FabAfriq Magazine

The City Of Gold

Johannesburg the largest city in South Africa and known as Jo’burg, Jozi, Egoli,  the city of lights and the place of gold, is also the provincial capital of Gauteng Province.  A city loaded with history, a diverse people and their cultures from all parts of Africa, it is full of vibe and energy.  First founded in 1886, none can claim they ares originally from Johannesburg. However, it is home to many. 

 Jo’burg was founded when gold was first discovered in the Witwatersrand. Blacks from all parts of southern Africa and South African villages came to work in the gold fields as labourers.  A city was established at the site and within three years it had become the largest settlement in South Africa. By the 1890s, several large mining companies had taken control of the area's gold mines.

Johannesburg is the backbone of South Africa’s economy; the source of a large-scale of gold and diamond trade due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills.  Witwatersrand is an Afrikaans word meaning "the ridge of white waters".

The "Rand" or reef, as the Witwatersrand is sometimes known, is famous for being the source of 40% of all the gold ever mined from the earth.  It is also what the the South African currency was named after. The city’s location near valuable gold deposits has made it the nation’s most industrial and commercial city and a major financial centre.

 The city of Jo’burg with its diverse character offers many significant sites on which to feast your eyes. Too many to mention, we have picked a few we think are certainly worth a visit.

Of the vast number of cultural attractions and landmarks,  a favourite is the Apartheid Museum. The first of its kind, it illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid.

Eight kilometers from the centre of Johannesburg lies Gold Reef City. Here, a magnificent theme park and casino offer the widest range of attractions, fun and entertainment for the whole family. A reproduction of a mining town, its exhibits include a train ride tour.

Market Theatre  is world renown for brilliant anti-apartheid stage plays.  It now houses the city’s music, drama & dance companies.

The Civic Theatre or Jo’burg Theatre is South Africa’s premiere home of live entertainment, presenting world-class international and home-grown theatre. With three theatres, a News Café, 8 function rooms for private dining or corporate functions, dance studios and Space (a facility within the theatre complex for the achievement of community development goals), the Jo’burg Theatre is a exciting, bustling venue from early morning to late at night.

The Johannesburg Art Gallery houses an incredible collection of 17th century Dutch paintings and the works of pre-eminent artists like Picasso and Monet as well as antiques, sculptures, drawings, prints and lacework.  A comprehensive South African collection includes the works of Gerard Sekoto, Alexis Preller, Maud Sumner, Sydney Khumalo and Ezrom Legae.  The Art Gallery also hosts regular temporary thematic or artifact displays.

Lesedi Cultural Village  is a multicultural village set amongst the pristine bushveld and rocky hills less than an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg.

Constitution Hill.  This national heritage site has witnessed a century of South Africa’s history. From rebellious British soldiers who fought with the Boers at the turn of the century to the youths caught up in the Soweto Uprising and the dawn of democracy that saw the building of South Africa’s new Constitutional Court, Constitution Hill has witnessed it all.

Museum Africa.  For those interested in studying African origins, Museum Africa houses displays fossils that capture  evidence of early humans as well as the Stone Age and Iron Age communities that lived in the Johannesburg area. It also offers visitors an opportunity to see the Museum of South African Rock Art, which gives another fascinating look into one of South Africa's oldest cultures.

The Johannesburg Zoo.  The stars of the show are, of course, the animals and the collection is impressive. There are lions, tigers, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, sable antelope, bat-eared foxes and polar bears among the 2 070 animals, representing 365 different species.  While its core business is the accommodation, enrichment, husbandry and medical care of wild animals, the Johannesburg Zoo also offers a variety of educational and entertainment programmes.

Johannesburg has numerous clubs which are excellent for social life. The party atmosphere is great throughout the year but summer time is when things really liven up, with a festive club atmosphere almost every night of the week. There are a host of clubs with different types of music styles offering you a flavorsome nightlife experience in Johannesburg.  Words can do it no justice. To understand, you must come and experience it.

Photo Gallery

FabAfriq Facebook Activity