Inner city Johannesburg is centrally located in Gauteng and was the city’s original central business district.| Founded due to gold discovery in 1889, Johannesburg City saw many large corporations leave the area in the 90s, but this has now changed as the area has undergone much gentrification and become safer. First National Bank, Anglo American and ABSA bank still have a large presence in the city. Now a trendy location, Johannesburg City features popular suburbs like Maboneng, Fordsburg and Yeoville where homes are affordable and in a prime location. WITS University, and several private and government colleges are situated in the area, which is also home to the highly regarded public Charlotte Maxeke Hospital. Shopping in the CBD is fun and dynamic and you can pick up a bargain at an informal trader or at the Carlton Centre. Trendy Maboneng is a popular spot for restaurants, performing artists and markets, while Gold Reef City is less than 10 minutes from the city centre,
Johannesburg was first founded as a city in 1886 after gold was first discovered in the area. It soon became a large settlement with the Johannesburg CBD (as we know it today) the centre. In the 60s and 70s, it was the most economically prosperous area in the country, with many tall skyscrapers and large companies having headquarters in the area. In the 90s, it saw a lot of urban decay, forcing many companies out in favor of the more glamorous location of Sandton and Rosebank. The Johannesburg CBD underwent gentrification in the 2010s and is now a trendy and safe area attracting young professionals and students.
Main Johannesburg City Suburbs
The main suburbs around Johannesburg City include the following:
- City West-Denver
Maboneng is the trendiest section of the Johannesburg CBD with countless popular restaurants, cafes, markets and modern apartments.
Yeoville and Fordsburg have plenty of older, well-priced homes with large verandahs and spacious rooms.
Bellevue and Berea are 5 minutes away from the CBD and have many good quality blocks of flats that have recently been renovated.
Local Attractions and Landmarks
The Johannesburg CBD is surrounded by interesting and photographic mine dumps which are reminiscent of its gold mining roots.
Visitors to the area enjoy climbing to the top of the Carlton Centre where a viewing point gives a breathtaking view for miles ahead.
Visiting the Maboneng District is an exciting, cultural experience with its beautifully painted murals lining the streets, performing artists and many cafes and restaurants to grab a bite to eat. It is also home to the famous Neighbourgoods Market where locals sell artistic goods and delicious street food.
Weekends are very busy in Fordsburg where anyone can visit and sit at the many pavement cafes offering traditional Indian street cuisine.
Gold Reef City is only 10 minutes away from the Johannesburg CBD and has a world-class casino, movie theatres, shopping, restaurants and more to entertain the whole family.
Schools and Hospitals
WITS University (one of the country’s largest and most respected universities) is located in Braamfontein and boasts many campuses.
There are also many private, secondary and tertiary colleges in the Johannesburg CBD, including Damelin and Johannesburg City College.
Arguably the best government hospitals (including the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital- formerly the Johannesburg General Hospital) can be found in the Johannesburg CBD. The excellent Milpark Hospital is a private clinic located just outside the city’s borders.
Shopping and Other Amenities
Shopping is never boring in the Johannesburg CBD and bargain hunters love picking up interesting finds with the many informal traders located throughout the city.
The Oriental Plaza is within the city’s main limits, as is the large Carlton Centre which has all the usual major chain stores that you would expect from a good shopping mall.
The Johannesburg CBD can be reached via the modern Gautrain system at Park Station. There are also many Gautrain buses that offer transport throughout the city. Otherwise, the convenient M2 highway gives access to and from all major parts of the greater Johannesburg area.
Although many businesses left the Johannesburg CBD in the 90s, some large corporations still remain and some have even returned as the city has undergone a pleasing renaissance.
Bank City (First National Bank) takes up several blocks in the CBD, Anglo American has several buildings in the CBD and ABSA Bank has its headquarters in the city.