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About Johannesburg

Johannesburg is also called Jozi, Jo’burg, and E’Goli, as well as the city of gold. It is the largest city in South Africa, with a rich history of gold mining and diamond trade. It is the provincial capital and biggest city of Gauteng which is the richest province of South Africa. Most MNCs, banks, and major South African companies have their headquarters in Johannesburg. The city was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. 

It has become an internationally famous and vibrant megacity with a population of over 5 million. It is a powerful commercial hub on the African continent. Johannesburg lacks water even when it has few artificial lakes and small streams. The Witwatersrand Main Reef is known for gold-bearing quartz Silica Company. Witwatersrand alone provides 40 percent of the world’s annual gold production. 

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Johannesburg is the heart of local, national, and international travel. Railroads and multi lane freeways help thousands of commuters to travel conveniently. Its infrastructure matches with the first world cities, still, the cost of living is low. 

Johannesburg is also called the world’s biggest dry port because it isn’t located on a coastline, lake, or river. Being a diverse and large city in South Africa, Johannesburg is safe and a safe trip with few precautions is possible.

Population

The population of Johannesburg in 2020 is 5,783,000. It is a 2.6 percent increase from 2019. It is considered the most populous city in South Africa. The estimated population of Johannesburg in 2021 is 5,926,668.

History

  • In 1886, George Harrison, the Australian prospector, discovered gold in Witwatersrand. Within 3 years the place became the largest gold mining settlement in South Africa. 
  • In 1887 the city’s first newspaper The Star and the JSE was founded. 
  • In 1893 the first Johannesburg public library was inaugurated. 
  • It was in the 1890s that large companies created a good amount of wealth for the city.
  • In 1920, black workers protested and striked over the awful conditions. Whereas, in 1922, the whites miners started the Rand Revolt. 
  • Finally in 1928 Johannesburg was declared a city. 
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  • During 1948-1955 the policy of Apartheid was implemented which was resisted by black people. 2000 police officers forcibly remove people from their homes. Indian and Chinese were relocated to a new racial township which is now known as Soweto and Lenasia. 
  • In 1963 the South-western Township (Soweto) was officially named as a settlement for the black South Africans. 
  • In the 1970s Johannesburg was booming and high-rise buildings like Carlton Centre, Hillbrow Tower, etc. were constructed. 
  • In 1980 an emergency was declared in the state. Violence was erupting in the townships, street battles against police, detentions without trial, and a high state security alert was set up. 
  • 1994, the first democratic election was held by Nelson Mandela for a free country, and he won as a president. 
  • In 2004, the South African Constitutional Court building on Constitution Hill in Braamfontein was inaugurated.

General Weather

The climate is subtropical with mild sunny winters with cold nights and pleasantly warm summers with few afternoons’ thunderstorms. Even though the city is polluted, it is still pleasant and healthy in the city because it is 1700 meters above sea level. 

The city is in the southern hemisphere so the seasons are reversed. Winter is from May to August, summer is from November to March, rainfall from October to March, and spring and autumn are from April to September. 

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Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Johannesburg in April, September, and October. These are mild months, where you will not get too much rainfall as summers and not very cold as winters. However, Johannesburg can be visited any time of the year since summers aren’t too hot, but it’s sunny and mild rainfall can be experienced and winters are mild and sunny during the day. 

Some tourist sites are closed during winters while some are closed during summers. So, you choose your itinerary accordingly. For example, the best time to visit Kruger Park is winter from June to August. 

Things to Do

  • Apartheid Museum that tells the history of South Africa. You will learn about the cruelty of whites towards black people in complete detail.
  • Mandela House illustrates the life of Nelson Mandela through pictures and antique pieces. 
  • Hector Pieterson Museum was opened in 2002 in honour of the school children killed in a police bloodbath in 1976. 
  • Gautrain is Africa’s first rapid rail and bus service for Gauteng, which is the heart of South Africa. 
  • Hector Pieterson Memorial contains the photograph of 17-year-old Hector Pieterson killed and carried by his friend with sister running along. 
  • The Gold Reef City is an entertainment destination in the south of Johannesburg. The resort contains an art casino, a 4-star hotel, a theme park, a theatre, and a variety of restaurants and fast-food outlets.
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  • Neighbourhoods Market is a flea and street market where you can shop, dine and also enjoy street foods. 
  • Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct is a national heritage site located in Johannesburg CBD and it is the home to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. 
  • Vilakazi Street is the home of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. A vibrant and energetic unique street where you can spend hours. 
  • You can watch an amazing variety of South African wildlife at the Johannesburg Zoo. You will find lions, monkeys, horned oryxes, polar bears, Siberian Tigers, and camels, etc. 
  • The Old Fort Prison Complex is a prison building built by the Boers in 1896. Mahatma Gandhi was also one of the prisoners held in this prison. 
  • Newtown is originally called the Brickfields. It is the western part of Johannesburg that consists of Nelson Mandela Bridge, Museum Africa, Market Theatre, and Mary Fitzgerald Square. 
  • Museum Africa concentrates on the culture and history of South Africa. It was once the city’s fruits and vegetable market.

Airport Information

Two airports serve Johannesburg, Lanseria Airport which is 25 miles from the city centre, and the OR Tambo international airport which is 15.5 miles from the city centre. It is the busiest airport with non-stop flights from seven continents. Some of the main airlines flying into Johannesburg are American Airlines, Saudia flights, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Air Canada, Alitalia, EgyptAir, and many more.

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