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JohannesburgThe origins of Johannesburg date back to the gold rush of 1886. Today, Johannesburg, the capital of Gauteng province, is a thriving metropolis of over 3 million people. It is the most powerful commercial centre on the African continent.
There is hardly a major international company doing serious business in sub-Saharan Africa that has not looked to Johannesburg as the gateway to the continent, the city producing 16% of South Africa's gross domestic product, and accounting for 40% of Gauteng's economic activity.
In a 2007 survey conducted by Mastercard, Johannesburg ranked 47 out of 50 top cities in the world as a worldwide centre of commerce (the only city in Africa). The city is serviced by OR Tambo and Lanseria airports and is also home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Ellis Park Rugby stadium.
Johannesburg is a very dynamic city and has been completely rebuilt at least four times in the last century. The latest area to undergo a renewal is the Johannesburg CBD with private redevelopment companies buying historic office buildings in the city's financial district and redeveloping them into exclusive apartment blocks.
Construction of the R25-billion Gautrain started at the end of September 2006. The first phase, which includes construction of the network between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton, the stations at OR Tambo International Airport, Rhodesfield, Marlboro and Sandton, together with the train depot and operations control centre located near Allandale Road, in Midrand, will be completed in 2010. The second phase will be completed in 2011. It includes the rail network and stations linking Sandton station to Park Station in Johannesburg and the route from Midrand to Hatfield in Tshwane.
The container terminal at City Deep is purported to be the largest "dry port" in the world, with some 60% of cargo that arrives through the port of Durban arriving in Johannesburg. The City Deep area has been declared an IDZ (industrial development zone) by the Gauteng government.
Key property development neighbourhoods in Johannesburg include the Johannesburg CBD, Braamfontein, Greenside, Melville, Montecasino, Roodepoort, Rivonia, Rosebank, Randburg, Sandton and Midrand. Soweto and Alexandra are also showing substantial investment property growth.
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