Population density : 576 people per square kilometers
Gross regional product : R413.6-billion
Share of total SA GDP : 33.3%
History of Gauteng
Click on these links for a history of Gauteng:
Views of Johannesburg skyline
Historic Buildings of Johannesburg
Johannesburg was founded in 1886 and is the largest and most populous city in South Africa. It is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa. The city is one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world, it is Africa's most advanced city, and one of Africa's only two global cities, the other being Cairo.
Arial view of the city centre Anglo-American HO Barbican Building
Ansteys Tower , located at 59 Joubert Street is now a national monument. This building was once the home of Cecil Williams (actor, playwright, and member of Umkhonto we Sizwe). Nelson Mandela was disguised as Cecil Williams' driver when he was captured on 5 August 1962.
Johannesburg City Hall now houses the Gauteng provincial legislature
While Johannesburg does not form one of South Africa's three capital cities, it does house the Constitutional Court- South Africa's highest court.
Johannesburg is the source of a large-scale gold and diamond trade, due to its location on the mineral –rich Witwatersrand range of hills.
Johannesburg is also served by O.R Tambo , the largest and busiest airport in Africa and a gateway for international air travel to and from the rest of southern Africa.
Soweto is situate in the south west of Johannesburg. Soweto is a township that the apartheid government established to accommodate the large number of migrant workers who came to Johannesburg from their villages and towns to work on the mines of Witwatersrand.
The Hillbrow Tower is the highest structure in Johannesburg, and is probably the city's most recognisable landmark. The Hillbrow Tower (previously known as the JG Strijdom Tower) was built over three years, between June 1968 and April 1971, and is 269m high. It is owned by Telkom (previously by the Post Office) and is used as a microwave tower. It used to boast a revolving restaurant, but was closed in January 1981 for security reasons. The tower had a blue illuminated Telkom sign installed on 31 May 2005, and was renamed as the Telkom Joburg Tower. It is interesting to note that the height of the Hillbrow Tower is virtually the same as the length of the Titanic (269m).
The Standard Bank building is unique in Johannesburg, in that it was built from the top down. After the central core was built, the floors were suspended from three cantilevered arms, with the top floors added first, followed by each lower floor. The building is organised into three hanging volumes of nine office floors each, with air conditioning plants housed between the sections.
Photograph on right courtesy of www.joburg.org.za
Since 2007 with all the new investments into the city centre, the money is being poured into restoring Joburg's CBD.
Johannesburg Art Gallery, Astor Building and WLD High Court Witwatersrand
For more on the restoration of Johannesburg inner city click onto these interesting links:
Sir Herbert Baker buildings Stone House, Sir Herbert Baker’s home in Parktown Johannesburg http://www.southafricaholiday.org.uk/culture/fp_herbert_baker.htm Rodean Girls School, Johannesburg St John’s College for Boys, Johannesburg Northwards,Johannesburg
GOLD REEF CITY
Built around the No. 14 shaft of Crown Mines, this city is an authentic reproduction of Johannesburg at the beginning of the 1900s.
There are fully furnished miner's houses with original furniture and fittings, including pressed ceilings.
The museum exhibits include antique clothing and children's toys, which take the visitor back 100 years to the city that was. A train encircles the park and many shops offer interesting curios.
You can also visit the original gold mine in a lift that goes down to 220 meters below the surface. An on site casino is open 24 hours daily.
The Apartheid Museum was built to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, inequality and humiliation.
Beginning in 1948, the white elected National Party government implemented the policy of apartheid which turned 20 million people into second class citizens, damning them to a life of servitude, humiliation and abuse.
Their liberation in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela, the prisoner who became president, is a climax in the saga of a nation's resistance, courage and fortitude. The Apartheid Museum , the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid.
Click on this link to a video introduction to the museum: http://www.nowmediawebcasting.co.za/clients/apartheid/
MANDELA FAMILY MUSEUM, Soweto Johannesburg With FW de Klerk, with whom he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Nelson Mandela's humble little house in Orlando West, Soweto, now called the Mandela Family Museum, is an interesting stopover for those who want to peep into the life of the “Black Pimpernel”, the world's most famous former prisoner. http://www.sa-venues.com/attractionsga/mandela-museum.htm
NEWTOWN CULTURAL PRECINCT, Johannesburg Newtown is central to all-year Jozi culture and the annual highlight, Arts Alive International Festival, held every September – decidedly, a high point on Johannesburg’s arts and culture calendar, when patrons of the arts spill in and out of every available venue. For a map of Newtown click on this link: www.joburg-archive.co.za/maps/IMS_NEWTOWN.pdf Market theatre http://www.markettheatre.co.za/ The indelible Kippies Café celebrating the contributions of musicians to African Jazz. It is named after jazz legend Kippie Moeketsi Moyo (the Swahili word for soul... ) Restaurant at the Market Theatrehttp://www.moyo.co.za/
NEWTOWN CULTURAL PRECINCT, Johannesburg Brenda Fassie , South Africa's undisputed queen of pop, Dubbed the "Madonna of the Townships" in a 2001 Time Magazine interview, Fassie emerged at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle in the 1980s to give a voice to marginalised black South Africans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrinswnda3Q&feature=related A bronze statue of Brenda Fassie outside Bassline Jazz Club
NELSON MANDELA BRIDGE Paris has its Eiffel Tower, New York its Statue of Liberty, Sydney its Harbour Bridge. On 20 July, Johannesburg opened the largest cable-stayed bridge in southern Africa. Who else to name it after but Nelson Mandela, the man who led South Africa across the apartheid divide? Together, the Newtown and Braamfontein developments form a "cultural arc" linking the Newtown Cultural Precinct with the Constitution Hill precinct. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela_Bridge
Originally called Sophiatown, it was destroyed, and a white suburb called Triomf ( Triumph ) was established in its place by the apartheid government, before the name Sophiatown was officially restored in 2006.
Sophiatown became the symbolic center of black culture around Johannesburg in the 1940s and ‘50s. It was a focus of arts, politics, religion, and entertainment. In the early hours, heavily armed police entered Sophiatown to force residents out of their homes and load their belongings onto government trucks. The residents were taken to a large tract of land, thirteen miles from the city centre, to the aptly-named empty fields of Meadowlands (now part of Soweto) Resistance was only peaceful. The government bulldozed Sophiatown by the end of 1963(except for the Anglican Church of Christ the King and rebuilt it as a white only suburb named Triomf (Afrikaans for triumph). The ANC government restored the name Sophiatown in the late 1990s, although the name change was only completed in February 2006.
OLD FORT, CONSTITUTION HILL Johannesburg The Constitutional Court is a groundbreaking building that not only houses the 11 judges who guard South Africa's Constitution but also which stands as an icon of our new culture of democracy and human rights. It is fitting that the Court, a symbol of the democracy that replaced apartheid, has been built on the site of the Old Fort, Johannesburg's notorious prison - symbolising the triumph of hope over a troubled past. The building, which reflects the values of our new culture of constitutionalism, needed a court chamber, public areas, a library, public reading space and rooms for 11 judges and other staff. Few modern South African buildings have inspired as much awe and excitement as this one. http://www.constitutionalcourt.org.za/site/home.htm http://www.concourt.gov.za/text/tour/main.html http://www.doj.gov.za/trc/media/1997/9707/s970714b.htm
http://www.jhbzoo.org.za/ The main purpose of the Johannesburg Zoo is the accommodation, enrichment, husbandry and medical care of wild animals. The Johannesburg Zoo contributes to the quality of life of the citizens of Joburg through education, conservation, research and recreation of wild animals.
JOHANNESBURG BOTANICAL GARDENS
As Joburg started as a fast growing, rough and raw mining camp little attention was paid to the provision of parks for its residents. Joubert Park, the first established park in the city and later home of the Johannesburg Art Gallery. A parks department was established only after the Anglo-Boer South African War (1899 – 1902) when a start was made with the development of parks and recreational spaces. As land along the main Witwatersrand gold reef was being mined for gold, it was hard to find land for recreational purposes. ‘The Wilds’ – a reserve for indigenous shrubs and flowers in Houghton – was established in 1938. Bezuidenhout Park, on the eastern outskirts, was developed in 1945. The homestead and cemetery of the original owners, the Bezuidenhout family, still exists. Many other parks and sanctuaries followed all over the city and its suburbs. The Botannical Gardens opened in 1968.
T h e C r o c o d i l e R a m b l e , M a ga l i e sb u r g
Croc City Crocodile Farm provides the opportunity to observe one of the world's most spectacular predators at close range. You are also given the chance to HOLD a hatchling. On display we have croc hatchlings to large adults of up to five meters in length. The maze is now 30% larger and the beautiful Garden of Reflection is filled with poetry and roses and things spinning and dancing in the wind!
The Lion Park offers terrific close-up views and other experiences with lions, as well as rare white lions. Other large predators at the Lion Park include cheetahs, brown and spotted hyenas, wild dogs and jackals. Superb filming and photographic opportunities are also possible. http://www.lion-park.com/ “ Dangerous Liasons “ A story about dangerous companions http://www.lion-park.com/companions2.htm
The colourfully painted homes of the Ndebele villagers are an irresistible photo opportunity, and you must buy a beautiful Ndebele doll! The sensational handcraft beadwork of the Ndebele woman folk make for a special addition to you curio collection. http://www.lesedi.com/ This is a charming, authentic and earthy African experience in the heart of the bush, a cultural village with exciting traditional dance display, craft market, pub, restaurant, junction venue and conference centre. Lesedi Ndebele Village MAPOCH VILLAGE This living cultural village (a “kraal”) offers fascinating history and an environment where modern cultures blend naturally with the values and norms of the Ndebele people.
There are many more fascinating and beautiful places to visit in South Africa, but we have chosen places which we really enjoy visiting, and which are of historical importance for us.
Visit this blog and have a look at the tour you are taken of around Johannesburg.
Bruma Craft Market Beautiful art and crafts in Newtown Cultural Precinct We hope that you have not only enjoyed our tour of Gauteng, but that you have learnt about of interesting, beautiful country and in particular, the province where we live.