Although the smallest of the nine provinces, Gauteng is the powerhouse of South Africa and the heart of its commercial business and industrial sectors. Gauteng represents the highest per-capita income level in the country. It is also the financial-services capital of Africa. More than 70 foreign banks have their head offices here, as do at least the same number of South African banks, stockbrokers and insurance giants. The province blends cultures, colours and first-- and third-world traditions in a spirited mix that is flavoured by many foreign influences. Most overseas visitors enter South Africa via OR Tambo International Airport (formerly Johannesburg International Airport). Johannesburg, nicknamed ‘Egoli’ (Place of Gold), is the capital of the province and a city of contrasts. Mine-dumps and headgear stand proud as symbols of its rich past, while modern architecture rubs shoulders with examples of 19th-century engineering prowess. Gleaming skyscrapers contrast with Indian bazaars and African muti (medicine) shops, where traditional healers dispense advice and traditional medicine. The busy streets ring out with the calls of fruitsellers and street vendors. An exciting blend of ethnic and western art and cultural activities is¨reflected in theatres and open-air arenas throughout the city. South of Johannesburg is Soweto, developed as a township for black people under the apartheid system. Most of the struggle against apartheid was fought in and from Soweto, which is estimated to be inhabited by over two million people. Soweto is a city of enterprise and cultural interaction. It is a popular tourist destination with sites such as Kliptown, where the Freedom Charter was drawn up; the home of former President Nelson Mandela; the Hector Petersen Memorial site; and restaurantsand shopping malls. It boasts one of the largest hospitals on the continent, the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital. Some 50 km north of Johannesburg lies Pretoria, dominated by government services and the diplomatic corps of foreign representatives in the country. Pretoria, also known as the ‘Jacaranda City’, is renowned for its colourful gardens, shrubs and trees, particularly beautiful in spring when some 50 000 jacaranda trees envelop the avenues in mauve. The city developed at a more sedate pace than Johannesburg, and town planners had the foresight to include an abundance of open space. Pretoria has more than 100 parks, including bird sanctuaries and nature reserves. An air of history pervades much of central Pretoria, especially Church Square, around which the city has grown. Many buildings of historical and architectural importance have been retained or restored to their former splendour. The industrial area of Rosslyn and the townships of Soshanguve and GaRankuwa are situated north of Pretoria. Cullinan, known for its diamonds, lies to the east. Other important Gauteng towns include Krugersdorp and Roodepoort on the West Rand, and Germiston, Springs, Boksburg, Benoni, Brakpan and Kempton Park on the East Rand. Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging in the south of the province are major industrial centres, while Heidelberg, Nigel and Bronkhorstspruit to the east are of agricultural importance. Although the province is highly urbanised and industrialised, it contains wetlands of international importance, such as Blesbokspruit near Springs.
"Jacaranda City" - Pretoria
Burgers Park - Pretoria´s oldest park
Kruger House Museum
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