The City of Johannesburg: Fascinating Facts and Figures About Joburg

There are a number of major cities in the world that can be ranked among the most interesting places to be. One of these cities is the city of Johannesburg. This is a city located in the nation of South Africa, the most developed country in Africa with one of the largest economies. The city also offers one of the best tourist attractions in the world. It is also a key part or central part of the economic and cultural makeup of South Africa. Like many other major cities, the city of Johannesburg has a number of interesting facts that make it one of the most intriguing locales not just in South Africa or Africa but in the entire world. By going over these facts you will be surprised about many interesting things this city has to offer that you never knew before.

johannesburg - city of johannesburg
Dieses Foto wurde von mir fotografiert und unter der GFDL veröffentlicht

 Lars Haefner: Licensed under wikimedia commons

Interesting Facts About The City of Johannesburg

Johannesburg is well over 120 years old. It was founded in October 4th of 1886 during the Gold Rush period. Despite this fact, it is one of the youngest and newest major cities in the entire world but also one of the largest.

There is only one other city in Africa that is larger than The city of Johannesburg and that is Cairo, the capital of Egypt. Therefore The city of Johannesburg is the second largest city in the entire continent of Africa.

There is a hospital called the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital which is the largest in the world. It has approximately 3,000 beds and is the only public hospital that serves about 3.5 million people in the city.

The city of Johannesburg has the world’s largest man-made forest. This city has over 10 million trees. This number is likely to get bigger because City Parks has taken on a project to plant another 200,000 trees. With these trees, the city will cope with the greenhouse effect as well as lower the level of noise in the city making it quieter and more peaceful.

Another thing about Johannesburg is that it is the largest city in the world that is not built on a coastline. It isn’t built on a lake or river either. As a result, it is known to be the worlds largest dry port. Therefore most of cargoes arrive in Durban and Cape Town and are then transferred over to the city.

The Cradle of Humankind is one of the richest archaeological sites by the city. As a result 40% of Earth’s human fossils have been found in Johannesburg city and the surrounding area.

The Hillbrow Tower is the tallest building in the entire city. This building once had a restaurant but closed it down in the early 1980’s due to safety concerns. However it is a major part of the city skyline.

At the Johannesburg Zoo there are two polar bears. One from Canada and one from Japan. These are the only two polar bears in all of Africa. The zoo is also 100 years old.

The O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, is the largest and busiest airport in all of Africa. There are about 28 million passengers who travel through it every year. It is named after a former leader of the African National Congress as well.

The city of Johannesburg is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. However it takes police only 60 seconds to respond to crime in the central business district. This is because there is a surveillance system that scans license plates and every street corner in this area.

There is a Johannesburg in California which was named after gold miners who worked in Johannesburg South Africa.

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The city of Johannesburg has a distinct type of music. This kind of music is known as Kwaito music. It is a genre that was made by the African house during the 1990’s. The music has intriguing lyrics that discuss the post apartheid culture of the city.

This city is known as the City of Gold due to its mining history. The city is the source of a large-scale gold and diamond trade, due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills however, the locals refer to it as Joburg and Jozi.

The city of Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, by population. The city is one of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the world. It also claims to be the lightning capital of the world, though this title is also claimed by others. Although it is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, which has the final word on interpretation of South Africa’s constitution

There’s a saying that it takes one-minute longer to boil an egg in Johannesburg than it does in the coastal cities of Cape Town and Durban. The reason for this is because Joburg is 2000m above sea level, and the air is not as dense.

The city of Johannesburg has been rebuilt four times in the span of one century. First, it was a tented camp, it was then a town of tinshanties, then of four-storey Edwardian brick buildings and finally, a modern city emerges from South Africa, a city of modern skyscrapers known as the city of Johannesburg.

More Fast Facts About the City of Johannesburg


As one of the world’s leading financial centers as well as the economic and financial hub of South Africa, The city of Johannesburg, Jozi or the pulse of Mzansi as it is commonly known as produces 16% of South Africa’s gross domestic product. The origin of the currency used in South Africa today also originated in the area –taken from the Witwatersrand –the ridge upon which the city is built and where most of South Africa’s gold deposits were found.

According to information available at Johannesburg Development Agency Official website:

The city of Johannesburg enjoys an average of 12 hours of sunlight a day.

Up to Forty percent of the population is under the age of 24.

There are 550 buses, which operate on 80 routes and transport about 20-million passengers each year.

There are 100 water towers and reservoirs.

There are 8 000km of water pipes.

There are 8 149km of sewerage pipes.

There are 180 000 street lights within the city f Johannesburg.

There are 1 780 traffic lights in the city.

There are 35 cemeteries, which cover 626ha.

There are 106 dams.

There are 394 public sports facilities.

There are 98 public recreation centers.

There are 59 public swimming pools.

There are 126 community health clinics and 10 environmental health clinics.

The city of Johannesburg has 7 519km of roads.

The city has two active power stations, capable of generating 600mw (megawatts).

An amazing 40% of all the world’s human ancestor fossils have been found in areas close to Johannesburg.

The city of Johannesburg has about 150 heritage sites, half of which are national monuments.

The city of Johannesburg houses the only two polar bears in Africa, at the Johannesburg Zoo.

There are 63ha of bird sanctuaries in and around Johannesburg.

There are 1 000ha of green space in and around Johannesburg. The Botanical Gardens in Emmarentia are 81ha.

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Andile Smith
Andile Smith
Andile provides articles on anything from Politics, Sports, History and entertainment to funny, creepy and weird. His passion for writing allows him to take what is ordinary and transform it into a real masterpiece. He's a true storyteller with a passion for tech and literature


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