Johannesburg Securities Exchange
The Johannesburg Securities Exchange, the financial heart of Gauteng province.

Gauteng is the economic engine room of Africa, generating 10% of the continent's total gross domestic product, and a third of South Africa's GDP. Home to corporate South Africa and a host of major multinational companies, Gauteng is a world financial centre with the Johannesburg Securities Exchange at its heart.

As the financial services capital of Africa, the province boasts the head offices of more than 70 foreign banks, as well as the regional offices of the world's major media groups and an impressive concentration of TV, radio, internet and print media houses.

More than 100 nations are represented in embassies, consulates and trade and cultural missions. The Pan-African Parliament sits in the Gauteng city of Midrand, while Pretoria is South Africa's administrative capital.

Over the years an impressive array of major international events have been held in the province, including the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of Fifa's football extravaganza, and a total of 21 matches were played in Gauteng's three major stadiums.

Map of Gauteng
A map of Gauteng province, showing its municipalities.
(Image: Wikipedia)

Gauteng's state-of-the-art international conference centres make the province as a global business tourism hotspot. Telecommunications are 99% digital, using the latest in fixed-line, wireless and satellite technology. Three cellular operators provide mobile telephony services to more than 20-million subscribers.

Work is well underway on the Gautrain rapid rail project, linking the central districts of Pretoria and Johannesburg as well as OR Tambo Airport with the financial and shopping districts of Rosebank and Sandton, making the province home to the world's largest rail construction project.

With sustained economic growth, record-high foreign investment, surging business and consumer confidence, a liberal market economy and positive growth outlook, the Gauteng economy pulsates with energy. The smallest of the nine provinces, Gauteng accounts for only 1.5% of South Africa's land area, and is the country's most densely populated province. Here almost every nationality is to be found, each adding their own ethnic and cultural identity, making Gauteng a kaleidoscope of modern Africa.

There are also a wide variety of cultural and leisure activities. For a wildlife experience, visit the Johannesburg and Pretoria Zoos or the game reserves within an hour's drive from Gauteng's major cities. There are also outstanding botanical gardens and bird sanctuaries for visitors to enjoy.

Eating out in Gauteng is a culinary delight and by European and North American standards restaurants are favourably priced, while South African wines and beers are internationally recognised for their quality. Most hotels and guest houses offer business facilities, and mobile phones are compatible with many international operators, so keeping in touch with home is hassle-free.

The province also has leading cultural institutions such as the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, Freedom Park (the largest heritage development project of its kind in southern Africa), the Market Theatre, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, the State Theatre and numerous other cultural centres and art galleries.

Heritage sites include the impressive Union Buildings, numerous sites associated with liberation leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, the historic township of Soweto, an impressive collection of historic mining towns and villages as well as one of the world's largest concentrations of Art Deco buildings.

Fans and players alike will enjoy the numerous sporting facilities available. Activities include golfing, sailing, angling, motor sports and hot-air ballooning to name a few.

Gauteng offers easy and convenient access to the rest of the region. Within two hours flying time are the Okavango delta, the Victoria Falls, the Cape winelands, the tropical beaches of Maputo, the arid desert of Namibia, the Kruger National Park as well as the magnificent Drakensberg range of mountains.