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What is South Africa’s biggest city We have several answers for you!

What is South Africa’s biggest city? We have several answers for you!

South Africa covers a vast area of 1.2 million km² and is ranked as the 24th largest country in the world. It has nine provinces, which have varying land areas.

The Northern Cape is the largest province, which occupies about 33.33% of the country’s total land area. It is, however, sparse in population, as most of its land is empty and arid.

On the other hand, the smallest province in South Africa is the Gauteng province, which is also the most populated and urbanised. Gauteng is also the leading province when it comes to business and economy.

There are three cities in South Africa that are considered “major cities”: Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.

What is South Africa’s biggest city?

Because of its high population density and its importance as the country’s economic hub, Johannesburg is generally considered as the biggest city in South Africa.

However, there are also other factors to consider:

ConsiderationBiggest City
LandmassCape Town

The largest city in South Africa in terms of the landmass is Cape Town with an area of 2,446 km². This is followed by Durban with a landmass of 2,292 km², and Johannesburg, which covers 1,645 km².

When it comes to population, Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa with 6,065,000 inhabitants. Cape Town comes in second with 4,801,000, followed by Durban with an estimate of 3,100,000.

As mentioned earlier, Johannesburg is also considered the city with the most significant economic involvement in South Africa, with a national contribution of 16% and 40% regionally. 

Is it a good idea to visit Johannesburg?

Is it a good idea to visit Johannesburg


Johannesburg, also known as Joburg or Jozi as the locals call it, is a popular destination for business events, leisure, relocation, and study and exploration.

This is primarily because of its beautiful neighbourhoods with rich history, busy districts, arts and music hubs, and glorious weather. The city is often described as hip, vibrant, and a must-visit destination.

Go-to places in Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city

Here are some places you can check out when you visit the biggest city in South Africa:

1. The Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum


The Apartheid Museum is part of the Gold Reef City complex and was opened in 2001. The purpose of this museum is to showcase the 20th-century history of South Africa.

The exhibits in the museum feature a collection of film footages, photographs, text panels and artefacts telling different stories during the era of apartheid.

Many of its visitors are foreigners and locals seeking knowledge and novelty and paying their respects and remembrance to the victims. 

To fully enjoy the exhibits at the Apartheid Museum, make sure to allot at least two hours of your schedule. 

The Apartheid Museum is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Tickets for adults are priced at R 150, while students, pensioners, and children are admitted at R 100.

2. Mandela’s House

Mandela's House


Nelson Mandela is the biggest and most important name during the rebellion against institutionalised racial segregation. Mandela is an activist that led the transition of South Africa to a multiracial democracy.

He was also the country’s first Black president.

Mandela’s House, before it was transformed into a museum, was the former president’s home between 1946 and 1962. In 1997, Mandela donated the house to the Soweto Heritage Trust to be preserved and run as a museum.

In 1999, it was declared a National Heritage Site. The museum features archives, previous things, paintings, and photographs of the Mandela family. 

The museum is open every day from 9:00 AM to 4:45 PM. The entrance fee for foreigners is R 60, and R 40 for African residents.

 3. Gold Reef City Theme Park

Gold Reef City Theme Park


The Gold Reef City Theme Park is a popular destination for family entertainment. It features some of South Africa’s fastest, biggest, and most thrilling rides.

The amusement park is built on an old gold mine that closed in 1971. This is also why the theme of the park follows Johannesburg’s gold rush that started in 1886.

Also, because of this, the theme park is able to offer an authentic underground mine tour on the site.

The Gold Reef City Theme Park features a total of 44 rides, a trampoline park, several food establishments, retail stores, and other gold rush era attractions.

Their whole-day pass costs R 250 per person and you can visit from Thursday to Sunday, 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

4. The Market Theatre

The Market Theatre


The Market Theatre was founded in 1976 as an independent theatre that features anti-racist productions. The building was previously used as a fruit and vegetable market, thus giving birth to the name of the theatre.

Because the theatre challenged the apartheid rule, it was acknowledged as South Africa’s Theatre of the Struggle. Nowadays, the theatre continues to spotlight productions of theatre, music, dance and the allied arts.

Tickets and schedules for The Market Theatre depend on what show is on, so make sure to check their website beforehand to plan your visit.

5. Johannesburg Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo was founded in 1904 when its land was donated for recreational use. It covers an area of 55 hectares and houses over 2,000 animals.

The zoo is internationally-accredited and maintains a high standard to ensure that animals’ physical and psychological well-being is taken care of.

This is a great destination, especially if you’re curious about animals or have kids with you. It’s pretty accessible to as it’s part of the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo and is open every day from  9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

The entrance fee for adults is priced at R 115, while students, pensioners, and students are admitted for R 68 per person.

FAQs about Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city

What percentage of Johannesburg is black?

Joburg’s community, like the rest of South Africa, is very varied ethnicity-wise. According to the world population review of 2022, 76.4% of the city’s population is Black African.

The rest are coloured, White, Indian, and Asian.

What is Johannesburg, South Africa known for?

Johannesburg is known to be the centre of business in South Africa. In line with this, it’s also the wealthiest city in the country.

Despite being one of the youngest cities in the world, Joburg is classified as a world-class city.

What language do they speak in Johannesburg?

Out of the 11 national languages in South Africa, five are spoken by inhabitants of Johannesburg: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Sesotho, and Setswana.

Does it snow in Johannesburg?

South Africa experiences a subtropical climate, so its winters are mild, and its summers are pleasantly warm. Winter in Johannesburg very rarely brings snow, as it’s only often dry and mildly cold.

There are unique instances when light snow falls during mornings, though.

What is the best month to visit Johannesburg?

It’s best to visit Johannesburg between March to May (fall) and September to November (spring). During these times, the weather is cool and dry and there are fewer crowds.

Why is Johannesburg populated?

The Johannesburg-Pretoria urban area ranks 26th worldwide, considering the population count.

As Johannesburg’s economy rapidly grew throughout the years, so did its population. Because there are more job opportunities in the business capital, many relocated to Joburg.

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