Sandton

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Sandton
Sandton skyline from Megawatt Park
Sandton is located in Greater Johannesburg
Sandton
Location in Greater Johannesburg
Sandton is located in South Africa
Sandton
Location in South Africa
Coordinates: 26°6.42′S 28°3.1′E / 26.107°S 28.0517°E / -26.107; 28.0517Coordinates: 26°6.42′S 28°3.1′E / 26.107°S 28.0517°E / -26.107; 28.0517
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceGauteng
MunicipalityCity of Johannesburg
Area[1]
 • Total133.84 km2 (51.68 sq mi)
Population (2001)[1]
 • Total125,577
 • Density940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2001)[1]
 • Black African32.6%
 • Coloured1.4%
 • Indian/Asian5.5%
 • White60.6%
First languages (2001)[1]
 • English65.1%
 • Zulu7.7%
 • Northern Sotho5.2%
 • Tswana4.9%
 • Other17.1%
Time zoneSAST (UTC+2)
Websitehttp://www.sandtoncentral.co.za/
 
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Sandton
Sandton skyline from Megawatt Park
Sandton is located in Greater Johannesburg
Sandton
Location in Greater Johannesburg
Sandton is located in South Africa
Sandton
Location in South Africa
Coordinates: 26°6.42′S 28°3.1′E / 26.107°S 28.0517°E / -26.107; 28.0517Coordinates: 26°6.42′S 28°3.1′E / 26.107°S 28.0517°E / -26.107; 28.0517
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceGauteng
MunicipalityCity of Johannesburg
Area[1]
 • Total133.84 km2 (51.68 sq mi)
Population (2001)[1]
 • Total125,577
 • Density940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2001)[1]
 • Black African32.6%
 • Coloured1.4%
 • Indian/Asian5.5%
 • White60.6%
First languages (2001)[1]
 • English65.1%
 • Zulu7.7%
 • Northern Sotho5.2%
 • Tswana4.9%
 • Other17.1%
Time zoneSAST (UTC+2)
Websitehttp://www.sandtoncentral.co.za/

Sandton is a wealthy area situated within the metro of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. The name comes from the combination of two of its suburbs, Sandown and Bryanston. In 1969 Sandton was promulgated as a municipality in its own right,[2] but lost its status as an independent town after the re-organisation of South African local governments.[3]

Contents

History

Early Settlers

Archaeological findings suggest the area, which Sandton comprises today, had originally been occupied by various indigenous groups, before European settlement. Most notably the Tswana people. The first of the Voortrekkers to settle in the area were those of the Esterhuysens of Zandfontein. A monument to commemorate them may be found just off Adrienne Street. In the 1870s the Wilhelmi family of Hanover, Germany acquired the farm Driefontein No.3. Driefontein along with the farms Rietfontein and Zandfontein encumbered what is today Sandton. Their original home, now within the confines of the Field & Study Centre, was looted during the Anglo-Boer War. Their 1906 Parkmore farmhouse served as the icon for the Sandton Historical Foundation. The Ehler family owned Rietfontein farm.

1960s

The municipality was established as an extension of the city in 1969, after Johannesburg began to expand northwards. Initially it was very much a residential area consisting mostly of small holdings. This rural "horsey" lifestyle of Sandton gave it the image of being a smart address. It was dubbed the "mink and manure" belt of Johannesburg.

1990s

After the demise of apartheid and the manifestation of the new political dispensation, Sandton first became part of the Eastern Metropolitan Substructure,[4] and later became part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality following new demarcations put forward by the government, and it no longer has a separate municipal government.

Role in 21st century Johannesburg

Financial and business centre

Sandton viewed from a commercial plane after take-off

A high crime rate in downtown Johannesburg caused many corporate offices to move from Johannesburg Central Business District to Sandton in the 1990s. It has become the new financial centre of South Africa and Johannesburg's premier business centre. Much of the financial focus of Johannesburg has shifted from the Central Business District to Sandton. However, three of South Africa's four largest banks have kept their head offices in downtown Johannesburg, along with Transnet, the transport parastatal. The other bank, Nedbank, has its headquarters in Sandton.

But much of the "new money" has moved north to Sandton, including investment banks, financial consultants and the like. A considerable amount of the city's A-grade office space is to be found in Sandton. The JSE Securities Exchange, Johannesburg's stock exchange, relocated its offices to Sandton from the central business district in the late 1990s. Sandton's gain was the central business district's loss: it resulted from urban blight of the downtown Johannesburg area.

Sandton is home to the Sandton Convention Centre, one of the largest convention centres on the continent and primary site of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (also known as "Rio + 10"), which Johannesburg hosted. The convention centre also hosted the African National Congress' victory celebrations after the party won the 2004 elections.

Massmart has its head office in the Massmart House in Sandton.[5] Ster-Kinekor has its head office in the Ster-Kinekor Office Park in Eastgate, Sandton.[6] IBM's and Hewlett Packard's main Southern Africa and South Africa offices are in Rivonia, Sandton.[7][8]

Tourism and retail hub

Sandton at night

One of the main attractions in Sandton is Sandton City, which ranks among the largest shopping centres in Africa. Together with Nelson Mandela Square, the centre, with some 144,000 m2 of shopping space, is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere (behind Chadstone Shopping Centre).[9] Much of Johannesburg's business tourism is centred on Sandton, which has a string of 5-star hotels.

It was recently announced by Liberty Properties that Sandton City will receive a R1,77-billion upgrade. Liberty Properties chief executive Samuel Ogbu has envisaged the complex as South Africa's very own Wall Street "Africa is not for sissies, but we have a bold vision, which is to see the Sandton City precinct as our own Wall Street." The redevelopment will include the construction of a 60-storey office tower, a new hotel, new retail and office space and residential apartments. The 60-storey office tower will be the tallest building in Africa, replacing the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg CBD. The extension will stretch to 30 000 m2 and the total complex will have a gross lettable area of 158 000 m2 . London-based RTKL Associates have been chosen to design the complex.[10]

Nelson Mandela Square, formerly known as Sandton Square, was renamed in March 2004, after the unveiling of a 6-metre bronze statue of the former South Africa president. Perhaps ironically, Liliesleaf Farm, where Nelson Mandela lived in the early 1960s and where many leading political activists were arrested in 1963 and tried as part of the now infamous Rivonia Trial, is just north of Nelson Mandela Square, close to the N3 Highway, off Rivonia Road.

Museum

Opening in August 2012, the Peacemakers museum is the only museum in Sandton. Located in Nelson Mandela Square the museum presents an exhibition of Nobel laureates, men and women from all corners of the globe who have dedicated their lives to make the world a better place. The Nobel laureates are an example to all of us individuals can do extraordinary things and that the decisions we make and the actions we take in our lives can changes the world.

Media

In 2007, CNBC Africa launched its headquarters for Africa, based in Sandton. From here the channel broadcasts to 41 countries on the continent with remote studios at the JSE and a fixed camera at the Nedbank head office, in Rivonia road.

In 2008, Sandton magazine was launched. The official slogan of the magazine is 'The Good Life in the Great North' and it strives to cater to the needs of the district’s top-end residential, tourist and business communities that drive the economic, social and retail pulse-point of the African continent. Sandton will have an initial print run of 30 000 (including 15 000 copies hand-delivered to Sandton’s finest homes and apartments, with another 7 500 distributed to Sandton hotel rooms, services and businesses, with the balance sold nationally at select retail outlets). The Sandton Convention Centre hosted the 2008 Miss World on 13 December 2008, as a replacement for Kiev, Ukraine.[11]

Popular culture

Sandton is often cited as a materialistic centre and refuge of the white flight from the Johannesburg CBD. Following the launch of Sandton Magazine, the town was satirized in a tongue-in-cheek satirical news story by Hayibo.com[12] that was also published on the Sandton Magazine website. The headline comically read "Sandton magazine hailed as just what rich whites need." There is reference to the requirement of two wealthy young white people on the cover "to help frightened Sandtonians forget about Alexandra township next door." The spoof also uses the magazine's marketing slogan when "four Mozambicans wandered into the ballroom apparently in search of the good life in the great north." These Mozambicans are "tazered," a reference to the advanced crime-fighting technology in the suburb. The materialism is heightened with imaginary article headline "Botox your Botox: why your face can never be paralysed enough." The fears of a Zuma presidency are reiterated "Ten Zuma-proof off-shore investments you can hide from the taxman." The high rates of white emigration and fears post-2010 are also satirized "Likewise, should we be looking at Perth or London post-2010?." Ultimately, security and material items are cited as the solution to any problem in the country "We want to remind people that there is no problem this country can throw at you that you can’t solve with electric fencing and a pedicure."[12]

Former Sandton resident and author, Sarah Britten cites the town regularly in her book The Art of the South African Insult. She cites the popularity that the town also holds with the growing black middle-class "Empowerment kugels don't hang out in Soweto; they do lunch in Sandton" and quotes columnist Therese Owen's advice to former TV-personality Kedibone, "Now that you're no longer wanted as a continuity presenter on SABC1, go hang out in Sandton and catch yourself a BEE boy." She also references a commentator on Moneyweb, "Sandton is attractive to the schmucks of this world—get over it—$s don't buy class."

"Africa's richest square mile"

Maude Street adjacent to Sandton Convention Centre

The Sandton area is one of the most opulent in Johannesburg and South Africa, and therefore in Africa but not far away (only about 6 km) from Alexandra, one of the poorest former black townships.[citation needed] Sandton covers an area of approximately 156 km² while Alexandra is just over 8 km². It is estimated that the population of Alexandra is the same as that of Sandton itself.

Due to the shortage[dubious ] of available land, the trend in new developments is to go skyward. This is evidenced by the new 140-metre tall Michelangelo Towers, which purports to offer Manhattan-style living in Johannesburg.[13] The new apartment block will be the fourth-tallest building in Johannesburg and local newspaper the Sunday Times reports that the top-selling penthouse apartment was sold for R28 million (around $4 million).

Concerns have been raised as to whether Sandton has the necessary road and water infrastructure to sustain the massive development that is characteristic of Johannesburg in the 21st century (since the demise of Apartheid and the Group Areas Act).[citation needed]

Sandton Central Management District

The central business area of Sandton is divided into three City Improvement Districts, which have a unified identity called the Sandton Central Management District, branded as Sandton Central.[14] This district is responsible, using additional funds levied on its behalf by the municipality, for the provision of additional services.[15] The Sandton Central Management district provides additional cleaning, law enforcement, beautification and planning services to the area it services.[16]

Transport

Taxi

By far the most prevalent form of public transportation in the area is provided by minibus taxis. The main taxi rank is to be found on West Street. Although not as popular an option as is the case in other major cities, metered taxis can be used to commute to and around Sandton. Cabs can be found on Maude Street near the Balalaika Hotel, on Alice Lane behind the Sandton Convention Centre and on Rivonia Road near the Southern Sun Grayston Hotel

Rail

Sandton houses the flagship station of the Gautrain rapid rail link. The station is located on the corner of West Street and Rivonia Road. The system has direct connections to OR Tambo International Airport and an inter-city commuter service from Pretoria through Rosebank to Park Station, Johannesburg.

Notable persons

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Sandton". Census 2001. http://census.adrianfrith.com/place/77424. 
  2. ^ "Final Draft, Sandton Urban Development Framework - A Brief History of Sandton". Sandton Central Management District. http://www.sandtoncentral.co.za/sandton_central.php?articleid=8. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  3. ^ "Sandton (South Africa)". Flag's of the World. http://flagspot.net/flags/za-gt-sn.html. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  4. ^ Politics in South Africa: from Mandela to Mbeki (By Tom Lodge)
  5. ^ "Contact Details." Massmart. Retrieved on 10 October 2011. "Physical Address: Massmart House, 16 Peltier Drive, Sunninghill Ext. 6, Sandton 2157, Republic of South Africa"
  6. ^ "Contact Us." Ster-Kinekor. Retrieved on 27 September 2011. "Physical Address: Ster-Kinekor Office Park 185 Katherine Street Eastgate Ext.4 Sandton"
  7. ^ "Office Locations." Hewlett Packard South Africa. Retrieved on 22 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Office Locations." Hewlett Packard Africa. Retrieved on 22 July 2009.
  9. ^ http://www.chadstoneshopping.com.au/centreinfo/
  10. ^ "Sandton City up for R1,7-billion upgrade". IOL. 19 August 2008. http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=124&art_id=vn20080819055627339C352674. 
  11. ^ "Sandton Convention Centre to host Miss World 2008". Bizcommunity. 9 September 2008. http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/40/28174.html. 
  12. ^ a b "Sandton magazine hailed as just what rich whites need". Hayibo. June 2008. http://www.hayibo.com/articles/view/796. 
  13. ^ Legacy Hotel Group "Conference & Banquering Information Sheet", Legacy Hotel Group, 22 April 2010, accessed 16 June 2011.
  14. ^ What is The Sandton Central Management District?
  15. ^ A City Improvement District
  16. ^ The Sandton Central AGM Report 2009 - 2010

External links