JOHANNESBURG is where the deals are made. It's the most powerful commercial centre on the African continent. There's hardly a major international company doing serious business in sub-Saharan Africa that has not looked to Johannesburg as the gateway.
A brief history
For all the facts and figures of the city, click here to view a slideshow
Johannesburg is the economic powerhouse of South Africa, and southern Africa.
Founded in 1886 with the discovery of gold on the Reef, Johannesburg has grown into a world-class city: the provincial capital of Gauteng and the financial centre of the country.
It is home to JSE Limited, the largest stock exchange on the continent and the 16th biggest in the world. Johannesburg generates 16.5 percent of the country's wealth and employs 12 percent of the national workforce.
More than 70 percent of South African companies have their headquarters here.
The current metropolitan area of Johannesburg - formed in 2000 by the merger of five previously independent municipal areas - covers a total of 1 644km², with an average density of 1 962 persons per km².
Johannesburg, with a population of 3,2 million spread across 1 006 930 households, is characterised by its youthful residents, with 42 percent of the population under the age of 24 and 49 percent under the age of 34.
The city's population is also growing, largely as a result of migration from other parts of the country, and the number of households is increasing, placing huge demands on the City's economic and social infrastructure.
It has a financial, municipal, roads and telecommunications infrastructure that matches that of leading world cities, with the City Deep freight terminal - classified as one of the larger inland ports in the world - handling 30 percent of South Africa's exports. There are 7 519km of roads in Johannesburg, of which 6 614km are tarred.
The city also has two active power stations.