Johannesburg (in isiZulu iGoli, the place of gold, iRhawutini in isiXhosa) is the largest and most populous city in South Africa. South Africans know it informally as "Jo'burg", "Jozi" and "JHB". It is the capital of the Gauteng province, the richest in the country, and its metropolitan region is the most economically prosperous in all of sub-Saharan Africa. It has one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world and is the only South African city included in the ranking of the so-called "global cities". Despite being the economic capital of South Africa, it is not considered any of its three official capitals, which are Pretoria (seat of the executive power), Cape Town (seat of the legislative power) and Bloemfontein (seat of the judiciary) , although the Constitutional Court is based in Johannesburg.
Due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand mountain range, Johannesburg is one of the world's most important centers for the large-scale gold and diamond trade. Its airport, named since 2006 O. R. Tambo in honor of the first president of the African National Congress, is the largest and busiest in Africa, and is the main gateway to southern African states.
According to the 2001 census, the city's population was 3,225,812 inhabitants, in a very extensive municipality of 1,644 km², which gave a density of 1,962 inhabitants/km². The population is mostly black (73%); whites represent 16%, 6% are of mixed race and 4% are of Asian origin; 34% speak Nguni languages (mainly Zulu), 26% languages of the Sesotho group, 19% English and 8% Afrikaans. The population of the metropolitan area is close to eight million people.
The area around Johannesburg has been inhabited for millions of years. The Sterkfontein Caves in the northwest are home to the most complete 3.3-million-year-old hominid skeleton, as well as nearly 700 specimens of a closely related species, Australopithecus africanus, among others , Mrs. Ples, which is between 2.8 and 2.3 million years old.
The Johannesburg region is believed to have been inhabited by the nomadic Bushmen around 100,000 years ago. The Bushmen would have lived in this area until the Bantu-speaking people migrated to this site around 1 060 AD. of C. The Bantu people belonged to the Iron Age and they domesticated animals, cultivated the land, worked with metals, made ceramics and lived in organized villages.
The city was born in 1886 as one more of the population centers built around the deposits that arose as a result of the gold rush in the Witwatersrand region in 1884, and initially it was nothing more than a suburb of Pretoria. Its name comes precisely from the general inspector of the area, Johannes Rissik. It became in a decade a city with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The place is usually called in Zulu as eGoli, the land of gold, although the nearby mines have already been exhausted.
Initially, gold was discovered a little to the east of the current location of the city, in Barberton. Estimates quickly led to the conclusion that there were richer deposits in the Witwatersrand. The town in its beginnings was like any promising settlement, but when word of the existence of gold spread, people flocked to this area in large numbers from many other regions of the country, as well as North America , the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. As the value of land control increased, he experienced tensions between the Boer government, who founded the town and whose country (the Republic of South Africa -ZAR-)Johannesburg was located during the Century XIX, and the British, culminating in the Second Anglo-Boer War. The Boers lost the war and control of the area was ceded to the British, where thousands of workers from all over the country had moved.
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