Jo’burg – or Jozi, as it’s known affectionately – pulses with raw energy, charged by a rich mix of cultures and exhilarating go-getter spirit. Its other name, Egoli – “City of Gold” – refers to its legacy of rapid wealth-accumulation during its earliest days (less than 150 years ago) as a tented mining village that expanded into the wealthiest – and most densely populated – city in South Africa.
Jo’burgers play as hard as they work, balancing sharp business focus with incredible sociability. And in between the power lunches and long nights at the bar, there’s an incredible proliferation of art and creativity. Some of the finest galleries on the continent are here, along with designers pumping out ideas that you can take home or see in the form of extraordinary architecture that’s transforming the city. It’s a city in which you’re always aware of the paradoxes and contrasts: Victorian and Edwardian mansions in gentrified old money suburbs; shantytowns and new wealth in sprawling Soweto; slick glass and chrome high-rises in the economic powerhouse of Sandton; and in the city centre, large-scale reinvestment is steering the process of urban rebirth after years of neglect. Everywhere, there’s a fantastic mix of old, new and buzzworthy places to sample the effervescent force of a fast-paced financial epicentre where more than eight million people are trying to construct a future.