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​​General information
Financial capital of South Africa

Joburg is the capital of South Africa’s most prosperous and richest province, Gauteng, which also the largest contributor the country’s GDP. Due to Johannesburg’s attraction both in terms of opportunity and socio-economic growth, it is not only the most densely populated city in SA with a population of over 5 million, but also has the highest number of economically active people. The City boasts a large percentage of multinational company’s headquarters in the continent, and is home to the largest stock exchange on the continent. Joburg’s inland port, the largest in Africa and fifth-largest in the world, handles 30% of the country’s exports.


Joburg continues to invest in world-class infrastructure to enable the City’s continued growth. Over R1.2bn has been invested in the Bus Rapid Transport System (Rea Vaya, Sesotho for “We are Going”), designed to provide affordable, efficient and safe transport to the City’s commuters. Another major infrastructure project was Gautrain, which links Johannesburg, OR Tambo International Airport, and Pretoria. All these projects form part of an overall strategy to establish a strong inter-modal transport system for the City and the province, serving to contribute to further development of the region’s economy. Communications and bandwidth infrastructure has been boosted through projects such as the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), Seacom, the SEA Cable System, and SAT-3/WASC (West Africa Cable System). The City continues to see investment in the roll-out of high-speed fibre optic broadband.


Link to Joburg Tourism website


Joburg is a vibrant, diverse, cosmopolitan city; a melting pot of nationalities, races, religions and cultures. It offers a unique blend of first-world sophistication and emerging market vitality. Living in Joburg costs around half that of major European cities. The 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranked the City at 177 out of 209 locations, making it one of the least expensive expat destinations in the world.​

Like any major modern city, Joburg has theatres, restaurants, art galleries, shopping malls, casinos, museums, clubs and sports stadia. Joburgers tend to be passionate about sport, particularly rugby, soccer and cricket, making the city a great option for sports lovers. Joburg also has several member-based sports and recreation clubs which offer excellent sporting facilities, restaurants and bars. The City boasts several beautiful, first-rate golf courses.


Johannesburg enjoys near-idyllic weather year-round. Summers are pleasantly warm, and long hot summer days are often cooled down by afternoon rain. The city has an annual average of between eight and ten hours of sunshine a day. Winters can get cold and frosty, with temperatures sometimes dropping to below freezing at night, but winter days are sunny, crisp and bone dry


The City is home to two major universities, the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), both with leading reputations for world-class teaching and research. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges provide high-quality vocational education and training through practical and theoretical experience, and work closely with local industry to help fulfil the need for trained, skilled and qualified employees. Globally-recognised executive education, short management courses, business degrees and customised corporate programmes are all on offer. Our City features two South African university business schools, the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and The Graduate School of Business Administration, otherwise known as the Wits Business School (WBS). Joburg is also home to Henley Management College, one of the top-ranked business schools in the world, which launched its MBA in South Africa in 1992.


While South Africa’s public healthcare system faces challenges, the country’s private health care sector offers world-class medical and health care. Foreigners also flock to Joburg for surgical procedures as our highly-trained doctors have an excellent international reputation, and surgery costs are often significantly lower than elsewhere in the world. Joburg’s plastic surgeons in particular attract large numbers of foreigners who often combine cosmetic surgery with a recuperative African safari or health spa holiday.

Safety and security

The City has invested in a CCTV infrastructure in the Inner City, including a round-the-clock operational control centre. This provides surveillance, as well as valuable assistance for urban management, traffic management and service delivery breakdowns. The Inner City’s integrated safety and security plan also involves visible policing and law enforcement.
Joburg’s suburbs are well serviced by private security companies. Private business initiatives have also formed close partnerships with the various law enforcement agencies at local level. These have resulted in successful projects such as City Improvement Districts. The City is also focusing its efforts on improving its response and planning with regard to emergency management services and ensuring that there is a robust and constant focus on updating its disaster management plan, through its dedicated Emergency Services Management department. 

Economic Growth

As the country’s biggest metropolitan economy, Joburg is the largest single metro contributor to national economic product, generating 15% of SA’s wealth and around 44% of Gauteng’s economic output. Over the past 10 years, the City’s high economic growth rate has undoubtedly been the major driver behind the performance of the national economy. Joburg’s economy is at least one and a half times bigger than that of the second biggest metro, Cape Town. It has consistently outdone the economic performance of the country’s other metros, making the City the country’s economic hub. Source of basic data: IHS Markit Regional Explorer 2018 (1484).

Growth rates

Over a 20 year period (1996 – 2017), Joburg’s average growth rate was 3.6%, marginally higher than both the provincial economy (3.0%) and national (2.7%) economies. Unsurprisingly, the City enjoys the highest proportion of formal sector employment in SA, currently about 7 – 10 % higher than in all the other Metros. Looking at the educational profile of the City, the population is, in general, becoming better educated. For example, from 2003 to 2013 the number of people with a ‘matric and a Bachelor’s’ degree’ increased with an average annual rate of 6.85%.