Johannesburg: the driving force in the South African economy

Ponte Nelson Mandela (Ministério das Relações Exteriores)

As an important industrial and commercial center Johannesburg is responsible for 16% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in South Africa. It is easily confused as being the capital city of the country, as it is the largest city and the sixth most populous on the African continent. It was established in 1886 and nicknamed Jo’burg and it was a British colony for a long time because of the gold and diamond mining activities here. Nowadays, there is a population of over 4 million and it is one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the world.

Industries are concentrated in the metropolitan regions, especially automotive and ore extraction. The city also features a strong vocation for commerce and services, as well as industry. The provincial government headquarters is established there and provide several consulate services. Besides that, Jo’burg has the largest stock market on the African continent, named JSE Limited.

It staged the opening and closing ceremonies of the FIFA World Soccer Cup in 2010 and the city gained various infrastructure constructions that in a certain way, improved the life of the local residents. A good example of the expanded infrastructure was the Gautrain, the first high speed train on the African continent connecting Johannesburg to Pretoria, the executive capital city of South Africa. Besides that, the local government invested in extending the highways constituting an important logistic mode, since Johannesburg is far away from the seacoast.

It is the entrance gate to the continent and it features diverse connections to Asia and Oceania, the Oliver Tambo International Airport is one of the busiest in Africa. In 2016, over 20 million passengers went through its airline terminal.