Johannesburg is a large city
in the interior of Africa
. It is the capital of the metropolitan
province of Gauteng
(meaning place of Gold), one of the nine Provinces of South Africa.
The city is also referred to as eGoli and as Jo'burg or Joburg.
Joburg is the primate city, economic hub and largest population center (over 7 million people) of South Africa. For that matter, it is the largest economic center in Sub-Saharan Africa and thus has some claim to being the capital of Africa.
Joburg is the largest human settlement on Earth which is not located around some surface geographic feature such as a coast, harbour, river, or mountian pass. It grew in the late 1800s because of the gold rush in the area. Joburg is a 1800s gold mining town that grew out of control.
Joburg is a kind of African New York - a big rotten apple of a metropolis. Big, fast, intense, dirty and dangerous, driven by money and the pursuit of wealth. A place where you can make it big or die trying, but not a place of natural beauty.
Due to its status and proximity to other African countries, many immigrants, legal and otherwise, have come to seek a better life here.
If you are visiting South Africa on business, you will quite likely end up in Johannesburg. As a tourist, you will find some very "African" experiences (Sun City, big game safaris, Kruger national park etc.) to be had a few hours drive from Joburg. However Cape Town and Durban, both on the coast, are more popular holiday destinations for Johannesburgers, other South Africans and internationals alike. It is popular opinion in Cape Town that Cape Town is much nicer than Joburg.