Johannesburg

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Johannesburg,having a typical thunderstorm! Image source

Joburg, the Economic powerhouse of Africa, was founded in the heydays of one of the World's biggest and richest gold rushes - earning it the name of Egoli meaning 'place of gold'.
As the most powerful Commercial Centre on the African continent, Johannesburg generates 16% of South Africa's GDP and employs 12% of the National Workforce. Its infrastructure matches leading first World Cities, yet the cost of living is far lower!
The City is recognized as the Financial Capital of South Africa and is Home to 74% of Corporate Headquarters. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) rates as one of the top 20 exchanges in the World, in terms of market Capitalization.
Key industries and Areas of innovation in Johannesburg include a multiplicity of commercial and creative activities – from banking and finance, gold mining, manufacturing and health sciences to transport, business services and outsourcing, information and communication technologies, automotive, television, film and creative industries, to mention but a few.
Johannesburg is Home to 4.9 Million People - the majority of whom are aged between 19 and 39. According to the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index, since 2014 it has been Africa’s Most Visited City. 
The City covers an Area of 2300 square Kilometres, making it larger than Sydney, London and New York – and similar in size to Los Angeles.
Founded 1886, Joburg is one of the World’s youngest major Cities – and the only one NOT, founded on a major Waterway (Bay or large River).
During the times, it has been Rebuilt four times – starting out as a tented Mining Camp, it evolved into a Town of tin 'shanties', followed by four-storey Edwardian brick Buildings and then a City of modern Skyscrapers. Johannesburg is Home to the largest Stock Exchange in Africa. It is South Africa’s Financial Hub, and Home to 74% of the African Headquarters of large Multi-National Companies. There are about 10 million trees in Joburg, making it the World’s largest man-made, Urban Forest. Johannesburg has approximately 150 Heritage Sites, half of which are National Monuments. An amazing 40% of all the World’s Human Ancestor Fossils have been found in Areas, close to Joburg.
55 Airlines fly into Joburg, making the destination the most accessible on the African Continent and the hub from which to access other destinations on the Continent.
Joburg has a wide variety of Accommodation Establishments, ranging from one-star to five-stars. Of Gauteng’s 1532 Accommodation Establishments, 33% are in Johannesburg. Of Gauteng’s 536 Conference Venues, 37.9% are in Johannesburg. Many of Johannesburg’s three to five-star Accommodation Establishments have Meeting Facilities.
The City was also named the 33rd most Economically-powerful City globally, out of 84 leading Financial Cities in the 2015; edition of the Global Financial Centres Index.
Johannesburg is Home to the World’s largest man-made urban forest with more than 10 million trees in the City. There are more than 2000 Public Parks in Johannesburg. Joburg is Home to the iconic 94 736-seater FNB Stadium, the largest in South Africa. It has hosted some of the biggest International and local events including Memorial Service for Tata Nelson Mandela, musical acts including U2, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. It also plays host to major sporting Events such as the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ™, the African Cup of Nations final in 2013, as well as major football matches like the popular Soweto Derby that involves two South African Premier Soccer League football giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
According to the Restaurant Association of South Africa there are about 8000 Restaurants in Johannesburg. Joburg has World class Transprt Infrastructure from its International Airports, high-speed trains known as The Gautrain, good Public Transport network (the first in Africa).
Of the total foreign Business visitors who arrive in Gauteng province, by far the biggest percentage come to Joburg. Of these, 82.4% are Business Professionals while 73.8% attend conferences and conventions. Joburg attracts 60.4% of all Domestic trips to Gauteng, accounting for 67% of all trips undertaken for entertainment, 72.7% of those undertaken for Education purposes, 78.3% of trips for Medical purposes, 75% of trips for Sports Participation, and 83% of trips taken to the province by Sports Spectators. In 2015, Joburg hosted more than 28 293 lifestyle Events in the City. 
Since 2014 Johannesburg has ranked as Africa’s Most Visited City with the highest expenditure by foreign visitors – according to the annual Global Mastercard Cities’ Index [GDCI].
In 2014, Joburg was rated the second most inspiring City in the World after Hong Kong, in the annual Good City Index, and for good reason. Joburgers are first and foremost Entrepreneurs and its young Entrepreneurs are driving development and in so doing forging a new identity for the City. You need only look at the Cultural hubs of Maboneng District and Braamfontein to see this in action. These are the places where culture, style and youthful energy meet entrepreneurship.
In the Good City Index, Joburg outclassed Mexico City (3rd), New Orleans (7th), Buenos Aires (11th), Montreal (12th), Melbourne (14th), Berlin (15th), Santiago (16th), Paris (22nd) Los Angeles (24th) and Cape Town (25th) when it comes to creating inspiration and possibility.
Rough Guides voted Johannesburg the best place to visit in 2015, ahead of Malaga in Spain, New Orleans in the US, Hamburg in Germany and Nizwa in Oman.
Johannesburg is considered to be one of the 12 Art Cities of the Future, by prominent art publisher Phaidon, as well as Four Emerging Art Cities You Should Know by the Wall Street Journal.
Travel & Leisure.com named Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct one of the World’s coolest new Tourist attractions in 2015. The 2015 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index ranked Johannesburg as the 33rd most Economically powerful City in the World and number one City, in Africa.
Johannesburg was ranked 12th out of 25 African destinations in Tripadvisor’s 2015 Travellers’ Choice Destination Awards.
Johannesburg has the most Dollar Millionaires in Africa. Of the approximately 163 000 millionaires in Africa, 23 400 live in Johannesburg!
 

References:
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 Joburg Tourism Business Plan, GTA Supply and Demand study 2014.<p>
Google map: 

Last updated : 04-Mar-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 04-Mar-2019

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