Monday, January 08, 2007

Gauteng: Because size doesn't matter

For people who are not familiar to the South African political geography, the name Gauteng will probably not mean anything. But if any of those people are thinking of doing business in Africa, perhaps they should learn about Gauteng as soon as possible... and even if not, it's still a place full of curious facts worth to know.
Located in the northeastern region of South Africa, Gauteng is the tiniest province of such country. It comprises an area of 17,010 square kilometres (a little smaller than Kuwait) and some populated places are located within such small territory, the most remarkable being Johannesburg and Pretoria.
What makes Gauteng pretty unique is its economic activity. Starting from its name, which translates to Sesotho as "Place of Gold", may give an idea of the potential that this area has. 40% of the world's gold has been found in this province (more particularly in the surroundings of the city of Johannesburg); moreover, 1 out of each 5 workers in South Africa are employed in this province, which also produces 33.9% of the whole yearly South African GDP itself. Amazing? Well, more amazing still is the fact that this tiny province contributes to 10% of the total GDP generated in the whole African continent!.
Equally interesting is the fact that the Fresh Produce Market in Joburg (that's a short name that locals usually give to the city of Johannesburg), which is a sort of a central food distribution center in the city, receives about 35,000 customers every day. Some of them drive from places as distant as Angola and Botswana.
Of course, as a result of all the activity there, Gauteng is the busiest freight hub in Africa. Commute times in the big cities, particularly in Joburg, have increased dramatically in recent years, to levels comparable to those of Los Angeles or Mexico City. To solve this problem, the authorities in Gauteng launched the Gautrain project: A high speed train that will link the cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Sandton, and the OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport. The project will be completed by 2010, year when South Africa will host the FIFA Soccer World Cup (and yes! Gauteng will be a host province for it!)
What Gauteng probably has to say to Africa and the world is, "size doesn't matter". I wish I could travel there to see this interesting place myself :)

With some information of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency


At 1:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gauteng (the province) is amazing however I think you should be referring to Egoli or Jozi, the local name for Johannesburg. Its vibrant, buzzing everyday and just a pleasure to experience it. In my opinion, its the new New York and a model for developing countries. Us jo'burgers welcome everyone with open arms. nice post.

At 9:43 PM , Blogger Eddie said...

Thank you... I really wish to travel there some day...! Thanks for visiting this blog, come back anytime!


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