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Although Johannesburg city center is keen to change its perception of the city as the centre of the city, Sandton remains the most important financial and business district in South Africa and, arguably, sub-Saharan Africa. This is how it has been since 1990, when mass exodus to the northern suburb began and Sandton became known not only as a materialistic centre, but also as a haven for the “white flight” of Johannesburg’s CBD.
It’s hard to believe that this sophisticated district, home to the best investment banks, financial advisers, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and one of the continent’s largest congressional centres, was just a “sandy horse trail” of “mink and manure”. lived 50 years ago on wealthy, large estates – a wonder it is known as one of the most opulent areas in Johannesburg.
Sandton began at the beginning of the century as a suburb of the gentlemen – real estate was no smaller than a morning (just under a hectare). Life has not changed in principle, although the landscape has changed radically. Gone are the courtyards and the quiet existence of the white upper class, which is replaced by glass and chrome buildings, and South Africa’s emerging black middle class.
Known as “Africa’s richest square mile,” Sandton has moved up with a barrage of Manhattan-style skyscrapers that serve as landmarks throughout Johannesburg, especially on Sandton City’s pyramidal rooftop. Visit Nelson Mandela Square, various art galleries, or take a personal tour of 29 Sandton attractions and stop at various restaurants.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange
JSE Limited, better known as JSE (formerly known as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange), is located at One Exchange Square in Sandown, Sandton. It is an important global market where securities can be traded freely and traded in a safe, regulated market environment. It is the most important exchange of South Africa and the whole continent. The JSE has grown over the past 125+ years and has evolved by adopting some of the most advanced technologies and trading techniques to keep up with the rapidly evolving nature of the global economy. Its surveillance system competes with some of the best in the world, ensuring a significant level of security.
Here at Liliesleaf Farm, a group of high-ranking ANC members were arrested in a police raid in 1963 for planning to overthrow the apartheid government. Nelson Mandela was already in jail at the time of the raid, but he was one of the ANC members who used Liliesleaf Farm just outside of Randburg as a rendezvous and hiding place. It is considered the birthplace of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, which fought against the apartheid government.
The farm was purchased by the SA Communist Party as a safe house, where the gold empires lived as “white” landowners (including Arthur Goldreich, who managed to escape before the trial) and Nelson Mandela, who also said they lived and pretended to be David Motsamayi, the cook and the gardener.
Nestled in the heart of Sandton in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela Square is surrounded by world-class hotels and restaurants. The popular Sandton City shopping centre is next to Mandela Square. The Square made headlines when a specially donated six-meter-tall bronze statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled to commemorate South Africa’s first decade of democracy, and the place was aptly renamed Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton City. The statue was sculpted by Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane and weighs over 2.5 tons at a length of 2.3 meters from elbow to elbow. The shoulders of the statue are 1.7 meters wide and the shoes are 1 meter long.
The intention of this statue is not only to honour the vision of the former president of a free and just South Africa, but also to create a focal point where local and foreign tourists can reflect on the events that led to the creation of the Rainbow Nation. Here you can always see tourists desperately trying to take a picture of themselves standing next to this tall statue.
Sandton City Shopping Center
The scale and elegance of the Sandton City Shopping Center is known around the world by dedicated shopaholics. It is located in the richest square mile of the continent in Johannesburg, Gauteng. It is also near OR Tambo International Airport , Fourways and a Gautrain station.
Sandton has around 300 shops, including international chains and market leaders such as Louis Vuitton and Apple, paired with local boutiques, speciality shops and an enormous variety of restaurants and cafes. These restaurants range from fast-stop fast food chains to world-class restaurants offering some of the best styles and creations in the country.