Located in the heart of South Africa's Highveld region, Gauteng is a highly urbanized and hugely populated province, home to major industry headquarters and cultural centres. Although it is the smallest province, it is nonetheless the economic powerhouse of South Africa – if not the entire African continent.
This is in no small part due to the fact that Gauteng has some of the world's richest goldfields, and it is for this reason that the province is known as Egoli – the Place of Gold.
Business and the pursuit of wealth are the preoccupations of many 'Gautengers', but the province offers a great deal more than just that. It offers an authentic African experience, and as the province is regarded as the country’s culture and entertainment capital, and home to unique multi-cultural and cosmopolitan cities, it means that there are numerous theatres, art galleries, vibey nightclubs, cultural precincts and craft markets to visit.
The province is also home to numerous game reserves and important archaeological sites including the Cradle of Humankind, where evidence has been found that civilization indeed started in Africa. Here visitors can see the fossil of "Mrs Ples" at the Sterkfontein Caves, or learn about the story of mankind at the high-tech, interactive and highly entertaining Maropeng Visitor’s Centre.
Johannesburg is Gauteng's largest city, and the economic hub of the country. Soweto, the location of many political uprisings during the struggle, offers the Regina Mundi Church and the Hector Pieterson Memorial, where visitors can learn about this legacy. The Apartheid Museum is nearby. Pretoria, located just north of Johannesburg, is the capital of South Africa and is home to, amongst others, the Union Buildings, the Voortrekker Monument and lovely shopping malls.
The Gautrain is an exciting addition to Gauteng's public transport infrastructure. The Gautrain system, comprising twenty-four ultra-modern trains capable of speeds of around 160km per hour and ten different stations, will undoubtedly enhance the ease with which visitors will be able to travel within the province. The stations include Rosebank Station, Gautrain's Johannesburg Park Station, Marlboro Station, OR Tambo International Airport Station, Rhodesfield Station and Sandton Station. While not all stations were completed by the 2010 FIFA World Cup, both the OR Tambo International Airport Station and Sandton Station were.
Gauteng is a province of movers and shakers and is a perfect region for corporate travellers. When the business is over, the province is a tourist destination in its own right and is also a convenient springboard to the game reserves of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West.
PRINCIPAL LANGUAGES: isiZulu; Afrikaans; Sesotho; English
POPULATION: Approximately 10.45 million
AREA: 17,010 sq km