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Gauteng ([1] or ;[2] () Sotho ) is a province of South Africa. It was formed from part of the old Transvaal province after South Africa's first all-race elections on 27 April 1994. It was initially named Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (or PWV) and was renamed 'Gauteng' in December 1994.

Situated in the heart of the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, with only 1.4% of the land area[3], but it is highly urbanised and, , has a population over 10 450 000, making it the most populous province in South Africa.[4]



The name Gauteng comes from the Sesotho word meaning Place of Gold, the historical Sesotho name for Johannesburg and surrounding areas referring to the thriving gold industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg.[3] The Sesotho word is in turn a locative derived from the Afrikaans "goud" (gold) plus the locative suffix "-ng." When properly pronounced, the first letter of the name Gauteng is a voiceless velar fricative, pronounced similarly to the "ch" in the German "achtung" or Scottish "loch." This pronunciation is natural in both the Sesotho and Afrikaans languages.


Gauteng, formerly known as Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (PWV), was carved out of the old Transvaal province in 1994. Tokyo Sexwale was elected as the first premier of the province that same year. Politically, it has been dominated by the ANC throughout its post-apartheid history.

Law and Government

The current premier, since 6 May 2009, is Nomvula Mokonyane. Paul Mashatile, the former provincial minister of finance and economic affairs and the current provincial chairman of ANC in the Gauteng Province, was Premier from 7 October 2008 until Mokonyane's election. He replaced former premier Mbhazima Shilowa who was premier from 1999. Shilowa resigned out of protest against the decision by the ANC national executive committee (NEC) to remove former president Thabo Mbeki from office. Both Mashatile and Shilowa are from the African National Congress.

Geography & Climate

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. 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 above sea level (Pretoria is at 1,330m). 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 very rare, but has occurred on some occasions in the Johannesburg metropolitan area.


Map of the municipalities of Gauteng
Map of the municipalities of Gauteng
Gauteng Province is divided into 3 metropolitan municipalities, and 3 district municipalities which are further divided into 9 local municipalities).

See also: List of cities and towns in Gauteng


Gauteng Province is home to 8.8 million people (2001 South African National Census), almost 20% of the total South African population. Gauteng Province is also the fastest growing province, experiencing a population growth of over 20% between the 1996 and 2001 censuses, thus Gauteng is likely to soon have the highest population of any province in South Africa.

As of the census of 2001, there are 8,837,172 people and 2,651,243 households residing in Gauteng. The population density is 519.53/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.

Geographical distribution of home languages in the province.
Geographical distribution of home languages in the province.

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 school, 5.5% have completed only primary school, 34.3% have had some high school 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 cell-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 cell-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. The annual income distribution in Gauteng Province is:

Statistics South Africa Census 2001


Gauteng is considered the economic hub of South Africa and contributes heavily in the financial, manufacturing, transport, technology and telecommunications sectors, amongst others. It also plays host to a large number of overseas companies requiring a commercial base in and gateway to Africa.

Although Gauteng is the smallest of South Africa's nine provinces - it covers only 1.4% of the country's total land area - it contributes 33.9% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Indeed Gauteng generates 10% of the GDP of the entire African continent[5].

Future growth

Gauteng is growing rapidly, due to mass urbanisation that is a feature of many developing countries. According to the State of the Cities Report, the urban portion of Gauteng - comprised primarily of the cities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni (the East Rand) and Tshwane (greater Pretoria) - will be a polycentric urban region with a projected population of some 14.6 million people by 2015, making it one of the largest cities in the world. AIDS may however negate this projection.

This rapid growth has brought with it both opportunities and challenges. As a global focal point, with access to the Southern African hinterland, Gauteng has the ability to link the world to a population approximately the same size as the United States. It is fast becoming to sub-Saharan Africa what the Eastern Seaboard megalopolis is to America. But this also presents some formidable obstacles, most notably the ability to provide access to basic amenities such as electricity and potable water. Transport is also a major problem, and Johannesburg, as the core of Gauteng, is beginning to experience the heavy traffic problems of cities such as Los Angeles and Bangkok. The Gautrain Rapid Rail Link is an attempt to remedy this problem, by providing efficient high-speed rail between Pretoria, Sandton, Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport; completion due 2010.

Government inability to deal with corruption adds to the problem of a region already bursting at the seams with illegal immigrants. These refugees from the rest of Africa flood into the economic hub of Southern Africa seeking a better life. They bring with them the legacies of the countries they are fleeing. It remains to be seen if this region can continue to play savior to the people of other African states, without negatively being affected.

In May and June 2008 Gauteng, along with other provinces within South Africa, saw extremely violent Xenophobic attacks on foreigners. The instigating factors of these attacks have been largely attributed to the South African Government's inability to deal with the massive influx of foreign nationals and its poor service delivery.


The University of Pretoria's Old Arts Building Old Arts Building. Retrived September 18, 2009
The University of Pretoria's Old Arts Building[6]

Gauteng is a centre of learning in South Africa, and it has many universities and other schools of higher learning.

Gauteng Department of Education has embarked on a project to provide fully functional ICT laboratories to all public schools in Gauteng. The name of this project is Gauteng OnLine


Although Gauteng province is dominated by the urban areas of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it has some beautiful nature reserves.

Botanical Gardens

Provincial reserves

There are 5 provincial reserves managed by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs

Private and Municipal Reserves

Gauteng is also home to the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sport and recreation

The national sport of South Africa is best considered association football, more commonly known in South Africa as "soccer". Several teams from Gauteng play in the country's top-level league, the Premier Soccer League (PSL), including Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Rugby, or more accurately rugby union, is also a popular sport in South Africa, and in Gauteng in particular. Two rugby teams from Gauteng participate in the Southern Hemisphere Super 14 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.

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.

Popular individual sports include tennis and golf.

Walking and Hiking are also popular in Gauteng. But high crime rates and urban neglect have made it difficult and often dangerous to walk in the parks and greenbelts. For more info on walking in Gauteng, have a look at Gauteng Dogwalks homepage - it has photos, maps and more info on getting people safely back into the province's parks.

There are some interesting tourist attractions too: the Sterkfontein caves, and the Wonder Cave Kromdraai are in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

See also: Vodacom Cup

See also


External links

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