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An overview of Johannesburg, a world class African city

September 8, 2013

JOHANNESBURG is where the deals are made. It’s the most powerful commercial centre on the African continent.

There’s hardly a major international company doing serious business in sub-Saharan Africa that has not looked to Johannesburg as the gateway.

Johannesburg generates 16% of South Africa’s wealth, and employs 12% of the national workforce. Some 74% of South African companies have their headquarters here. It has a financial, municipal, roads and telecommunications infrastructure that matches leading first world cities, but the cost of living is much lower. Johannesburg hosts every form of commercial activity from modern financial services to heavy industries and mining.

Johannesburg is the capital of South Africa’s smallest but wealthiest province – Gauteng, which generates 38% of the country’s GDP, 26% of regional GDP and 9% of the whole continent’s GDP.

The city’s economy is dominated by four sectors, three of which are service sectors:
Financial and business services
Retail and wholesale trade
Community and social services
Manufacturing

The city’s manufacturing sector is shrinking, and there is increased emphasis today on more modern sectors such as information technology, telecommunications, film and media, research and development, and biomedical industries.

Johannesburg is the hub of southern Africa’s transport network. The country’s major international airport, serving 2.5 million international passengers a year, is on its outskirts.

Johannesburg’s City Deep freight terminal handles 30% of South Africa’s exports and is classified as the fifth largest port in the world. The major national highways and rail routes radiate outwards from Johannesburg, making it a strategic choice for any business that relies on a complex distribution chain.
Johannesburg also has the most skilled workforce in the country. The city has a 20% advantage over the rest of the country in terms of literacy and numeracy skills.

The financial centre of the country, it is home to the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, the biggest stock exchange in Africa and the 16th biggest in the world. The major television companies are based in Johannesburg, as are most of the advertising agencies, most telecommunication companies, and most of the international accounting firms.

The highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court, is in Johannesburg.

Experts predict that by 2015, Johannesburg, Pretoria and their satellite towns will have become a single mega-city, the 12th largest in the world.

Information provided courtesy of the City of Johannesburg 

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From → Africa, Analysis

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