About Johannesburg – Location, People, Airports, And Tourism

What do you know about Johannesburg? For starters, Jozi and Joburg are pet names for Johannesburg, the largest South African city. Johannesburg is located in Gauteng, one of nine provinces in South Africa. The word Gauteng means the place of gold in Sotho, one of the eleven official languages in South Africa. Jozi’s coordinates are 26.2041° S (South), 28.0473° E (East). According to the City of Johannesburg, there are seven regions in Jozi.

Jozi - Where is Jozi

A map of Gauteng with Johannesburg highlighted in red

A Brief About Joburg

Jozi is South Africa’s largest city.  It boasts of a GDP of $76 Billion in 2014. It is also the provincial capital of South Africa. Joburg is situated in the Witwatersrand. It is regarded as the ‘city of gold’ due to its rich mineral resources such as diamond and gold.  Joburg was one of the host cities of the FIFA World Cup in 2010. Read more about Johannesburg here.

History of Joburg

Joburg came into the limelight in 1886 because of the discovery of gold.  Its population multiplied as large deposits of gold were uncovered within the Witwatersrand.  Different mining firms sprung around Joburg to exploit its immense resources. The Transvaal government later took control of its administration.

The old Johannesburg demography consisted mainly of white miners, Africans who were labourers, and Afrikaners. Tensions arose between the Boer- the Transvaal government and the British over the control of the land. The 2nd Boer War ended in Britain occupying the area in 1900. Johannesburg has grown to become a megacity today. It hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The old Johannesburg demography consisted mainly of white miners, Africans who were labourers, and Afrikaners
The old Johannesburg demography consisted mainly of white miners, Africans who were labourers, and Afrikaners

Geography of Johannesburg

Jozi is located on the Highveld plateau with an elevation of 1,753 meters. Its former business district is situated on the Witwatersrand ridge. The Klip River drains the southern part of the city, and the Jukskei River drains its northern part.

Johannesburg is a significant economic hub in Africa. It has many business districts, including Roodepoort, Rosebank, and Sandton. These are in addition to its central business district. Most of the tallest structures in Africa are located in Johannesburg.  These buildings host companies such as the Standard Bank, Willis Group, IBM, Absa Bank, and First National Bank.

The people in Jozi

The City of Joburg has a population of 4,4 million; 76,4% are black people, 12,3% are white people, 5,6% are coloured people, and 4,9% are Indian or Asian. (Statistics South Africa Census, 2011).

Johannesburg has a population of 4,4 million; 76,4% are black people, 12,3% are white people, 5,6% are coloured people, and 4,9% are Indian or Asian.
Johannesburg has a population of 4,4 million; 76,4% are black people, 12,3% are white people, 5,6% are coloured people, and 4,9% are Indian or Asian

Airports in Joburg

There are five airports in Jozi, Oliver Reginald Tambo International in Kempton Park (popularly referred to as OR Tambo International), Grand Central Airport in Midrand, Lanseria International Airport in Lanseria, Rand Airport in Germiston, and Palmietfontein Airport.

The city of Johannesburg is home to five airports
The city of Johannesburg is home to five airports

Universities in Joburg

Joburg is home to two of South Africa’s best universities, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

Johannesburg is home to two of South Africa's best universities, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
Johannesburg is home to two of South Africa’s best universities, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Culture And Tourism in Joburg

The National School of Arts, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Mary Fitzgerald Square, and the University of Witwatersrand’s School of the Arts are notable cultural institutions located in Johannesburg.

Jozi also boasts of museums showcasing fossils, designs, African costumes, and military history. The zoology museum, apartheid Museum, the Mandela Museum, the South African National Museum of Military history, and the Johannesburg Zoo are popular tourist sites. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Cradle of Humankind,’ contains the most extensive collection of Hominid specimens.

The City Sightseeing Joburg Bus is for exploring the Carlton Center, Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill and much more
The City Sightseeing Joburg Bus is for exploring the Carlton Center, Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill and much more

Some of the top things to see in Joburg are historic sites, landmarks, animal parks, flea markets, private animal sightseeing tours, and street markets. Here are some popular tourist activities:

  • City Sightseeing Joburg Bus for exploring the Carlton Center, Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill and much more.
  • Soweto’s Orlando Towers has bungee jumping, where you can jump from a suspension bridge with a rubber cord around your feet.
  • Apartheid Museum deal with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story.
  • Joburg Theatre is the “home to Joburg Ballet, Jill Girard and Keith Smith’s Peoples Theatre Company – performing throughout the year to children between the ages of 3 and 13 – and one of the country’s most respected community development projects in the arts, the tiny ‘black-box’ theatre known as space.com”.
  • Johannesburg Planetarium at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Related Article: A Review of The Johannesburg Zoo

Olunloyo Akindele Olufemi

Blogger

I love travelling. I cherish my Lagos. And I adore my new home in Johannesburg. Lagostojozi Blog is my passion project which strives to promote cooperation, healthy relations and social cohesion between the people of these two great African megacities of Lagos and Johannesburg.

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