The best of Johannesburg
Written by: Anita Lišková & Todd Shaw
Photo by: Allphoto
In Zulu, Johannesburg is called E'goli - place of gold - an epithet
derived from the formerly productive gold mines found there. Today
the city is a vibrant and unpredictable center of commerce and
industry, where chrome and glass skyscrapers coexist with makeshift
shacks of scrap.
owner, Stella Travel Agency
Favorite hotel: Michelangelo, Sandton Square, POB
784682, tel.: +27-11-282 7000
Favorite restaurant: Carnivore Restaurant, Muldersdrift Estate,
69 Drift Boulevard, tel.: +27-11-957 2099
Favorite attraction: Visit Pretoria, Gold Reef City
Best-kept secret: Try restaurants in Sandton. Beautiful places
approximately 2.5 hours from Johannesburg - for example Entabeni,
Sun City, Pilansberg or Panorama Route.
Advice: Avoid the Hillbrow area
chairman, Czech-South African chamber of commerce
Favorite hotel: Michelangelo, Sandton Square, POB 784682,
tel.: +27-11-282 7000
Favorite night club: Caesar's Palace Casino, Johannesburg
International Airport, tel.: +27-11-928 1014
Favorite attraction: Gold Reef City
Best-kept secret: East Rand Mall Shopping Centre, North
Rand Road, tel.: +27-11-823 1110
Advice: Do not go outside after dusk. Use only hotel
taxis reserved in advance, even for return trips.
marketing director, Plzeňský prazdroj
Favorite hotel: Intercontinental Sandton Sun & Towers,
corner of Fifth and Alice streets, PO BOX 784 902, Sandton,
tel.: +27-11-780 5000
Favorite restaurant: Butchers shop grill, Sandton Square,
Sandton, tel.: +27-17-848 674
Favorite attraction: Melville area
Best-kept secret: Parkhurst restaurants
Favorite shop: Woolworths, 65 Kerk St, tel.: +27-11-337 1130
Advice: Lock or seal your luggage when traveling by air.
Location: Guateng Province, South Africa
Country dialing code: 27, all local numbers must
be preceded by the area code (011).
Population: 2.5 million (city); 7.3 million (Guateng
Ethnic mix: 72% black, 17,4% white, 10.2% Asian and
Religion: 90% Christian, 4% Jewish, 3% Muslim, 2%
other, 1% Hindu.
Time zone: GMT + 2.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz; round three-pin
plugs are standard
Average January temp: 20° C (68° F)
Average July temp: 10° C (51° F)
Annual rainfall: 720 mm (28.8 inches)
Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated
http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=johannesburg@81 - an expedient and easy-to-follow site that offers tips for everything
from hotels to safaris.
joburg.shtml - links to articles about Johannesburg, for the "independent
here's you'll find The Economist's take on the only African city
to be featured on its site.
http://www.virtualtourist.com/vt/21eac9/ - a portal-type site
that offers links and forum group insights - good place to start
your info search
http://www.worldexecutive.com/cityguides/johannesburg/ - an excellent "hotels
and city guide" for the executive traveler.
· 1-l bottle of mineral water: ZAR 5.50
· 33-cl bottle of beer: ZAR 3.50
· The Star newspaper: ZAR 2.40
· 36-exposure color film: ZAR 17.50
· city-center bus ticket: ZAR 2
· adult football ticket: ZAR 15
· three-course meal with wine/beer: ZAR 85-120
1 Rand (ZAR 1) = GBP 0.08; USD 0.12; EUR 0.10; CZK
(currency conversion rates as of press time)
· Despite the continuing negative influences of the apartheid
economic policies of the past, a high crime rate, a low gold price
and soaring oil prices, South Africa still has the strongest economy
on the African continent. Gauteng Province, of which Johannesburg
is the capital city, contributes over 40% of South Africa's GDP,
while covering only 7% of its area. A sophisticated "first-world" economy
is epitomized by the JSE (Johannesburg Securities Exchange), which
ranks tenth in volume trading in the world. A struggling third-world
economy, however, coexists alongside, as exemplified by the large
squatter-settlements in the city.
· Through its GEAR (growth, employment and redistribution) policy,
the South African government has shown its commitment to privatization,
free trade and the fostering of a favorable investment climate.
The tourism sector's contribution to the GDP of South Africa (presently
around 11%) continues to be undermined by crime. Probably the best
way for one to become familiar with business practice and opportunities
in the city is to contact the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce
(founded in 1890) and Industry (JCCI). Their website (www.jcci.co.za)
is reliable, authoritative and informative. Links to Johannesburg's
top ten corporations can be found online (www.corporateinformation.com/zacorp),
while the City of Johannesburg also publishes its procurement needs
· South Africa has 11 official languages, although English is
the most widely used language in government and commerce. Normal
business hours are 8am-5pm, although not much happens after 3pm
· Businessmen and women in Johannesburg tend to wear suits, although
ethnic outfits are increasingly evident. It can, however, become
very hot during summer and bitterly cold during winter in this
part of South Africa, so this should be taken into account - lightweight
materials in the warm months (October-April) and heavy overcoats
for the cold period (May-September).
· Punctuality is still highly prized and it is advisable to address
hosts as "Mr" or "Ms" until requested to use
first names, which usually happens soon after formal greetings
are dispensed with. Business cards are often exchanged where businesspeople
meet informally, such as in hotel lobbies, airport lounges and
at product launches. Gifts are not expected in either business
or social situations.