827 people in 2011, making it South Africa’s most populous metropolis. The population of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area was 7,860,781 in the same year. Some consider the region around Johannesburg to be greater than the metropolitan area, including Ekurhuleni, West Rand, and Lenasia; in 2007, that wider area had a population of 10,267,700 people. In compared to other major cities, the municipal city’s land area of 1,645 km2 (635 sq mi) is considerable, resulting in a population density of 2,364/km2 (6,120/sq mi).
Soweto, which existed as a distinct city from the late 1970s to the 1990s, is now a part of Johannesburg. Soweto began as a cluster of villages on the outskirts of Johannesburg, occupied largely by native African laborers from the gold mining industry, and was originally an abbreviation for “South-Western Townships.” Soweto had been set aside as a residential enclave for blacks who were not allowed to dwell in Johannesburg proper, despite the fact that it was subsequently absorbed into the city. English-speaking South Africans of Indian heritage make up the majority of the population of Lenasia.
Johannesburg – Info Card
|POPULATION :||City 957,441 / Metro 4,434,827|
|TIME ZONE :||SAST (UTC+2)|
|LANGUAGE :||• English 31.1%|
• Zulu 19.6%
• Afrikaans 12.1%
• Xhosa 5.2%
• Other 31.9%
|RELIGION :||53% belong to mainstream Christian churches, 24% are not affiliated with any organised religion, 14% are members of African Independent Churches, 3% are Muslim, 1% are Jewish and 1% are Hindu.|
|AREA :||• City 334.81 km2 (129.27 sq mi)|
• Metro 1,644.96 km2 (635.12 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||1,753 m (5,751 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||26°12′16″S 28°2′44″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.84|
• Female: 50.16
|ETHNIC :||• Black African 64.2%|
• Coloured 13.9%
• Indian/Asian 6.7%
• White 13.9%
• Other 1.3%
|AREA CODE :||011|
|POSTAL CODE :||2001|
|DIALING CODE :||+27 11|
Tourism in Johannesburg
Although Johannesburg is not generally thought of as a tourist destination, it serves as a hub for flights to Cape Town, Durban, and the Kruger National Park. As a result, the majority of foreign visitors to South Africa travel through Johannesburg at least once, resulting in the creation of various tourist attractions. The Apartheid Museum (with linked excursions to Constitution Hill) and the Hector Pieterson Museum are two recent additions that focus on history. There is also a sizable tourism business centered on former townships like Soweto and Alexandra. The Mandela Museum, which is housed in Nelson Mandela’s old home, attracts the majority of tourists to Soweto. Day trips to the old house of this former South African star are one of the most popular activities for foreign tourists.
Visitors may gain a sense of the city’s layout by visiting the Carlton Centre, which is located in the CBD’s south-eastern section and includes an observation deck on the 50th floor. It is Africa’s tallest office structure, standing at 223 meters (731 feet) and offering panoramic views of the city and its environs. The neighboring Museum Africa is home to a huge collection of rock art as well as the history of Johannesburg. Gold Reef City, a theme park that depicts mining life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, including an underground mine tour, is also a famous tourist destination. Other attractions include a big amusement park and a popular Tribal Dancing performance.
The Johannesburg Art Gallery, which showcased South African and European landscape and figurative paintings, is one of the city’s cultural institutions. The Market Theatre complex rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a venue for anti-apartheid performances, and it has since evolved into a hub for contemporary South African playwriting. The Joburg Theatre is South Africa’s premier “receiving house” for live entertainment, showcasing both local and international world-class theatre. Melville, Newtown, Parkhurst, Norwood, Rosebank, and Greenside are known for their bohemian ambiance, vibrant street life, and plenty of restaurants and pubs.
Tourists frequent the city’s markets and flea markets, which vary from posh shopping malls like Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square to diverse markets and flea markets like the Oriental Plaza and the Rosebank Flea Market, which are renowned for souvenirs and African art. As already said. (Cultural) visitors may also go to the “Mai Mai Market,” which is devoted to traditional herbs and healers (“Ezinyangeni” – the location of healers; situated on the eastern wing of the city center).
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind is located 25 kilometers (16 miles) northwest of the city. The world’s richest hominid site, Sterkfontein, provided the world’s first adult Australopithecus africanus and the first near-complete skeleton of an early Australopithecine. The Lesedi Cultural Village is another popular weekend (and vacation) destination for Johannesburg locals, while Magaliesburg and the Hartbeespoort Dam are other popular weekend (and holiday) destinations. The Beginnings Centre Museum (see below) focuses on human origins in Africa and has a large collection of rock art.
Visitors who want to see wildlife in Johannesburg and its vicinity have a variety of opportunities. The Johannesburg Zoo is one of the country’s biggest. The Lion Park nature reserve at Lanseria is home to more than 80 lions and other wildlife, while the Krugersdorp Nature Reserve, a 1500-hectare game reserve, is a forty-minute drive from the city center. The De Wildt Cheetah Centre in the Magaliesberg has a successful cheetah, wild dog, and other endangered species breeding program. The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, which is located in the “Cradle of Humankind” on 1200 acres of “typical Gauteng highveld,” also has a breeding program for endangered animals such as Bengal and Siberian tigers, as well as the exceptionally uncommon white lion. The Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, 11 kilometers south of the city center, is home to huge wildlife and hiking paths.
Climate of Johannesburg
Johannesburg has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb) due to its location on the highveld plateau. The city has a warm climate, with hot days followed by afternoon thundershowers and chilly evenings in the summer (October to April) and dry, bright days followed by cold nights in the winter (May to September).
Due to the city’s high elevation, temperatures in Johannesburg are normally moderate, with an average maximum daytime temperature of 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) in January and a maximum of roughly 16 °C (61 °F) in June. Because to its high height and closeness to the equator, the UV index in Johannesburg reaches 14-16 in the summer.
Winter is the sunniest season, with moderate days and cold nights, with temperatures as low as 4.1 °C (39.4 °F) in June and July. The temperature dips below freezing at night, resulting in frost. Snow has only fallen four times in the twentieth century: in May 1956, August 1962, June 1964, and September 1981. In the twenty-first century, there was light sleet in 2006, as well as snow on 27 June 2007 (accumulating up to 10 centimetres (4 in) in the southern suburbs) and 7 August 2012 (accumulating up to 10 centimetres (4 in) in the southern suburbs).
During the winter, regular cold fronts sweep through, bringing very cold southerly winds but typically bright sky. The average annual rainfall is 713 millimetres (28.1 in), with the most of it falling during the summer months. During the winter, there are a few rains here and there. On June 13, 1979, the lowest overnight minimum temperature ever recorded in Johannesburg was 8.2 °C (17.2 °F). On June 19, 1964, the lowest midday maximum temperature was 1.5 °C (34.7 °F).
Geography of Johannesburg
At a height of 1,753 meters, Johannesburg is situated on the eastern plateau area of South Africa known as the Highveld (5,751 ft). The old CBD sits on the south side of the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans: White Water’s Ridge) ridge, with the land falling to the north and south. The Witwatersrand serves as a watershed between the Limpopo and Vaal rivers, with the Jukskei River draining the northern half of the city and the Klip River draining the southern section, which includes most of the CBD. The city’s north and west sides have undulating hills, whereas the east side is flatter.
Although Johannesburg is not situated on a river or port, its streams feed two of Southern Africa’s most powerful rivers, the Limpopo and the Orange. Most of the springs that feed several of these streams have been concreted over and canalized, which explains why many early farm names in the region end in “fontein,” which means “spring” in Afrikaans. Some examples are Braamfontein, Rietfontein, Zevenfontein, Doornfontein, Zandfontein, and Randjesfontein. When the first white settlers arrived in what is now Johannesburg, they were struck by the gleaming rocks on the hills, which were dripping with trickles of water supplied by streams, earning the region the name Witwatersrand, which means “ridge of white rivers.” Another theory is that the whiteness is due to the quartzite rock, which has a unique shine after rain.
Economy of Johannesburg
Johannesburg is one of the world’s most important financial centers and South Africa’s economic and financial core, accounting for 16 percent of the country’s GDP and 40 percent of Gauteng’s economic activity. Johannesburg was rated 47th out of 50 top cities in the world as a global commercial center in a 2008 assessment done by MasterCard (the only city in Africa).
The Witwatersrand’s economy was built on mining, but because to depleting reserves, its relevance is waning, and service and manufacturing sectors have grown in prominence. Despite the fact that gold mining is no longer permitted inside the city borders, the majority of mining businesses still keep their headquarters in Johannesburg. The city’s industrial businesses are diverse, and heavy industries like as steel and cement facilities continue to play an important role. Banking, IT, real estate, transportation, broadcast and print media, private health care, transportation, and a thriving leisure and consumer retail industry are among the service and other businesses. The JSE, Africa’s biggest stock market, is located outside of the city’s core business sector. The city is the headquarters of the province government, as well as a number of government branch offices, consulate offices, and other organizations, due to its commercial significance.
There is also a sizable informal sector, which is dominated by cash-only street sellers and vendors. Official statistics make it impossible to measure the extent of this economic activity, but it sustains a segment of the population that includes immigrants who are not in regular work. This informal industry is perhaps the world’s biggest, maybe second only to Beijing’s informal sector.
In a dry environment, the Witwatersrand urban complex is a big water user. Its sustained economic and demographic expansion has been reliant on programs to divert water from other parts of South Africa and Lesotho’s highlands, the most important of which being the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, although other supplies will be required early in the twenty-first century.
The container terminal at City Deep is renowned as the world’s biggest “dry port,” with around half of all cargo arriving in Johannesburg through the ports of Durban and Cape Town. The Gauteng government has designated the City Deep area as an IDZ (industrial development zone).
Internet, Comunication in Johannesburg
Always-On, +27 (0)11 575-2505, offers prepaid WiFi connectivity in a variety of Johannesburg locales. Simply connect to the access point, and you’ll be offered the option to pay by credit card for access. The cost of a ten-minute session begins at roughly R15, while a 100-MB session costs around R60.
The following areas are covered:
- City Lodge. Most of them.
- The Baron. Bryanston and Woodmead
- Mugg&Bean. Just about all of them.
- Nand. Benmore, Chilli Lane, Douglasdale, Rivonia
- OR Tambo Airport. Most of the airport is covered as well as the City Lodge and Airport Sun InterContinental
- Protea Balalaika Hotel.
- Wimpy. Midrand, Randburg, Centurion, Aero Centre
- Highland View Executive Guesthouse. 164 Highland Road, Kensington, Johannesburg, Gauteng