admin, May 28, 2014
Being South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg (or Jozi) is the provincial capital of Gauteng and South Africa’s wealthiest province.
As one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world it’s not surprising that Jozi has the largest and most successful economy of any Sub-Saharan African region. While it is not recognised officially as one South Africa’s three capital cities, the country’s highest court, the Constitutional Court is housed there.
The region is a source of a very large-scale gold and diamond trade. This is due to their location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand. Such a busy city, Jozi is house to two busy airports – OR Tambo International Airport and Lanseria International Airport.
The mining businesses enjoyed an easily accessible worker base from the Soweto (acronym from “Southern-Western Township) area. From around the 1970s until about the 1990s this area was considered a separate city inhabited mostly by native African goldmine workers. Today however, Soweto and Lanseria have been incorporated into the Johannesburg area and are no longer considered separate cities.
Growing massively due to rapid urbanisation (a feature of most developing countries/cities), Gauteng is said to eventually be a polycentric urban area with a projected population of around 14.6 million people by 2015. This is a characteristic of a city which has a booming business sector as well as one that has easy access to a large number of affordable workers.
Johannesburg, as one of the world’s leading financial sectors, is an ideal place for industry growth. Business opportunities abound in this financial and economic hub of South Africa. It produces 16% of South Africa’s gross domestic product and accounts for 40% of Gauteng’s economic activity.
Mining industry, manufacturing businesses and heavy industries as well as service, banking, IT real estate, transport media private healthcare industries are just some of the thriving business sectors in the city. Johannesburg also has Africa’s largest stock exchange, the JSE.
Jozi is also home to an informal but significant economy consisting of cash-only vendors on the sidewalks of the city’s streets. Many inhabitants work for themselves, starting up small businesses selling all kinds of consumables.
Being such a hub for business it’s not surprising that there is a substantial amount of money being spent of consumables in the city. Retail stores flourish because of this, Sandton City being the largest shopping mall in Johannesburg with Hyde Park being the most prestigious shopping mall.
The tourism industry in Johannesburg suffers due to its purely industry-driven setup; however as a transit point for most connecting flights to Cape Town, Durban and the Kruger National Park, the city sees its fair share of visitors. This has led to the development of a few more tourist attractions such as the Apartheid Museum and the large amusement park Gold Reef City.
With much more of a business-related mindset, Jozi’s inhabitants live a fast-paced, hardworking, earning and spending kind of life.