Situated in the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, accounting for only 1.5% of the land area. Nevertheless, it is highly urbanised, containing the country's largest city, Johannesburg, its administrative capital, Pretoria, and other large industrial areas such as Midrand and Vanderbijlpark. As of 2015, it has a population of nearly 13.2 million, making it the most populous province in South Africa.
The name Gauteng is derived from the Sotho name, "gauta" meaning "gold" with the locative suffix "-eng". "Gauta" itself is derived from Dutch word for gold, "goud". There was a thriving gold industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg. In Sesotho, the name "Gauteng" was used for Johannesburg and surrounding areas long before it was adopted in 1994 as the official name of a province.
Gauteng, formerly known as Pretoria–Witwatersrand–Vereeniging (PWV), was carved out of the old Transvaal province in 1994, although the terminology "PWV", describing the region existed long before that.
The history of the area that is now Gauteng can be traced back to the early 1800s when settlers originating from the Cape Colony defeated chief Mzilikazi and started establishing villages in the area. After the discovery of gold in 1886, the region proceeded to become the single largest gold producer in the world and the city of Johannesburg was founded. The older city Pretoria was not subject to the same attention and development. Pretoria grew at a slower rate and was highly regarded due to its role in the Second Boer War. The Cullinan Diamond which is the largest diamond ever mined was mined near Pretoria in a nearby town called Cullinan in the year 1905.
Gauteng has only been properly documented since the 1800s and as a result, not much information regarding its history predating the 1800s is available. At the Sterkfontein caves, some of the oldest fossils of hominids have been discovered, such as Mrs. Ples and Little Foot.
Many crucial events happened in present-day Gauteng with regards to the anti-apartheid struggle, such as the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, the Rivonia Trial in 1963 and 1964 and the Soweto Uprising of 1976. Today, the Apartheid Museum stands testament to these struggles in Johannesburg.
Gauteng is governed by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, a 73-person unicameral legislature elected by party-list proportional representation. The legislature elects one of its members as Premier of Gauteng to lead the executive, and the Premier appoints an Executive Council of up to 10 members of the legislature to serve as heads of the various government departments. The provincial government is responsible for the topics allocated to it in the national constitution, including such fields as basic education, health, housing, social services, agriculture and environmental protection.
The most recent election of the provincial legislature was held on 7 May 2014, and the African National Congress (ANC) won 53.59% of the vote and a 40-seat majority in the legislature. The official opposition is the Democratic Alliance, which won 30.78% of the vote and 23 seats. Other parties represented are the Economic Freedom Fighters with eight seats and the Freedom Front Plus and the Inkatha Freedom Party with one seat each. Premier David Makhura of the ANC was elected on 21 May 2014, at the first meeting of the legislature after the general election.
The Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa, which has seats in Pretoria and Johannesburg, is a superior court with general jurisdiction over the province. Johannesburg is also home to the Constitutional Court, South Africa's highest court, and to a branch of the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court.
Gauteng's southern border is the Vaal River, which separates it from the Free State. It also borders on North West to the west, Limpopo to the north, and Mpumalanga to the east. Gauteng is the only landlocked province of South Africa without a foreign border. Most of Gauteng is on the Highveld, a high-altitude grassland (circa 1,500 m or 4,921 ft above sea level). Between Johannesburg and Pretoria there are low parallel ridges and undulating hills, some part of the Magaliesberg Mountains and the Witwatersrand. The north of the province is more subtropical, due to its lower altitude and is mostly dry savanna habitat.
The climate is mostly influenced by altitude. Even though the province is at a subtropical latitude, the climate is comparatively cooler, especially in Johannesburg, at 1,700 m (5,577 ft) above sea level (Pretoria is at 1,330 m or 4,364 ft). Most precipitation occurs as brief afternoon thunderstorms; however, relative humidity never becomes uncomfortable. Winters are crisp and dry with frost occurring often in the southern areas. Snow is rare, but it has occurred on some occasions in the Johannesburg metropolitan area.Johannesburg averages: January maximum: 26 °C (78.8 °F) (min: 15 °C or 59 °F), June maximum: 16 °C (60.8 °F) (min: 4 °C or 39.2 °F), annual precipitation: 713 mm (28.1 in)
Pretoria averages: January maximum: 29 °C (84.2 °F) (min: 18 °C or 64.4 °F), June maximum: 19 °C (66.2 °F) (min: 5 °C or 41 °F), annual precipitation: 674 mm (26.5 in)
As of May 2011 Gauteng is divided into three metropolitan municipalities, and two district municipalities which are further divided into eight local municipalities.Metropolitan municipalities
City of Tshwane (Pretoria)
City of Johannesburg
City of Ekurhuleni
West Rand containing Randfontein, Westonaria, Mogale City and Merafong
Sedibeng containing Emfuleni, Lesedi and Midvaal
The former Metsweding district consisting of Nokeng Tsa Taemane and Kungwini in the North of the province was incorporated into Tshwane in 2011.
Gauteng Province is home to 13.2 million people (2015 South African National Census), almost 25% of the total South African population. Gauteng Province is also the fastest growing province, experiencing a population growth of over 33% between the 1996 and 2011 censuses, thus Gauteng now has the largest population of any province in South Africa, though the smallest area.
As of the census of 2011, there are 12,272,263 people and 3,909,022 households residing in Gauteng. The population density is 680/km². The density of households is 155.86/km².
About 22.1% of all households are made up of individuals. The average household size is 3.33.
The province's age distribution was 23.6% under the age of 15, 19.6% from 15 to 24, 37.9% from 25 to 44, 15.0% from 45 to 64, and 4.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 27 years. For every 100 females there are 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 102.3 males.
In the province, 14.4% of residents speak Afrikaans at home, 12.5% speak English, 1.5% speak IsiNdebele, 7.3% speak IsiXhosa, 20.5% speak IsiZulu, 10.7% speak Sepedi, 13.1% speak Sesotho, 8.4% speak Setswana, 1.2% speak SiSwati, 4.2% speak Tshivenda, and 5.1% speak Xitsonga. 1.0% of the population speaks a non-official language at home.
76.0% of residents are Christian, 18.4% have no religion, 1.7% are Muslim, 0.5% are Jewish, and 0.8% are Hindu. 2.6% have other or undetermined beliefs.
8.4% of residents aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 11.2% have had some primary, 5.5% have completed only primary school, 34.3% have had some high education, 28.0% have finished only high school, and 12.6% have an education higher than the high school level. Overall, 40.6% of residents have completed high school.
56.1% of housing units have a telephone and/or mobile phone in the dwelling, 41.5% have access to a phone nearby, and 2.3% have access that is not nearby or no access. 82.8% of households have a flush or chemical toilet. 84.2% have refuse removed by the municipality at least once a week and 2.6% have no rubbish disposal. 47.2% have running water inside their dwelling, 83.6% have running water on their property, and 97.5% have access to running water. 73.2% of households use electricity for cooking, 70.4% for heating, and 80.8% for lighting. 77.4% of households have a radio, 65.7% have a television, 15.1% own a computer, 62.1% have a refrigerator, and 45.1% have a mobile phone.
25.8% of the population aged 15–65 is unemployed.
The median annual income of working adults aged 15–65 is R 23 539 ($3,483). Males have a median annual income of R 24 977 ($3,696) versus R 20 838 ($3,083) for females.
Statistics South Africa Census 2001
Gauteng is the province with the second highest life expectancy in the country with females having a life expectancy of 63 years and males having a life expectancy of 61 years. At birth, life expectancy for 2013 is approximated at 57 years and 61 years for males and females respectively. This marks an improvement of a whole year in the life expectancy of South Africans as a whole.
Gauteng is considered the economic hub of South Africa and contributes heavily in the financial, manufacturing, transport, technology, and telecommunications sectors, among others. It also plays host to a large number of overseas companies requiring a commercial base in and gateway to Africa.
Gauteng is home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in Africa. Some of the largest companies in Africa and abroad are based in Gauteng, or have offices and branches there, such as Vodacom, MTN, Neotel, Microsoft South Africa and the largest Porsche Centre in the world.
Although Gauteng is the smallest of South Africa's nine provinces—it covers a mere 1.5% of the country's total land area, the province is responsible for a third of South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP). Gauteng generates about 10% of the total GDP of sub-Saharan Africa and about 7% of total African GDP.
SANRAL, a parastatal, is responsible for the maintenance, development and management of all national road networks in South Africa. SANRAL is responsible for instituting the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, which was met with a lot of opposition due to the tolling of Gauteng motorists. Many important national roads run through Gauteng such as the N1, N3, N4, N12, N14 and the N17. Johannesburg is quite dependent on freeways for transport in and around the city. The R21, R24, R59, M1 and M2 all run through Johannesburg. The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project led to a large decrease in traffic congestion when construction finished 2011–2012. Cape Town, for the first time in decades, is now the most congested city in South Africa.
PUTCO, the largest commuter bus operator in South Africa, services the Gauteng area extensively. The bus rapid transit system Rea Vaya also serves to transport people from Johannesburg's southern neighbourhoods into and around the CBD. In an interview, Parks Tau stated that by the year 2040, Johannesburg will be dominated by pedestrians and public transport as opposed to the use of private transport or informal transport, such as minibus taxis.
Gautrain and Metrorail both service the province's public transport sector where trains are concerned and Gautrain offers a bus service that transports commuters to and from various train stations and predetermined bus stops. Metrorail trains are considered one of the most cost-effective methods of transportation in and around Gauteng.
The OR Tambo International Airport, Rand Airport, Lanseria International Airport, Wonderboom Airport and Grand Central Airport are located in Gauteng.
There is a large informal transport sector in Gauteng, consisting of thousands of minibus taxis, which many of the urban and rural population makes use of. However, it is noted that taxis are often unsafe as their drivers ignore the rules of the road and the vehicles are often not roadworthy. The City of Johannesburg stated that: "major initiatives are under way to completely reform the taxi industry and provide more comfort and safety to customers."
Gauteng is a large center of learning in South Africa, and it has many universities and other educational institutions of higher learning.African Leadership Academy
CTI Education Group
Midrand Graduate Institute
Monash University South Africa Campus
Rabbinical College of Pretoria
St Augustine College of South Africa
Tshwane University of Technology
University of Johannesburg
University of Limpopo
University of Pretoria
University of South Africa
University of the Witwatersrand (attached to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH))
Vaal University of Technology
In 2002, the Gauteng Department of Education founded an initiative called Gauteng Online in an attempt to get the entire province to utilize a wide assortment of electronic and telecommunications systems. In 2007, this initiative was handed over to the Gauteng Department of Finance.
In the 2013 national budget speech, it was announced that the Gauteng Department of Education would be granted over R700 million to improve education and to alleviate issues concerning the overcrowding in schools, a shortage in teaching staff and transport for poor pupils.
Although Gauteng province is dominated by the urban areas of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it has several nature reserves. Johannesburg is also home to the largest man-made urban forest in the world.Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
Johannesburg Botanical Garden
Pretoria National Botanical Garden
Rietvlei Nature Reserve
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Groenkloof Nature Reserve
There are 5 provincial reserves managed by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs:Abe Bailey Nature Reserve
Alice Glockner Nature Reserve
Marievale Bird Sanctuary
Roodeplaat Nature Reserve
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Krugersdorp Nature Reserve
Rietvlei Nature Reserve
Wonderboom Nature Reserve
Gauteng is also home to the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes the Sterkfontein caves and the Wonder Cave Kromdraai.
Gauteng is home to many stadia and sporting grounds, notably: Soccer City, Ellis Park Stadium, Odi Stadium, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg Stadium, the Wanderers Stadium and SuperSport Park.
Several teams from Gauteng play in the country's top-level association football (more commonly referred to as soccer) league, the Premier Soccer League (PSL), including Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. The national squad Bafana Bafana's home stadium is Soccer City in Johannesburg. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first ever world cup held by an African nation, Gauteng's stadia hosted many games. The first ever FIFA world cup match on African soil took place at Soccer City on 11 June 2010. Along with Soccer City, Loftus Versfeld Stadium and Ellis Park Stadium hosted matches in Gauteng.
Rugby, or more accurately rugby union, is a popular sport in South Africa, and in Gauteng in particular. Two rugby teams from Gauteng participate in the Southern Hemisphere Super Rugby championship: the Pretoria-based Bulls, and the Johannesburg-based Lions (previously the Cats). Three Gauteng-based teams play in the country's domestic competition, the Currie Cup: the Blue Bulls from Pretoria, the Golden Lions from Johannesburg and the Falcons from the East Rand. In 1995, South Africa hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup and proceeded to win the tournament at Ellis Park Stadium on 24 June 1995. The events surrounding the world cup formed the basis of the story for the movie Invictus.
Many South African universities take part in the Varsity Rugby league. Of these, the Gauteng universities include the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand.
Cricket is also widely popular among all cultural groups in the country, and is the only sport to feature in the top two among all of South Africa's major ethnic/racial groups. The Highveld Lions represent both Gauteng and North West in the country's three domestic competitions—the first-class SuperSport Series, the List A one-day MTN Domestic Championship and the Twenty20 Standard Bank Pro 20 Series.
Many marathons take place in Gauteng, such as the Gauteng Marathon, the Arwyp Medical Centre 15 km Nite Race and the Trisport Joburg City Triathlon.
Gauteng's favourable weather conditions throughout the year make it an ideal hub for sports and other out door activities. This makes golf, horse racing and swimming very popular. The Vaal River facilitates water sports in the forms of jet skiing, water skiing and motor boating. Adventure sports are also quite popular in Gauteng, particularly skydiving, paragliding and hang-gliding.
The amusement park Gold Reef City is situated in Gauteng, as is the Johannesburg Zoo and the Pretoria Zoo. Botanical gardens in the province include the Pretoria and Walter Sisulu national botanical gardens maintained by the South African National Botanical Institute as well as the Johannesburg and Manie van der Schijff botanical gardens.
The Coca-Cola Dome and the Gallagher Convention Centre, which are both popular events and expos venues, are also located within Gauteng.