Gauteng Province, South Africa



“The road to the school leads away from the hilly ridges of Johannesburg and soon strikes out straight through the mealie fields and flat highveld of the plain. It’s early winter; it was one of those absolutely wind-still mornings filled with calm steady sunlight that make the few trees look black against the pale grass. All that was left of the frost overnight was the fresh smell. There was an old pepper tree here and there, where there must once have been a farmhouse; eucalyptus with tattered curls of bark, twiggy acacias, mud-walls of an abandoned hut; an Indian store; a yellowing willow beside a crack in the earth.” [Nadine Gordimer 1966].

Some would say this is a typical description of anywhere in South Africa. It is about Gauteng! Reading books by South African authors is like diving into personal museums of the mind where facts and figures ring true, emotions run high and all are enhanced by awesome literary descriptions.

The Highveld is very South African and Gauteng remains the smallest yet most productive province. Work is the hub of Gauteng where mining, commerce, manufacturing, finance and tourism keep the more than 7 million inhabitants employed and where more than 90% of this population are urbanised. Gauteng means, very aptly, “Place of Gold” in Sotho: most of South Africa’s wealth is generated here where the gold mines are untidy silhouettes from the highways at dusk.
It may be for this reason that Gauteng boasts the highest literacy rate in SA where inhabitants earn the most money per capita than anywhere else in the country. It is a magnet for people from all walks of life to make their fortunes - or merely survive.

The other eight provinces are very different. .... read more