Johannesburg Specials

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Johannesburg Specials

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, and forms the regional capital of the Gauteng province. It is one of the fifty largest urban agglomerations in the world, and also the largest city that is not situated on a major body of water such as a river, lake or coastline. Known colloquially by other names, such as Jozi, Jo’burg, eGoli (or ‘City of Gold’).

Johannesburg has come to be regarded as the central hub of the entire South African nation, despite not being one of the country’s three capital cities. That said, the city is the seat of the South African Constitutional Court, making it an important judicial center.

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The first inhabitants of the Johannesburg region were the San people, who date back to prehistoric times. Around the 13th century AD, the San were gradually displaced by the encroaching Bantu people, who were themselves displaced and/or assimilated by the Sotho-Tswana tribes, who are today regarded as the indigenous inhabitants of the region.

Johannesburg was born out of the gold rush that followed the discovery of the Witwatersrand gold reef in 1884. This important discovery (one of the world’s largest deposits of gold found to date) drew large numbers of people to the region at a dramatic rate. The city of Johannesburg was officially founded 1886, and was purportedly named after one or several of the men involved in surveying the area to decide on the best location for the new city. Within ten years, over a hundred thousand people called Johannesburg home – an almost unprecedented rate of immigration and expansion for the time.

As an important strategic location, Johannesburg was the site of many conflicts over the years, including several key battles that formed part of the Second Boer War (such as the infamous Jameson Raid). The city also saw many key events of the apartheid struggle. Since the end of the apartheid era, Johannesburg has been expanded and modernized to a world-class degree, becoming what is often considered to be a first-world city in a third-world country.




Johannesburg is located in central Gauteng, high on the eastern plateau known as the Highveld region. The city sprawls over quite a wide area that is punctuated by the prominent ridge called the Witwatersrand (which roughly translates to the ‘ridge of white waters’). These waters can mainly be found in the many springs and streams that emanate from the area.




Johannesburg is home to a number of prominent landmarks, including the FNB Stadium (where many matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup were held), the sprawling Soweto (an acronym for South Western Township), and the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as many prominent governmental, historical, and religious buildings.


Interesting Statistics


  • Johannesburg is home to approximately 957,441 people, at a population density of around 2900 per square kilometer.
  • The majority of the population is black African, while the most commonly spoken language is English.
  • Johannesburg’s annual GDP amounts to US$83.9 billion.

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