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Pretoria, Gauteng

Pretoria is located in the northern part of Gauteng. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital. Pretoria is contained within the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality as one of several constituent former administrations. Pretoria is popularly known as The Jacaranda City due to the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens.

pretoria gauteng

Pretoria is situated approximately 50 km north of Johannesburg in the north-east of South Africa, in a transitional belt between the plateau of the Highveld to the south and the lower-lying Bushveld to the north. It lies at an altitude of about 1,350 m above sea level, in a warm, sheltered, fertile valley, surrounded by the hills of the Magaliesberg range.

The city has a moderately dry subtropical climate, specifically a humid subtropical climate, with long hot and rainy summers and short cool and dry winters. The average annual temperature is 18.7 °C. This is rather high considering its relatively high altitude of about 1350 metres and is due mainly to its sheltered valley position, which acts as a heat trap and cuts it off from cool southerly and south-easterly air masses for much of the year. Rain falls mainly in the summer months, with drought conditions prevailing over the winter months, when frosts may be sharp. Snowfall is an extremely rare event, occurring once or twice in a century.

The city of Pretoria has the largest white population of anywhere on the African continent. Since its founding it has been a major Afrikaner population centre, and currently there are roughly 400,000 Afrikaners living in or around the city. Even since the end of Apartheid, Pretoria itself still has a white majority, albeit an ever increasing black middle-class. However in the townships of Soshanguve and Atteridgeville blacks make up close to all of the population. The largest white ethnic group are the Afrikaners and the largest black ethnic group are the Northern Sothos. If one considers the lower estimate for the population of Pretoria, this includes largely former-white designated areas and there is therefore a white majority. However if one includes the geographically separate townships, this increases Pretoria's population beyond a million and makes whites a minority. Pretoria's Indians mostly live in the Indian township of Laudium and surrounding areas, or in white suburbs.

Pretoria has over the years had very diverse cultural influences and this is reflected in the architectural styles that can be found in the city. It ranges from British Colonial Architecture to Art Deco with a good mix of uniquely South African style mixed in. Some of the notable structures in Pretoria include the Union Buildings, Voortrekker Monument, the main campus of the University of South Africa, Mahlamba Ndlopfu (the President's House), Reserve Bank of South Africa (Office Tower) and the Telkom Lukas Rand Transmission Tower. Other known structures and buildings include the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, The South African State Theatre, University of Pretoria, and Head Quarters of the Department of International Relations and Co-Operation (modern architecture).

As the national administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria is the seat of government and houses the headquarters of the main government departments and ministries. As the de facto capital city, it also hosts the foreign embassies and diplomatic missions. The city is a major commercial centre and an important industrial centre. Its main industries are iron and steel works, copper casting, and the manufacture of automobiles, railway carriages and heavy machinery.

pretoria historyHistory of Pretoria
By around 1600 the Southern Transvaal Ndebele occupied the river valley, which was to become the location of the city of Pretoria. During the difaqane in Natal, another band of refugees arrived in this area under the leadership of Mzilikazi. However, they were forced to abandon their villages in their flight from a regiment of Zulu raiders in 1832. Pretoria itself was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius. The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River. Andries Pretorius also negotiated the Sand River Convention (1852), in which Britain acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal ...more history of Pretoria

pretoria attractionsPretoria Attractions
Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, Freedom Park, Kruger House Museum, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Melrose House, National Cultural History Museum, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria Country Club, Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve, Smuts House Museum, South African State Theatre, Tswaing Nature Reserve, Union Buildings, Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site, Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum, Wonderboom Nature Reserve




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