JOHANNESBURG, 26° 13' S., 28° 56' E.; altitude 5,740 feet. Distance by rail from Cape Town (via Kimberley), 957 rn.; from Port Elizabeth, 712 m. ; from East London, 665 m.; from Durban, 482 m.; from Delagoa Bay (via Pretoria), 394 miles. Johannesburg is the largest urban centre in South Africa. In 1931 the white population, including that of its suburbs, num bered 203,298. In 1921 the non-Europeans, chiefly Bantu, totalled 130,612. On the Witwatersrand, as a whole, there were in 1926, 249,865 Europeans.
The main part of the city lies immediately north of the central part of the main gold reef. The streets run in straight lines east and west, or north and south. The principal business streets are Eloff street, Commissioner street, Market street, President street and Pritchard street. Here, and in the shorter streets intersect ing them, are the hotels, shops, banks, mining offices, newspaper offices and clubs, the majority being well built buildings of stone or brick, though often roofed with galvanized iron. Toward the north is Joubert's park, with an art gallery.
To the north of the city rises a sharp ridge, which has become the favourite residential quarter. The houses of brick or local stone are often well designed, and placed among pleasant gardens. The Union observatory, 3 m. N.E. of the city, is equipped with a 261 in. telescope. On the far side of the ridge are the Zoological gardens, in a spacious, well laid out park, where the animals are well housed, and have plenty of room. The suburbs to the north and east of the city have various names—Jeppestown, Belgravia, Doornfontein, the Berea, Parktown, Yeoville, etc. Fordsburg lies to the west, and includes the gas, and electric light and power works. At Turffontein, 2 M. to the south of the city, is a well-known race-course.
South, east and west lie the mines, with their tall chimneys, battery houses and native labourers' compounds. They extend along the veld for about so miles. Characteristic of this belt are the great mounds of white dust, the refuse of the crushing machines. On them vegetation will not grow, and they provide much of the material carried about during the dust storms, which are so well known in and around Johannesburg. The mines in
the municipal area, nearly 82 sq.m., are responsible for nearly half the total output of the Transvaal. Among the industries which have grown up in more recent times are flour milling, iron founding, furniture making, food, drink and tobacco manufac tures. Large meat chilling installations have been erected.
The climate is cool and bracing in the winter (see SOUTH AFRICA),_ though the sudden changes of temperature are apt to be trying to delicate people. The infantile mortality is high, the figures for 1922, for infants under one year, being over 94 per i,000. The city has a large hospital; close to it is the South African Institute for Medical Research. There are many large schools and a normal college. The University of the Witwa tersrand, which was founded in 1903 as the School of Mine. and Technology, and received its charter in 1921, moved from its old buildings near the railway station into excellent new ones, situated on the ridge to the north in Milner's park, 8o ac. of which were granted by the city as a site for the university. Jo hannesburg is the seat of a bishopric (Anglican), and a new cathedral has been erected there.
The cost of living is relatively not so high as it formerly was. The price of houses is high, and imported clothing has had to pass a customs barrier, but food is comparatively cheap. The fruit supply is among the best in the country, drawing the best fruit from Natal and the Cape area. There is a good service of elec tric trams in the city and the suburbs, and the water supply and sewage scheme are satisfactory.
Johannesburg owes its existence to the discovery of gold in the local beds of conglomerate in 1886. It was named after Jo hannes Rissik, then surveyor-general of the Transvaal. The town was connected by railways with the Cape ports in 1892, and with Natal in 1895. The increased facility of transport caused a fur ther development of mining activity. (See also TRANSVAAL: His tory.) After a period of military administration, and of govern ment by a nominated town council, an election for a new council took place in Dec. 1903. In 1905 the town was divided into wards. On Sept. 5, 1928, it was created a city.