Johannesburg, South Africa


Interesting Facts

- With a population of over 7 million in the greater Johannesburg area, Joburg is the most populous city in South Africa and the second or third most populous city in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Johannesburg is often referred to as Joburg, Jozi or Egoli (the Sotho word for “place of gold”)
- Joburg is one of the few major cities in the world not located along a coast or near a large river
- 34 percent of residents speak Nguni languages at home, 26 percent speak Sotho languages, 19 percent speak English, and 8 percent speak Afrikaans
- There are more than 2,000 parks in the city

Johannesburg, City of Gold – A History of the City

In 1886 an area know as Witwatersrand came under much scrutiny when a few small gold veins were found. Men surveying the farm areas had discovered what would turn into one of the largest gold reefs in South Africa during that time.

Within three years Johannesburg was the largest city in South Africa, impressive for farmland that became a tent city almost overnight. In the beginning it was a prospecting settlement, but as the word spread people from all over the world came to Johannesburg for the opportunity to make something of themselves. Most major cities are built on a water source, but Johannesburg was built on gold.

Johannesburg became an official city in 1928. It is now the 39th largest city in the world, and one of the 50 most economically influential cities. People from around Africa and the globe still flock to “Joburg,” as it’s commonly called, for jobs, education and a better future.