Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Area||17,010 km² (1.4% of country's total)|
8,837,172 (20% of total)
|GDP||38% of the country's total|
|Languages||isiZulu (21.5%), Afrikaans (14.4%), Sesotho (13.1%), English (12.5%)|
|Races||Black African 73.8%, Coloured 3.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5%, White 19.9%|
|Other main centres||Pretoria, Kungwini , Erhuruleni , Lesedi , Heidelberg, Vereeniging, Randfontein , Mogale , Westonaria.|
Gauteng is a province of South Africa. The province was formed from part of the old Transvaal province after South Africa's first all-race elections on 27 April 1994. It was initially named Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging (or PWV) and was renamed Gauteng in December 1994.
Situated in the heart of the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa with only 1.4% of the land area, but it is highly urbanised and has a population of 8,837,178 (2001 South African National Census), the second-largest after KwaZulu-Natal.
The name Gauteng comes from the Sesotho phrase meaning Place of Gold, referring to the thriving gold industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg. The Sesotho phrase was in turn derived from the Afrikaans "goud" (gold) plus the locative suffix "ng." When properly pronounced, the first letter of the name Gauteng is a guttural G, pronounced similarly to the "ch" in the German "achtung" or Scottish "loch." This guttural pronunciation is natural in both the Sesotho and Afrikaans languages.
Gauteng Province is home to 8.8 million people (2001 South Afrcan National Census), almost 20% of the total South African population. Gauteng Province is also the fastest growing province, experiencing a population growth of over 20% between the 1996 and 2001 censuses, thus Gauteng is likely to soon have the highest population of any province in South Africa.
73.8% of the population is of African heritage, 19.9% is of Caucasian heritage, 3.8% is Coloured, and 2.5% is Asian. 21.5% of Gauteng residents speak isiZulu at home, 14.4% speak Afrikaans, 13.1% speaks Sesotho language, and 12.5% speaks English.
Gauteng is considered the economic hub of South Africa and contributes heavily in the financial, manufacturing, transport, technology and telecommunications sectors, amongst others. It also plays host to a large number of overseas companies requiring a commercial base in and gateway to Africa.
Although Gauteng is the smallest of South Africa's nine provinces - it covers only 1.4% of the country's total land area - it contributes more than 38% of its gross domestic product (GDP) as well as 60% of its fiscal revenue. Indeed, Gauteng generates 9% of the GDP of the entire African continent.
Gauteng is growing rapidly, due to mass urbanisation that is a feature of many developing countries. According to the State of the Cities Report, the urban portion of Gauteng - comprised primarily of the cities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni (the East Rand) and Tshwane (Pretoria) - will be a polycentric urban region with a projected population of some 14.6 million people by 2015, making it one of the largest cities in the world.
This rapid growth has brought with it both opportunities and challenges. As a global focal point, with access to the Southern African hinterland, Gauteng has the ability to link the world to a population approximately the same size as the United States. It is fast becoming to sub-Saharan Africa what the Eastern Seaboard megalopolis is to America. But this also presents some formidable obstacles, most notably the ability to provide access to basic amenities such as electricity and potable water. Transport is also a major problem, and Johannesburg, as the core of Gauteng, is beginning to experience the heavy traffic problems of cities such as Los Angeles and Bangkok.
Gauteng is a centre of learning in South Africa, and it has many universities and other schools of higher learning.
- Medical University of South Africa
- Tshwane University of Technology (Formed after Technikon Pretoria , Technikon Northern Gauteng , and Technikon North-West merged)
- University of Johannesburg (Formed after Rand Afrikaans University , some Johannesburg campuses of Vista University and Technikon Witwatersrand merged)
- University of Pretoria
- University of South Africa: Also known as UNISA and incorporating the Technikon South Africa
- Vaal University of Technology : Previously known as Vaal Triangle Technikon
- University of the Witwatersrand
Although Gauteng province is dominated by the urban areas of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it has some beautiful nature reserves:
- Marievale Bird Sanctuary
- Abe Bailey Nature Reserve
- Roodeplaat Nature Reserve.
- Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Rugby, or more accurately Rugby Union, is a popular sport in South Africa, and in Gauteng in particular. Two Rugby teams from Gauteng participate in the Super 12 championship: the Pretoria-based Bulls, and the Johannesburg-based Cats.
See also: Vodacom Cup
-  ANC news briefing about the selection of the name Gauteng in December 1994, and the arguments that preceded this decision.
- Gauteng Provincial Government homepage.
- Gauteng Tourism Authority homepage.
- South Africa Statistics including the 2001 census figures.
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