Johannesburg City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 17, 2007

Johannesburg is found in South Africa. It is the biggest and most populous city in the country with over 3 million residents. Johannesburg is the capital of the wealthiest province, Gauteng as well. The metropolitan area is included in the top 40 largest all over the globe. The city has been considered a global city with a booming economy focusing on mining, trade and commerce. UK expatriates will truly enjoy the vastness of the place backed by beautiful and lush natural sceneries.

Residential Places in Johannesburg

Various areas in Johannesburg are characterized by different people and cultures. A number of surrounding suburbs are known for housing the upper-class population like Hyde Park, Northcliff and Houghton. Sandhurst is another suburb in the northern part of the city filled with expensive restaurants, shops and commercial establishments. Most of the northwestern part of Johannesburg is occupied by black communities like Sophiatown, Auckland Park and Melville, which have a booming nightlife.

The black urban area is found at the southwestern part of the City Centre. Soweto is one of the notable areas where the poorer black people reside. To the east, Yeoville is another suburb housing lower-class residents but it does continue to grow in reputation and economy in recent years.

UK expatriates will find quality and comfortable apartments, hostels and hotels at Central Johannesburg. The central part is a growing business district where several offices are found like the public library, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and other skyscrapers. Residents are also conveniently near various shops and department stores.

Decent homes are found in the inner suburbs of Berea, Joubert Park. Racial communities include the Observatory suburb and Lenasia town. A lot of residents in the Observatory have Portuguese or Jewish ancestry while Lenasia contains many Indians.

Hospitals and Universities of Johannesburg

The two major universities in the city are the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand. The University of Johannesburg is the result of three merging universities and campuses namely the Johannesburg campuses of Vista University, Rand Afrikaans University and Technikon Witwatersrand. The university is primarily known for its language courses. The University of Witwatersrand is one of the top universities in the country with several facilities and degrees offered. Other private universities are the Monash University and Midrand Graduate Institute.

Johannesburg Hospital is a large tertiary hospital providing services to most residents in Gauteng province. The institution is widely known for its excellent staff and outpatient services. It is also the teaching hospital of the University of Witwatersrand. Netcare Bagleyston Hospital is a surgical facility in Orange Grove featuring quality facilities and staff. Other health institutions in the area are Coronation Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Helen Joseph Hospital, Tara Psychiatric Hospital, Wilgeheuwel Hospital and Johannesburg General Hospital. Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is the world’s biggest hospital with a total area of 173 acres, 3200 beds and over 6700 staff. It is found in Soweto and is run by Gauteng provincial Health Authorities.

Commercial Places in Johannesburg

There are over 20 malls in the entire city of Johannesburg. Rosebank boasts the best atmosphere with several outdoor regions. Avid shoppers will find a lot of shops featuring travel, books, shoes, clothes and crafts. Rosebank Mall is found in the area which features one of the best markets in the city at the rooftop area. Just near it is the African Craft Market presenting various artworks, crafts and artifacts from all over Africa.

Newtown Cultural Precinct also has a market open daily, which contains indigenous works and arts. UK expatriates will find rare crafts at the Bus Factory at 1 President Street. Original Zulu pieces and Sotho blankets can be found at the Mai Mai Bazaar. Near Newtown is the Oriental Plaza shopping center that has a lot of Indian wares. The Bag Factory and Fordsburg Artists’ Studio are located on Minaar Street.

Malls and shopping centers to visit include the Southgate Mall, which is one of the biggest in the country. Dobsonville Shopping Centre is the first major shopping hub in Soweto. Eastgate Mall is located at the eastern part of Johannesburg with over 250 stores. There are a barrage of malls in the North as well like Nelson Mandela Square, Killarney Mall, Fourways Mall, Cresta Mall and Sandton City Mall.

Dining Establishments

As for restaurants, The Pinotage serves delicious African Fusion food and has a wide selection of wines. The Conservatory at The Westcliff Hotel has a great ambiance featuring excellent light meals. The Vintage Restaurant is found at Rosebank, which has a nice bar serving original drinks and snacks. Lien Wah Restaurant is one of the top Chinese restaurants around specializing in seafood and duck.

Service Establishments in Johannesburg

Water is mainly provided by Rand Water Company. Johannesburg Water Management Company (Jowam) ensures water cleanliness and sanitation. Electricity and gas is distributed very well all across the metropolitan regions as well as surrounding suburbs. Transportation in the metropolitan area is considered the best in the country.

In terms of communication, telephone and mobile services are provided by several private companies found in the business district. Johannesburg has several radio stations as well like Kaya FM, YFM and Metro FM since it is the centre for broadcast media. Some of the major newspapers include The Sowetan, Beeld and City Press. Postal service is also good.

Embassies in Johannesburg

The British High Commission is found in Pretoria. Johannesburg houses the UK Trade and Investment which is dedicated in promoting business and commercial transactions between South Africa and the United Kingdom. Trade and investment advisers are available for consultation and other services that involve UK expatriates who are willing to start planting and improving relations in Johannesburg and South Africa as a whole.

Information and trade promotion services are provided on weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. For more details feel free to contact the UKTI Main Office at 275 Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld West. Contact numbers are +27(11)5377000 (Telephone) and +27(11)5377257 (Fax). For visa, emergency or consular services, contact the British High Commission in Pretoria at +27(0)124217733.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim September 11, 2010 at 6:38 am

Tim Email: [email protected] is looking to contact the Chinese Cultural Centre in Johannesburg?

Reply

Tim May 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

the information above is totally misrepresented and misleading because johannesburg is a zoo with no rangers or a military battlefield with no commanders.johannesburg is losing trillions annually to money-launderers coupled with its demised infrastructure therefore it cannot be the biggest economy because hollywood filmakers prefer durban and capetown!

Reply

Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: