General facts

Geography

Gauteng is one of South Africa’s nine provinces. It is landlocked and surrounded by four other provinces. Gauteng has five metropolitan regions: 

Area

Just more than 17 000km2

Population

According to the latest available figures (Statistics SA, July 2013) Gauteng has a population of more than 12.7-million people – at least 24% of South Africa’s population.

Languages

South Africa has 11 official languages: 

  • Afrikaans
  • English
  • isiNdebele
  • isiXhosa,
  • isiZulu
  • Sepedi
  • Sesotho
  • Setswana
  • siSwati
  • Tshivenda 
  • Xitsonga 

English is the country’s lingua franca and most people in Gauteng speak it. The other most-spoken languages in the province are Zulu, Afrikaans and Sesotho.

Climate

Summer in South Africa is from October to March. Gauteng has a summer rainfall pattern and temperatures in summer average between 15°C and 29°C (60°F to 84°F). Temperatures in winter – from June to September – average between 4°C and 19°C (39°F to 66°F). The ultraviolet radiation (UVB) sunburn index for Gauteng can be very high.

Time

South African Standard Time, the time zone used by the whole country, is two hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC/GMT +2). Daylight saving time is not observed.

Monetary information

South Africa’s currency unit is the rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Rands are available as banknotes in R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 denominations; coins come in denominations of R1, R2 and R5, as well as 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c. You can change currency at banks or bureaux de change, and automatic teller machines are widely available 24 hours a day. There are no foreign currency restrictions upon entering South Africa. All major credit cards are accepted but Visa and Master cards are preferred. Value-added tax is included in the price of all items, but can be claimed by foreign visitors when leaving the country.

Electricity

South Africa operates on a 220/230V AC system and plugs have three round prongs.

Telephone

  • Country code: 0027
  • Johannesburg code: 011
  • Tshwane code: 012
  • Sedibeng code: 016

Entrance

Visa requirements depend on nationality; all foreign visitors must be in possession of a valid passport.

Government

Gauteng Premier David Makhura

Gauteng Premier David Makhura

  • Premier of Gauteng: David Makhura (ANC)
  • Mayor of Johannesburg: Parks Tau (ANC)
  • Mayor of Tshwane: Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa (ANC)
  • Mayor of Ekurhuleni: Mondli Gungubele (ANC)
  • Pretoria (Tshwane) is the administrative capital of South Africa

Trivia

  • The province’s name is derived from the Sesotho word Gauteng, meaning “Place of Gold”
  • Johannesburg is also called Jozi, Joburg and Egoli, from the Zulu word eGoli (“Place of Gold”)
  • Pretoria is known as Jacaranda City after the numerous trees that colour the city purple each spring
  • The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999
  • The only street in the world that has housed two Nobel Peace Prize winners is located in Gauteng: former South African president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu both lived on Soweto’s Vilakazi Street
  • Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport serves more than 17-million passengers each year
  • Johannesburg is home to South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court
  • Although it accounts for just 1.4% of the land area of South Africa, Gauteng contributes 33% to the country’s gross domestic product
  • The world’s largest diamond, the 3 106.75-carat Cullinan diamond, was found in Gauteng in 1905
  • With an estimated 10-million trees, Johannesburg is said to be one of the world’s largest man-made forests