from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality
Map of Gauteng with Johannesburg highlighted (2016) .svg
Johannesburg (South Africa)
coat of arms
Coat of arms or logo
Basic data
Country South Africa
province Gauteng
surface 1645 km²
Residents 4,434,827 (October 2011)
density 2696 inhabitants per km²
founding 1886
Postcodes 2000-2198
key JHB
ISO 3166-2 ZA-GP
Website (English)
mayor Geoff Makhubo
Political party African National Congress
View from Carlton Center in west direction
View from Carlton Center in west direction

Coordinates: 26 ° 12 ′  S , 28 ° 4 ′  E

Johannesburg , also iGoli / eGoli ( isiZulu for 'place of gold') or iRhawutini ( isiXhosa ), colloquially often Joburg or Jozi , is the capital of the Gauteng Province in South Africa .

With 957,441 inhabitants (2011 census) Johannesburg is the largest city and the entire metropolitan area of ​​the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality with around 4.43 million inhabitants is the largest metropolitan area in southern Africa . However, the capital of South Africa is Pretoria, around 50 kilometers to the north . Geoff Makhubo ( African National Congress ) has been the mayor of the metropolitan municipality since 2019 .


Afrikaans : Johannesburg [ juˈɦɑnəsbœrx, juɦɑnəsˈbœrx ]
South African English : Johannesburg [ ʤəˈhænəsbøːg ]
Setswana and Pedi : Kgauteng [ kxauˈteːŋ̩ ]
isiZulu : iGoli [ iˈgoːli ]
IsiXhosa : iRhawutini [ ixawuˈtˀiːni ]
South Ndebele : iRhawuteni [ ixawuˈtˀeːni ]
Sesotho : Gauteng [ xʰauˈteːŋ̩ ]



South Africa lies in the southern hemisphere , which means that the seasons are shifted by half a year compared to those in the northern hemisphere . Johannesburg is located in the eastern part of the large South African central plateau, which is also known as the Highveld . Greater Johannesburg's borders stretch from Orange Farm in the south to Midrand in the north. Two other large areas are in the immediate vicinity, Tshwane in the north and Ekurhuleni in the east. Although Johannesburg has the smallest area of ​​the three, it has the largest population.

The average altitude is 1753 meters above sea level. Johannesburg is one of the largest cities in the world that is neither by the sea, nor by a major river, or by any other major body of water.


The climate in Johannesburg is sunny and mostly dry, but in the summer months from October to April you can often expect thunderstorms and rain showers in the late afternoon.

Temperatures in Johannesburg are usually extremely mild, with an average summer day around 26 ° C. In winter, the daytime temperatures are on average 10 to 12 ° C, at night they can fall well below freezing point. The annual precipitation is on average 600 to 800 millimeters, it falls mainly in summer.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: WMO
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Johannesburg
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 25.6 25.1 24.0 21.1 18.9 16.0 16.7 19.4 22.8 23.8 24.2 25.2 O 21.9
Min. Temperature (° C) 14.7 14.1 13.1 10.3 7.2 4.1 4.1 6.2 9.3 11.2 12.7 13.9 O 10.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 125 90 91 54 13 9 4th 6th 27 72 117 105 Σ 713
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 10.9 10.5 9.4 7.8 6.6 5.8 6.2 6.8 7.5 9.0 10.3 10.8 O 8.5
Rainy days ( d ) 15.9 11.2 11.9 8.6 2.9 2.0 1.0 2.1 3.7 9.8 15.2 14.2 Σ 98.5
Humidity ( % ) 69 70 68 65 56 53 49 46 47 56 65 66 O 59.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: WMO


Location of the first gold discovery in Johannesburg
Gold mines near Johannesburg
July 1911, balloon photo by Eduard Spelterini
Johannesburg 1896
Johannesburg July 1911, balloon shot
by Eduard Spelterini

The region around Johannesburg was inhabited by pre-humans millions of years ago. A 3.3 million year old hominid of the genus Australopithecus africanus , which was excavated in the Sterkfontein Caves northwest of Johannesburg in 1998, is the oldest complete human skeleton ever found .

Later, around 10,000 to 25,000 years ago, southern Africa was settled by the San , a nomadic people. The San lived in the region around Johannesburg until around the 11th century AD, when they were pushed further and further into inhospitable areas by the Bantu .

After gold was first found around 1880 in the eastern areas of what was then the Transvaal around Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest, gold diggers discovered further deposits on the Witwatersrand in 1886 , which ultimately turned out to be part of the largest gold deposit in the world.

The city was founded as a small gold digger settlement and tent city; the founding date October 4 applies, 1886. With the discovery of gold in to light passing conglomerate layers ( Reef called) hiked thousands of workers and soldiers of fortune from the UK, the Cape Colony and other countries in the Boer areas and settled in Johannesburg. Within ten years the city grew to over 100,000 inhabitants. The economic value of this area rose rapidly, creating tension between the Boers , who ruled the region during the 19th century, and the British , who culminated in the Second Boer War between 1899 and 1902. The Boers lost the war and also control of the South African Republic to the British.

By Pope Leo XIII. The Roman Catholic Apostolic Prefecture Transvaal was founded in 1886 , from which the Diocese of Johannesburg emerged in 1951, and which was elevated to the Archdiocese of Johannesburg in 2007 . The main church of the Archdiocese is the Cathedral of Christ the King.

When the British proclaimed the South African Union in 1910 , it paved the way for organized mining . However, the South African government installed a strict racial system during this period. The immigration of blacks and Indians was strictly regulated. The black and colored populations were forced to move to racially segregated areas, often previously determined arbitrarily by the white government. This created huge barracks, the so-called townships , around Johannesburg, of which the Soweto conglomerate (short for: South Western Townships ) is the best known. Nelson Mandela also lived here for many years; his home in Orlando is a tourist attraction these days. In addition, the non-white population was banned from accepting skilled jobs, and numerous blacks, for example from Basutoland , had to work as migrant workers in Johannesburg's gold mines.

Despite this radical policy of separation, the Sophiatown district, for example, was a lively district of the city at the beginning of the 20th century, where people of different skin colors lived more or less peacefully side by side. From 1955, the old Sophiatown became a victim of the apartheid policy of the Boer-dominated National Party , which was then the government of South Africa. The entire area was declared a “whites-only area”, all people of different colors were forced to move and almost all houses were demolished. From then on, the district was given the ironic Afrikaans name Triomf (in German 'Triumph').

In 1976 great and bloody riots broke out in Johannesburg and especially in Soweto. The Soweto Student Council organized demonstrations against the planned introduction of Afrikaans , which was then regarded as the language of the oppressors, as a language of instruction in black schools on an equal footing with English. On June 16, 1976, the police fired at a school demonstration. In the following 12 months, more than 550 people (mostly young people) died in demonstrations against the apartheid regime. The best-known victim of this riot was the twelve-year-old Hector Pieterson .

Since apartheid was abolished in the early 1990s, the discriminatory race laws no longer apply in Johannesburg either. The townships inhabited by blacks, but also other suburbs such as Sandton , were integrated into the city in 1995, which has since been known as the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality . Many parts of the city are now inhabited by people of different skin colors.

The biggest problem in Greater Johannesburg today is crime . As a result, the downtown area is dominated by empty hotels and office buildings as many white residents and businesses have left the city center for security reasons and moved to the northern suburbs. Today the Midrand between Johannesburg and Pretoria is the main center for many international companies. The center of the South African financial industry is in Sandton, north of the city center.

Although the city's mines have not been used for a long time because the gold sources have been depleted and new gold has been found in other locations, it is still called eGoli in isiZulu , which means 'place of gold'.


Johannesburg from the ISS

The inhabitants of Johannesburg was in the census in October 2011 4.434.827 living in 1,434,856 households. The average household income in 2003 was around 99,320 Rand (around 9,000 euros) per year. The unemployment rate is currently around 37.3%. 91% of the unemployed belong to the black population group.

From 1998 to 2003 Johannesburg's population increased by 22.2%. The largest group of the population is made up of Bantu-born Africans with around 76.4% of the total population, followed by whites with 12.3%, coloreds (5.6%) and Indians (4.9%).

The first language was 23.1% isiZulu , 19.8% English, 9.5% Sesotho , 7.6% Setswana , 7.2% each Afrikaans and Sepedi , 6.7% isiXhosa , 6, 5% Xitsonga , 3.2% Tshivenda , 2.9% isiNdebele , 0.8% Siswati and 3.8% other languages.

42% of the population are younger than 24 years, only 6% are older than 60 years.

86% of all households have running water, 80% have access to the public electricity network. About 22% of Johannesburgers live in makeshift shelters or barracks.

19% of all employed people work in the service sector, 18% in the financial sector, 17% in the public and social service, and 12% in the manufacturing sector. Only 0.7% of all workers are employed in the originally dominant mining industry.

29% of adults have a degree that entitles them to study, around 14% a university degree. The city's illiteracy rate is 7%.

53% of the population belongs to one of the large Christian churches, 24% are non-denominational. 14% are members of African independent churches, 3% Muslims , 1% Jews and 1% Hindus .

For the year 2035 a population of 7.5 million is forecast.

The name Johannesburg

The origin of the name Johannesburg cannot be determined with absolute certainty. The only undisputed fact is that the city is named after a man named Johannes, a common and very common Dutch name. Most experts assumed in the course of urban development that the city got its name from the two state officials at the time, Johann Rissik and Christiaan Johannes Joubert . Shortly after the gold discovery in 1886, these men were sent to the Witwatersrand to look for a suitable place to settle, and then decided to name the city Johannesburg after their common first name.


Administrative districts

Johannesburg region map with names.jpg

Johannesburg was divided into the following eleven administrative districts until 2006:

  • District 1: Diepsloot, Kya Sand
  • District 2: Midrand , Ivory Park
  • District 3: Bryanston , Douglasdale, Fourways, Randburg , Sandton , Strijdom Park, Sunninghill, Woodmead
  • District 4: Northcliff, Rosebank, Parktown
  • District 5: Roodepoort , Constantia Kloof, Northgate
  • District 6: Doornkop, Soweto (partially), Dobsonville, Protea Glen
  • District 7: Alexandra , Wynberg, Bruma
  • District 8: inner city
  • District 9: Johannesburg South, City Deep, Aeroton, South Gate
  • District 10: Meadowlands , Diepkloof
  • District 11: Orange Farm, Ennerdale, Lenasia

In 2006 these were administratively grouped into seven regions:

  • Region A: Districts 1 and 2
  • Region B: Districts 3 and 4
  • Region C: District 5
  • Region D: Districts 6 and 10
  • Region E: District 7
  • Region F: District 8 and 9
  • Region G: District 11


Street in Hillbrow
View north from the Carlton Center


The streets of the city center and the surrounding inner city districts such as Joubert Park, Hillbrow or Berea are dominated by high-rise buildings in which many of Johannesburg's largest companies have offices. However, many of these companies are gradually moving to the northern suburbs such as Sandton as the center of Johannesburg is perceived as too dangerous and unattractive. An example of this is the Johannesburg Securities Exchange , the largest exchange in Africa. A different picture emerges in Jeppestown , where the cityscape is fragmented, a colorful mix of small businesses, but also characterized by highly differentiated degrees of conservation of the building fabric.

Since the end of apartheid in 1990, many residents of Soweto have given up their township life to live in the city center, often in abandoned office buildings or dilapidated warehouses, together with immigrants from other African states. Hillbrow and Berea are known for high population density, unemployment and poverty, and very high crime rates. On the western edge of Hillbrow lies Constitution Hill , the seat of the South African constitutional court . There is also the 270 meter high Telkom Joburg Tower , which dominates the Johannesburg skyline and can also be found in a stylized form in the city's coat of arms.


Soweto (official name; short for South Western Townships ) is a predominantly "black" residential conglomerate southwest of the city center ( CBD ). The name was suggested in 1959 by the Johannesburg local government official for " Native Affairs ", William Carr , to name the settlements of the black population that were built in the 1930s, but have only been used since 1963.

During the apartheid regime, Soweto was greatly expanded for the black population who until then lived in areas designated by the government as “white” neighborhoods, such as Sophiatown, or newly arrived in the Johannesburg metropolitan area. Today Soweto is one of the poorest areas in Johannesburg. But there have been successes with the economic upswing and with urban development measures . The University of Johannesburg has its Soweto campus here . This area was transferred from the former Vista University to the University of Johannesburg on January 1, 2005 .

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is on the edge of Soweto . The access to traffic from the outside takes place via partially multi-lane road connections, including the Moroka Bypass ( N12 ), Soweto Highway (M 70), Golden Highway (R 553) and Chris Hani Road (M 68).

Eastern suburbs

Yeoville, east of Berea, became the center of black nightlife in Johannesburg. To the east of Yeoville is the Observatory, a quiet neighborhood with large houses. It bears its name after the Union Observatory . There is also a large sports park here. In the immediate vicinity of the stand athletics stadium Johannesburg Stadium , the Standard Bank Arena and the Ellis Park Stadium .

Northern suburbs

Because the center has undergone profound demographic change over the past ten years, accompanied by the decline of the inner city, many companies have relocated their headquarters to the northern suburbs. Directly to the north are the luxurious suburbs Parktown , Saxonwold and Houghton with large lots and stately mansions. Houghton is followed by Rosebank, Hyde Park, Sandton, and Morningside, all of which are predominantly white populations who are predominantly wealthy. The JSE Securities Exchange , the largest exchange in Africa, has been located in Sandton since 2000 , making Sandton the financial center of the city. The state-owned Industrial Development Corporation is also based here.

In contrast to these rich districts is Alexandra , one of the first township settlements in Johannesburg, which was declared a “black” residential area in 1912. Alexandra is only separated from Sandton and Rosebank by the M1 freeway and is considered one of the poorest and most dangerous areas in the country. The area of ​​this township is around 8 km², with around 338,000 inhabitants (as of 2005).

Northwest suburbs

To the west of Parktown is Auckland Park, home to the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the University of Johannesburg. The nearby Greenside district is currently experiencing a revival. Just north of Auckland Park is Melville, which has turned into a lively and nocturnal area with restaurants, cafes, bookstores and nightclubs. To the west of Melville is also the Sophiatown mentioned above.


Demonstration against xenophobia in Johannesburg

Like many other large cities in the world, Johannesburg has a crime problem . In Johannesburg, however, the problem was so great that the number of murders exceeded the number of road deaths. In the meantime, however, the situation has improved significantly. The security situation has been significantly defused through surveillance measures, upgrading the city center with cultural offerings and the return of retail. However, the situation remains tense in poor neighborhoods like Soweto. Despite the decline in crime, Johannesburg still has a reputation for being the most dangerous city in the world.

After the fall of the so-called Group Areas Act of 1950, which was an important instrument of the apartheid government, thousands of mostly black, poor immigrants moved to downtown Johannesburg in the early 1990s. These people mostly came from the surrounding townships, as they were banned from living in the city center during the apartheid period. The crime rate rose sharply, particularly in densely populated areas such as Hillbrow. Many companies and institutions therefore preferred to relocate their offices to the northern suburbs to reduce security risks. The revitalization of downtown Johannesburg is one of the main tasks of the current city administration. Meanwhile, drastic measures have been taken to reduce crime in the city, such as surveillance cameras in streets and squares. The latest police statistics show that the crime rate in Johannesburg has decreased in recent years due to the slow economic boom. Since 2002, i.e. since the start of the tightened security conditions, crime has been reduced by 80%. However, this development is not stable. The crime rate has been rising continuously since mid-2005. One reason for this is, among other things, organized crime with group robberies of up to 20 people as a reaction to the increased security measures.

Culture and sights

Downtown from the Carlton Center observation deck

Johannesburg itself is not a classic tourist destination. The city serves as a hub for connecting flights to Cape Town , Durban , the Pilanesberg National Park and the Kruger National Park as well as the neighboring states of South Africa. But Johannesburg offers some sights. The metropolis has some notable Art Deco buildings and is characterized by innovative architectural projects.

Just south of downtown is Gold Reef City , a large amusement complex and theme park. This park was created around the old shaft No. 14 of the Crown Mine . Here you can visit the mine at a depth of 200 meters and get an impression of the life and work of the mine workers at the time. In close proximity to Gold Reef City is the Apartheid Museum . The 234 meter high The Leonardo in Sandton is the tallest building in Africa, the Carlton Center is the second tallest with 50 floors and around 220 meters high and offers a panoramic view of downtown Johannesburg and the surrounding area. The Ponte City skyscraper in Hillbrow is also known .

The former market building in Newtown , west of downtown, has been home to the Market Theater and Museum Africa since 1976 . The Market Theater earned in the era of apartheid, the reputation of this ideology oppose courageous. This building complex has three theaters, two galleries, restaurants, bars, a jazz club and a flea market on Sunday mornings. Also of note is the Johannesburg Art Gallery in the city center.

Tourists can also take organized tours through Soweto, with visits to a Shebeen , the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum or Nelson Mandela's former home.

Economy and Infrastructure


Johannesburg viewed from Kyalami

Johannesburg is the economic and financial center of South Africa. 40 percent of Gauteng's gross domestic product and 16 percent of the entire country are generated here. Mining was the starting point of development on the Witwatersrand, but the influence of this branch has been declining for years. Despite the fact that no more gold is mined within the city limits, the mining companies kept their headquarters in the city.

Various industrial sectors are located in the city, such as the steel and cement industries. It is also home to many banks and trading companies. Due to its great economic influence, the city has several branches of government offices and consulates that are normally only found in the capital of a country.

The entire metropolitan area on the Witwatersrand is the largest water consumer in the arid interior of South Africa. Due to the continuous economic and population growth, Johannesburg is dependent on water supply lines from the surrounding regions and the dams in the highlands of Lesotho ( see: Lesotho Highlands Water Project ). For a long time, the state-owned company Rand Water was directly responsible for Johannesburg. A functioning municipal water supplier has existed since 2001, which was created on the initiative of the former Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council on the basis of the iGoli 2002 Transformation Plan .

The container terminal in the City Deep district is a very large dry port . Around 60% of all freight that reaches the port of Durban is transported on to Johannesburg. The City Deep site has been declared an industrial development zone by the Gauteng provincial government as part of the Blue IQ project , the construction of a high-speed rail network.

The largest shopping mall in Johannesburg is Sandton City . Other popular shopping malls are Eastgate , Westgate , Northgate , Southgate , Melrose Arch , Rosebank Mall and Cresta . There are currently plans to build a 250,000 m² shopping center in Midrand, which will be called Zonk'Izizwe Shopping Resort ( isiZulu Zonk'Izizwe 'all peoples').

Johannesburg used to have one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the country, Basil Green Motors , which currently only operates as an authorized dealer. One of the city's current automakers is Motorite Racing .


Many South African newspapers and magazines are based in Johannesburg.

Important daily newspapers:

Important weekly newspapers:



Since Johannesburg was not built near water, the transport of people and goods in and out of the city was particularly important from the beginning of the city's history. However, as in most African cities, there is still a lack of extensive and reliable local public transport in Johannesburg. Because of the comparatively high poverty of most of Johannesburg's residents, many are still dependent on public transport, which in the city is mainly operated by shared taxis .


The Johannesburg suburban railways connect the city center with Soweto, Pretoria and most of the surrounding cities and townships of the Witwatersrand via Johannesburg Park Station . The railways transport a large number of commuters every day. The track connections were built in the early days of the city and so only the older urban areas can be served. However, as the city has expanded significantly in the north over the past 50 years, none of the northern suburbs, including the business districts of Sandton , Midrand , Randburg and Rosebank , have a siding in the Metrorail network.

With the Blue IQ Project of the Gauteng provincial government, the construction of the Gautrain high-speed local transport system should be completed in time for the 2010 soccer World Cup . Until May 2011, however, trains only ran partial sections to the airport. Since its completion on June 7, 2012, the route between Johannesburg and Pretoria has been running as a north-south axis along the N1 motorway and between Sandton and the airport in an east-west direction. Up to 160,000 passengers should be able to be carried every day. Gautrain trains also stop in Midrand and Rosebank.


OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, Africa's busiest airport

The Johannesburg Airport , about 35 kilometers east of downtown in the area of the city Kempton Park area, is starting point and destination for domestic and international flights and the largest airport in Africa . Other airports in the area include Rand Airport , Grand Central Airport, and Lanseria International Airport .

Rand Airport in Germiston is a small airfield mainly used for private flights, as is Grand Central in Midrand . Lanseria Airport is used for domestic and regional flights to Cape Town , Durban or to Botswana , Namibia and Mozambique .


Johannesburg's bus services are operated by Metrobus , a Johannesburg City Company. The vehicle fleet consists of 550 single-decker and double-decker buses that run on 84 different lines in the city. Metrobus transports up to 20 million passengers a year.


Minibus taxi on the highway

There are two types of taxis in Johannesburg : traditional taxis (called cab ) and minibus taxis ( taxi ). Taxis in the European sense are not allowed to take passengers from the roadside, but have to be called to a desired starting point. These taxis are rare in Johannesburg compared to other major cities. Minibus taxis operate as scheduled minibuses on certain routes for which the passengers have to pay individually. Typically, the minibus is rented to a driver on a daily basis. “Taxi wars” are the order of the day and are instigated by organized criminals.

As a rule, the cabs are used more by the middle class and wealthy citizens, while the taxis are the daily means of transport for the poor majority of the population.


The Johannesburg motorway ring is one of the busiest sections in South Africa. It consists of three motorways that surround the city for 80 kilometers: the N3 east bypass , which connects Johannesburg with Durban , the N1 west bypass , which leads from Beitbridge on the border with Zimbabwe via Pretoria, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein to Cape Town and the N12 south bypass connecting Johannesburg with eMalahleni in the east and Kimberley in the west. The Johannesburg ring road is very busy and has in some cases been expanded to twelve lanes. The Gillooly motorway junction at the intersection of the N3 east bypass and the R24 to the airport is said to be the busiest road in the southern hemisphere .

Freight logistics

In the City Deep district there is a modern freight transport center for container freight, which enables the efficient linkage of goods flows between rail and road. The City Deep Container Terminal contributes significantly to the bundling and optimization of a high proportion of goods handling within the Gauteng Province.


Major universities in the country can be found in Johannesburg.

University of the Witwatersrand

East Campus of the Witwatersrand University

The University of the Witwatersrand, or Wits for short , is one of the most prestigious universities in the country and has already produced several Nobel Prize winners , such as Aaron Klug with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1982, Nelson Mandela with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and Sydney Brenner , who won the Nobel Prize in 2002 received for physiology or medicine . Here John Dugard was also active as a professor and from 1975 to 1977 as dean of the law faculty. The university has five faculties.

University of Johannesburg

The University of Johannesburg was founded on January 1, 2005 through the merger of the formerly independent universities Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), Technikon Witwatersrand and Vista University . Amalgamations across the country were aimed at eliminating the imbalance in the education system that developed during the apartheid era. Most non-white students had been denied access to many institutions of the higher quality educational infrastructure of white students until the desegregation was desegregated.

Monash South Africa

Monash South Africa is a campus of Monash University ( Melbourne ) in Roodepoort . It was opened in 2001 and offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

environmental issues

The extensive gold mining on the Witwatersrand , which has lasted for around 130 years, and thus also in the urban area of ​​Johannesburg, has created numerous and lasting consequences of high ecological sensitivity. The focus of this problem is the acidic pit water that emerges from the disused mines, which can have a pH value of around 3. The proportions of some sulphidic minerals , mainly pyrite , in the prospective complexes of the gold reef are decomposed by the water and brought into a mobile phase as ions. Sulfuric acid is formed as a by-product. This acid content leads through chemical reactions to an accumulation of toxic metal compounds in the mine water and seepage water from the mining dumps from otherwise hardly water-soluble minerals. In addition to iron, a significant amount of uranium can be identified, which comes from locally occurring pitchblende in the early Proterozoic conglomerates (former river gravel). This rock has the economically valuable gold content.

After the mining shafts were closed, the cavities that were left behind began to fill with water due to the associated cessation of pumping activities, regardless of which the chemical processes take place without restriction.

The high geographical proximity of the mining activities to each other led to the runoff of uncontrolled mine water on surface and underground routes into working pits. In addition to their own pumping capacity, they had to install additional pit drainage capacities. The government promoted these technical extensions with specific subsidies . In addition, the water had to be brought to a higher pH value by adding lime . By blowing air into this mine water, the mining companies accelerated the oxidation of the iron, which formed a precipitate in which other heavy metals were carried away. This sludge ended up on large spoil heaps. However, the sulphate content in the draining water increased significantly, up to 1500 mg / l, which again contributes to the pollution of the surface water.

The resulting salinization of the Vaals occurs in its section between the Vaal reservoir and the Vaal Barrage . For this reason, additional amounts of water were drained from the reservoir in order to maintain acceptable water quality for the downstream users. In the times of reduced rainfall in the area of ​​South Africa (see Rand Water ) and Lesotho (see Lesotho Highlands Water Project ) and the resulting water shortage in the industrial conurbation of Gauteng , the situation of water use becomes critical, as a large amount is used to dilute the saline inflow from the nearby catchment area of ​​the Vaals. A particularly difficult situation is caused by uncontrolled, sometimes hardly noticeable water leaks with corresponding stress factors in the landscape. This also includes seepage from spoil heaps. Some aquifers are affected to a degree that is difficult to assess.

In 2011, the South African state had to raise over 1.2 billion rand for water treatment as part of the subsequent mining damage in the country.


The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit is located in the north of Johannesburg . It became known, among other things, for the races for the South African Grand Prix, which were held with interruptions from 1967 to 1993 as part of the Formula 1 World Championship . However, the route is currently being demolished and replaced by a modern route further outside.

In 2010, South Africa became the first African country in the history of this competition to host the 19th World Cup . Both the opening game and the final of this tournament took place in Johannesburg. For this reason, the two Johannesburg stadiums Ellis Park with 60,000 seats and Soccer City have been modernized and expanded.

Johannesburg is a very large regional sports center and home to the following sports clubs:



  • Highveld Lions

Rugby Union:


See also: Soweto and Roodepoort


Eddy Grant's hit Gimme Hope Jo'anna (1988) called for the end of apartheid in South Africa - the name Jo'anna in the song title does not refer to a woman, but to Johannesburg.

In the science fiction film District 9 by South African director Neill Blomkamp , a UFO is stranded over downtown Johannesburg and the emaciated shrimp are interned in a camp called District 9 . The film was inspired by what happened around the multi-ethnic District Six in Cape Town, which was cleared by the apartheid government .

In a cross-cultural study soundscapes (were Soundscapes ) from Johannesburg and Berlin systematically analyzed and compared.

At a pneumoconiosis conference that took place in Johannesburg in 1959, the Johannesburg Convention laid down the definition of fine dust .

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Johannesburg ranked 95th out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018. The city was thus behind Durban (89th place) and Cape Town (94th place).


Web links

Commons : Johannesburg  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. City of Johannesburg: 2011 Census , accessed June 5, 2016
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 24, 2018 .
  4. How was Johannesburg named? (No longer available online.) City of Johannesburg, 2012, archived from the original on April 17, 2015 ; accessed on January 6, 2013 .
  5. ^ South African History Online: Soweto . on (English)
  6. ^ University of Johannesburg: UJ Campuses . on (English)
  7. ^ Report from Tagesschau Online on architecture in the style of Art Deco in Johannesburg , accessed on February 28, 2016
  8. Architecture on the official website ( Memento from June 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on September 11, 2012
  9. ^ Johannesburg Water: Corporate Profile . on ( Memento from January 18, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  10. ^ University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg: Honorary Degree Citation: Christoper John Robert Dugard . at ( Memento from September 30, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  11. ^ University of Johannesburg: Background to the Campus Master Plan . on ( Memento from August 25, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  12. ^ Council for Geoscience (coord.): Mine Water Management in the Witwatersrand Gold Fields With Special Emphasis on Acide Mine Drainage. Report to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Acid Maine Drainage . Department of Water Affairs, Department of Mineral Resources, 2010, online at (English, PDF document pp. 53–54)
  13. a b c Terence S. McCarthy: The impact of acid mine drainage in South Africa . In: South African Journal of Science, vol. 107 no. 5-6 Pretoria May./Jun. 2011, ISSN 1996-7489 online, at (English)
  14. ^ CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment: Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa . on (English)
  15. Pat Manders, Linda Godfrey, Philip Hobbs: Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) South Africa . on (English)
  16. Anonymous: South Africa's acid mine water pollution risks lives . at (English)
  17. ^ Felix Urban: Acoustic Competence Investigating sonic empowerment in urban cultures. Johannesburg and Berlin. 1st edition. Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2016, ISBN 978-3-8288-3683-9 ( ).
  18. James H. Vincent: Aerosol Sampling - Science, Standards, Instrumentation and Applications . John Wiley & Sons, Chichester 2007, ISBN 978-0-470-02725-7 , p. 269.
  19. Mercer's 2018 Quality of Living Rankings. Retrieved August 18, 2018 .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on July 9, 2005 .