Pretoria is South Africa’s capital city and is quieter than Johannesburg with slightly warmer temperatures. It is a safe city in which to bring up a family and enjoy a high quality of life and has the ideal housing option for all tastes and budgets. The city was established in 1855 and became the capital of the Transvaal and later the country. It is home to South Africa’s largest university, UNISA, and offers some excellent Afrikaans and English government and private schools. The Union Buildings offer panoramic views of the city, with Pretoria Zoo and Botanical Gardens popular places to unwind. Several large malls are scattered throughout Pretoria and the Boeremark is a famous flea market that is open on weekends. Pretoria has two Gautrain stations and many highways that connect it to Johannesburg and beyond. Accenture, Deloitte, SAP and Microsoft are only a few companies with large offices in Pretoria.
The city was established in 1855 by Voortrekker leader, Marthinus Pretorius who named it after his father. It then became the capital of the Transvaal, and later the country. Shortly after, the Cullinan Diamond Field was discovered and the country’s first university, the University of South Africa was started. In 1994, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president in Pretoria and the city was named capital of the new South Africa. Pretoria became the seat of the City of Tshwane Municipality in 2000 and continues to see growth, with new businesses and residents moving into the area.
Main Pretoria Suburbs
Pretoria’s main suburbs include the following:
- Pretoria Central
- Menlo Park
- Lotus Gardens
- Menlyn Park
- Nina Park
- Moreleta Park
- Monument Park
- Faerie Glen
Waterkloof, Faerie Glen and Lynnwood are Pretoria’s most prestigious suburbs with large and luxurious homes, ambassadorial residences and several luxury residential eprovinces.
Monument Park, Moreleta Park and Lotus Gardens offer affordable and attractive housing options, while Silverton is popular among young professionals and families.
Attractions and Landmarks
As the country’s capital, Pretoria has interesting landmarks such as the Union Buildings (which give a panoramic view of the city) and the Voortrekker Monument.
The National Botanical Gardens are in Pretoria East and the country’s best and largest zoo is in the CBD.
Nature lovers enjoy hiking and spotting animals in the Rietvlei and Groenkloof Nature Reserves, while spring delights Pretoria residents with its annual Jacaranda tree flowering.
Schools and Hospitals
Pretoria is home to South Africa’s largest university, UNISA, as well as the University of Pretoria, one of the top universities in the country.
Brooklyn Primary School and Pretoria High School for Boys or Girls are two highly-regarded government schools, while St. Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls and Crawford College are popular private schools.
The city has excellent hospitals, including Life Groenkloof Hospital, Netcare Pretoria East Hospital and Louis Pasteur Private hospital. Tshwane District Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital are good quality government hospitals.
Shopping and Other Amenities
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, Brooklyn Mall, Kolonnade Shopping Centre and Woodlands Boulevard Shopping Complex all offer residents a world-class shopping experience. Pretoria also has many smaller shopping centres and the Boeremark flea market is open on weekends and sells traditional, Afrikaans food and goods.
Hatfield and the Pretoria CBD have Gautrain stations, connecting the city to Johannesburg. It is popular amongst professionals who work in Johannesburg and wish to avoid road traffic.
The N1, N4 and N12 highways give convenient access throughout Pretoria and beyond.
Accenture, Deloitte, SAP and Microsoft all have large offices in Pretoria. Many other small and medium-sized businesses are based in Pretoria, giving them the distinction of being based in the capital city.
Most large corporations are located close to Pretoria’s major highways for the sake of convenience.