The City of Johannesburg, also known as Jozi, is South Africa’s biggest metropolitan area. Situated in the heart of Gauteng, the country’s economic hub, it’s a lively city full of culture. It neighbors other major areas like the City of Tshwane to the north and the City of Ekurhuleni to the east. To the west, it meets Mogale City and parts of the Westrand District Municipality, while to the south, it borders Emfuleni and Midvaal Local Municipalities in the Sedibeng District.

Covering an area of 1,644 square kilometers, Johannesburg stretches from Orange Farm in the south to Midrand in the north, and from Witpoortjie/Roodepoort in the west to Modderfontein/Bruma in the east. The city boasts an extensive network of highways and railways that efficiently move thousands of people daily between the city and its suburbs. Major roads include the N1 highway, which turns into the M1 in the city, and the R28, which heads north to Pretoria.

Johannesburg has a rich history dating back half a million years, with its earliest inhabitants being Stone Age people. Over the millennia, it has been home to the Khoi and San people, the Iron Age Tswana people, and Boer settlers from the 1860s. However, it was the discovery of gold by George Harrison, an Australian prospector in 1886, that truly established Johannesburg’s prominence.

Today, Johannesburg is not only a historical city but also the wealthiest in Africa with a wealth totaling $248 billion. It is the continent’s financial heart, hosting the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which is the biggest in Africa and ranks 16th in the world. The city contributes 16.5% to South Africa’s GDP and employs 12% of the national workforce. Most of South Africa’s companies are headquartered here.

Moreover, Johannesburg is known for its greenery, ranking as the city with the most trees in South Africa, including over 70,000 Jacaranda trees, more than any other city in the country.

Johannesburg is not just a financial powerhouse; it is also a melting pot of culture and diversity. This vibrant city offers a rich tapestry of arts and entertainment, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues that celebrate its diverse cultural heritage. The famous Market Theatre, known for its anti-apartheid plays, continues to produce provocative and compelling theatre that speaks to the complex realities of South African life.

The city’s architectural landscape is equally diverse, ranging from art deco buildings in the central business district to modern skyscrapers that reflect its status as an economic giant. The Newtown precinct, for example, is a cultural hub that houses the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, one of the largest science centres in Africa, and the Turbine Hall, which has transformed from an industrial powerhouse to a sought-after venue for high-profile events.

Johannesburg’s commitment to sustainability and green initiatives is evident not only in its urban forest but also in its development policies. The city has embarked on a number of green projects, such as the Green Bond, issued to fund the growth of an environmentally sustainable city. These projects focus on reducing carbon emissions, enhancing public transportation, and preserving the city’s biodiversity.

In terms of education and innovation, Johannesburg is home to several universities and colleges, making it a center for academic excellence and research in South Africa. The University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg are renowned for their research programs and have a significant impact on the global academic and scientific community.

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