City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality


DSC_ Johannesburg Skyline

Johannesburg is a cosmopolitan city in South Africa’s hinterland situated in the populous largely metropolitan Gauteng Province. Founded on the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand range some 130 years ago, a mining boom saw the City become the focal point of South Africa’s economy. The discovery of gold drew a flood of entrpreneurs seeking livelihoods and fortunes from far and wide. For most its history, Johannesburg has remained a magnet for people seeking opportunity and the chance for a better life. A mining-finance complex, mining support industries and a diversified range of other economic activities to service growing industries and a rapidly expanding population, quickly developed in the City and its adjoining towns.

Over the past eighteen years Johannesburg’s economy has grown faster than that of South Africa as a country. The result of this performance is a City output which in 2013 was some 92 percent larger than in 1996 – compared with the 70 percent for South Africa as a whole. This in relative terms, favourable economic performance, is also reflected in employment statistics, where despite inwards migration, the City had in 2013, a higher proportion of working age people in employment than any other South African City.

The City remains the most populous in the country, in 2013 being home to an estimated 4.6 million of the Gauteng Province’s 12.7 million residents. Johannesburg is the capital city of Gauteng Province. Post 1994, migration to the City from South Africa’s rural towns and settlements and from other countries, especially in Africa has accelerated, bringing both benefits and challenges.

Mandela Bridge

Mandela Bridge

From a spatial perspective, Johannesburg’s economy comprise of seven diverse City regions. Certain striking features are evident from the data in the accompanying tables and graph.

  • In 2013, two adjoining regions in the eastern half of the city were responsible for 50% of the City’s output – Region E (27%) which is dominated by the financial hub of Sandton and Region F (23%) which is the Inner City and traditional Central Business District. The regions along the northern and western edge of the city – Regions B (including the Westcliffe, Rosebank and Randburg), Region A (including Midrand) and Region C (including the industrial areas of Roodepoort) accounted for 37% of output. The regions in the south west and south – Regions D (8%) and Region G (4%) which include Soweto, Lenasia, Ennerdale and Orange Farm despite housing a large proportion of the population, only contribute some 13% to output in the economy.
  • The level of output in all regions in the City grew significantly between 1996 and 2013. However the regional variation in growth is large, with the four regions in the northern half of the city growing the fastest. Output more than doubled in Region A (136%), Region C (127%) and Region E (105%) and, nearly doubled in Region B (98%). Growth in the three regions in the southern half of the city lagged behind however – Region G (80%), Region F (63%) and Region D (58%).