Johannesburg is a large city in the interior of Africa. It is the capital of the metropolitan province of Gauteng (meaning place of Gold), one of the nine Provinces of South Africa.

The city is also referred to as eGoli and as Jo'burg or Joburg.

Joburg is the primate city, economic hub and largest population center (over 7 million people) of South Africa. For that matter, it is the largest economic center in Sub-Saharan Africa and thus has some claim to being the capital of Africa.

Joburg is the largest human settlement on Earth which is not located around some surface geographic feature such as a coast, harbour, river, or mountian pass. It grew in the late 1800s because of the gold rush in the area. Joburg is a 1800s gold mining town that grew out of control.

Joburg is a kind of African New York - a big rotten apple of a metropolis. Big, fast, intense, dirty and dangerous, driven by money and the pursuit of wealth. A place where you can make it big or die trying, but not a place of natural beauty.

Due to its status and proximity to other African countries, many immigrants, legal and otherwise, have come to seek a better life here.

If you are visiting South Africa on business, you will quite likely end up in Johannesburg. As a tourist, you will find some very "African" experiences (Sun City, big game safaris, Kruger national park etc.) to be had a few hours drive from Joburg. However Cape Town and Durban, both on the coast, are more popular holiday destinations for Johannesburgers, other South Africans and internationals alike. It is popular opinion in Cape Town that Cape Town is much nicer than Joburg.

Egoli, iGoli, Josi, Joburg - Africa's Eldorado and the future of South African cities. If we don't make it here, we ain't gonna make it anywhere!

The gold reefs below have long been emptied, leaving a swathe of unusable land to the south of the city covered with our 'mountains' - the minedumps. And 'coincidentally' becoming a barrier between the (previously) white Metropole and Soweto.

But everything gets recycled in Joburg. The minedumps are being filtered to extract gold left behind by inefficient processes. Buildings and people come and go. But mostly they come, from everywhere in Africa and elsewhere, looking for Eldorado.

Joburg thrives on challenge - if you want a comfort zone go to Cape Town. If you want to believe in something big, come to iGoli - the great, big, messy engine room of sub-saharan Africa. It's the focal point of dreams, harsh African realities, political astuteness, and the kind of personal striving that makes New York look cushy. Just ask Nelson Mandela.

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