The 2017 Mid-year population estimates show that Gauteng remains the most populous province – 14 278 700 (25,3%). Gauteng contributes 33,9% to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is also one of the biggest contributors to the economy of the continent.

Gauteng accounts for the bulk of all employees’ remuneration in the country, at a whopping 47,7%, and is responsible for 50,4% of all company turnover in South Africa. Financial as well as business services, logistics, manufacturing, property, telecommunications and trade are some of the province’s most important economic sectors.

Stretching all the way from Pretoria in the north to Vereeniging in the south, Gauteng (Sotho for place of gold, although the ‘gaut’ is also thought to originate from the Dutch ‘goud’ for gold) was created by the ANC in 1994 after the country’s first all-race elections, uniting six regions, including part of the old Transvaal province, into what might be the smallest South African province, but serves as the gateway into Africa.

It is the business heart of South Africa, but it is also the shopping mecca of Africa. Consequently 60% of tourists from the rest of the continent citing shopping as their reason for visiting the province. Renowned for its sporting facilities, the province is also a leader in terms of conference and convention infrastructure. Gauteng also has some of South Africa’s and the world’s leading medical institutions, renowned for their innovation and research capabilities.

The population of more than 13 million people has the highest per-capita income level in the country. The province blends cultures, colours and first- and third-world traditions in a spirited mix, flavoured by a number of foreign influences. Most overseas visitors enter South Africa via OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

The City of Johannesburg is the capital of the province. In 2015, it was rated as one of the best cities in Africa, economically, according to the rating agency, Fitch. Another rating agency, Moody’s, also increased their ratings of Johannesburg in the same year. South of Johannesburg lies Soweto, the most populous urban residential area in the country, with a population of more than a million.

Gauteng Municipalities

Gauteng is the smallest of South Africa’s provinces, covering an area of 18 178 km² or approximately 1.4% of the total surface area of South Africa. It is bordered by the Free State, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. While being the smallest province, it is also the most populous, being home to 13 399 725 people – 24.1% of the national population. Gauteng lies on the highest part of the interior plateau on the rolling plains of South Africa’s Highveld.

Its capital is Johannesburg and it also contains the city of Pretoria, as well as the East Rand, West Rand and Vaal areas.

Gauteng continues to serve as the economic engine room of the country and the subcontinent, responsible for over 34.8% of the country’s GDP. Gauteng is the powerhouse of South Africa and the heart of its commercial business and industrial sectors. The most important sectors contributing to GDP are finance, real estate and business services; manufacturing; and general government services. Gauteng 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 major gold and diamond mining houses all have their headquarters in Johannesburg, the biggest being Anglo American and De Beers. Gold mining constitutes 80% of Gauteng’s mineral production output.

Municipal Areas

Gauteng is divided into three metropolitan municipalities, the City of Ekurhuleni, City of Johannesburg and City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipalities, as well as two district municipalities, which are further subdivided into six local municipalities.

City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan
City of Johannesburg Metropolitan
City of Tshwane Metropolitan
Sedibeng District
Emfuleni Local
Lesedi Local
Midvaal Local
West Rand District
Merafong City Local
Mogale City Local
Rand West City Local

Gauteng Regions

Ekurhuleni

Bedfordview – Benoni – Boksburg – Edenvale – Germiston – Modderfontein – Springs.

Ekurhuleni, formerly known as the East Rand, is an area comprising amazing wetlands, lakes, glitzy casinos, mega shopping malls, quiet nature reserves, lively townships and historical towns. It’s also home to South Africa’s biggest, busiest airport, OR Tambo International Airport, named after Nelson Mandela’s colleague, friend and liberation hero, Oliver Tambo. The airport, jam-packed with great shopping, dining, accommodation and conferencing facilities, has direct non-stop flights to six continents.

Johannesburg

Alexandra – Braamfontein – Cyrildene – Fordsburg – Fourways – Greenside – Illovo – Jozi – Kliptown – Linden – Maboneng – Melrose – Melville – Midrand – Newtown – Norwood – Orange Grove – Parkhurst – Rosebank – Sandton – Soweto – Victory Park.

When Australian digger George Harrison first struck gold on the Witwatersrand reef in 1886, he could little have imagined that he was in at the birth of what would become the financial, economic and industrial hub of Africa and a world-class African city. In 13 decades Johannesburg has gone from tents to towers, shanties to skyscrapers, muddy tracks to municipalities, almost treeless high-altitude grasslands to one of the biggest urban forests in the world.

Sedibeng

Sharpeville – Vanderbijlpark – Vereeniging

Sedibeng, just 50km south of Johannesburg, comprises the municipalities of Lesedi, Midvaal and Emfuleni. This is Gauteng’s southernmost area and borders the provinces of Free State, North West and Mpumalanga.

Tshwane

Centurion – Cullinan – Dinokeng – Hatfield – Mamelodi – Pretoria

Although the city centre of Pretoria still retains its original name and is one of South Africa’s three capital cities (the others are Cape Town and Bloemfontein), the rest of this part of northern Gauteng is now called the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.

West Rand

Cradle of Humankind – Muldersdrift – The Magaliesberg

This area west of Johannesburg includes the town of Krugersdorp, the World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind, the Magaliesberg mountains and Muldersdrift.


The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), an entity that falls under the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, signed a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme that is expected to boost small businesses and create jobs. The GEP’s new partnership would, through supplier links between small enterprises and bigger firms, assist in transforming the province’s and South Africa’s economy.

Some 50 km north of Johannesburg lies South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria. The magnificent Union Buildings, which overlook the city from Meintjieskop, represent the official seat of the South African Government. The Union Buildings also house the offices of the country’s President. The industrial area of Rosslyn and the townships of Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa are situated north of Pretoria. Cullinan, which is well known for its diamonds, and Mamelodi lie to the east. To the west lies Atteridgeville.

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.

The University of Pretoria is the largest residential university in South Africa, while the University of South Africa is believed to be the largest correspondence university in the world. Other universities include the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg. The province also has several other tertiary education institutions such as universities of technology and further education and training colleges. Gauteng is also home to leading research institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Agricultural Research Council, the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute and the Human Sciences Research Council. In December 2016, thousands of South Africans took part in the third annual Mandela Remembrance Walk to remember the Struggle veteran.

Gauteng Mining and manufacturing

Manufacturing includes basic iron and steel, fabricated and metal products, food, machinery, electrical machinery, appliances as well as electrical supplies, vehicle parts and accessories, and chemical products. All major gold and diamond mining houses have their headquarters in Johannesburg, the biggest being Anglo American and De Beers.

Although gold-mining and ancillary industries provide thousands of jobs, the importance of mining is declining compared to the manufacturing and financial sectors. Gauteng dominates the South African economy in every major sector except agriculture, mining and quarrying. Mining produces only 6% of Gauteng’s total income and 31% of export earnings.

Gauteng’s manufacturing sector has over 900 firms and has capabilities across a number of industries, including:

  • Heavy steel industry
  • Automotive assembly and parts
  • Food and beverages
  • Light industry

Gauteng Technology

More than 60% of South Africa’s research and development takes place in Gauteng.
The CSIR is one of South Africa’s leading science as well as technology research, development and implementation centres. Located in Pretoria, the CSIR’s research and development areas include biosciences; the built environment; information and communication; materials science and manufacturing; natural resources and the environment; mineral resources; space technology; nanotechnology and synthetic biology.

The Innovation Hub in Pretoria is Africa’s first internationally accredited science park as well as a full member of the International Association of Science Parks. Its community has also become a regional centre of innovation and knowledge creation, linked to the fast-moving world of global interconnectivity, and made up of small, medium and micro-enterprises and multinational companies, employing over 1 000 people.

Gauteng Industry and agriculture

A large area of Gauteng falls within the so-called “Maize Triangle”. The province is an integrated industrial complex with major areas of economic activity in three subregional areas, namely the Vaal Triangle; the East, West and Central Rand; and Pretoria. Johannesburg houses the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited, the largest securities exchange in Africa.

Gauteng Population

Capital: Johannesburg
Principal languages:
IsiZulu 23,0%
Afrikaans 10,1%
Sesotho 12,7%
English 11,3%
Population: 13 399 724
The percentage share of the total population: 24,1%
Area: 18 178 km2
Source: Stats SA’s Mid-year population estimates 2017 and Community Survey 2016

More Gauteng Information

South of Johannesburg lies Soweto, the most populous urban residential area in the country, with a population of more than a million.

The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), an entity that falls under the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, signed a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme that is expected to boost small businesses and create jobs.

The GEP’s new partnership would, through supplier links between small enterprises and bigger firms, assist in transforming the province’s and South Africa’s economy. Some 50 km’s north of Johannesburg lies South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria. The magnificent Union Buildings, which overlook the city from Meintjieskop, represent the official seat of the South African Government and house the offices of the country’s President.

The industrial area of Rosslyn and the townships of Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa are situated north of Pretoria. Cullinan, which is well known for its diamonds, and Mamelodi lie to the east. To the west lies Atteridgeville.

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.

The University of Pretoria is the largest residential university in South Africa, while the University of South Africa is believed to be the largest correspondence university in the world. Other universities include the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg.

The province also has several other tertiary education institutions such as universities of technology and further education and training colleges. Gauteng is also home to leading research institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Agricultural Research Council, the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute and the Human Sciences Research Council.

In December 2016, thousands of South Africans took part in the third annual Mandela Remembrance Walk to remember the Struggle veteran.

Gauteng Tourism

Experience Gauteng and all it has to offer. Gauteng boasts a rich history largely based on the foundation of a precious resource – gold. Gauteng is a province that offers a fascinating blend of first-world know-how, combined with African magic. You can also visit the Gauteng Game Reserves page HERE.

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