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The name Gauteng is derived from a Sesotho word which means Place of Gold. The word Gauteng was the historical Sesotho name for Johannesburg after the discovery of gold in the region. Gauteng's southern border is the Vaal River, which separates it from the Free State. It also borders on North West to the west, Limpopo to the north, and Mpumalanga to the east. Gauteng is the only landlocked province of South Africa without a foreign border.
Gauteng has a unique geography, offering a combination of natural beauty and mineral wealth. Situated on South Africa’s Highveld, a high-altitude grassy plateau, the province is home to the picturesque Magaliesberg and Witwatersberg mountain ranges. The Gauteng province is also the site of coal and diamond extraction operations, but it is best known for its gold deposits. The Witwatersrand (“ridge of white waters”), which runs through Gauteng is famous for being the source of 40% of all the gold ever mined from the Earth. Gauteng is the economic powerhouse of South Africa, accounting for a third of the country’s gross domestic product. Politically, the three metropolitan municipalities – the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane (Greater Pretoria)and Ekurhuleni (East Rand)– have come together to build a globally competitive city-region.
Gauteng 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 33.9% of its gross domestic product (GDP). Indeed Gauteng generates 10% of the GDP of the entire African continent.
Gauteng is home to many of the country's most important educational institutions and scientific institutes. There are about 10 000 firms involved in the province's manufacturing sector, employing over half a million people. The major industries are appliances and electrical supplies, basic iron and steel, chemical products, electrical machinery, fabricated and metal products, food, machinery, motor vehicle parts and accessories.
Most of Gauteng is on the Highveld, a high-altitude grassland. Between Johannesburg and Pretoria there are low parallel ridges and undulating hills, some of which form part of the Magaliesberg Mountains and the Witwatersrand. The north of the province is more subtropical, due to its lower altitude and is mostly dry savanna habitat. Most of the rainfall in Gauteng occur as brief afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and winters are crisp and dry with frost occurring often in the southern areas. Snow is very rare, but has occurred on some occasions in the Johannesburg metropolitan area.
Street Map of Gauteng
Gauteng Conference Centre