Few cities on earth parallel a history and heritage as textured as that of Johannesburg’s. The discovery of precious metals and diamonds was the spark that lit the economic
 
explosion of the 19th century and branded the city into the annals of history.

The city, its charismatic patrons and mining moguls played an instrumental role in the creation of many an empire of the North; not to mention the vast bulk of Southern African infrastructure. With gold came trade and the city grew exponentially, becoming the technological and financial super-hub for the lower reaches of the African continent.

Johannesburg is where the money is. Today it is by far the most powerful commercial centre on the continent. The city generates 16% of South Africa’s GDP and  
employs 12% of the national work force. It has a financial, municipal, roads and telecommunication infrastructure that matches that of the leading cities of the world.
Johannesburg is the gateway for almost all business into Africa. International ratings agency Fitch Ratings has announced the upgrade for the  
long term rating of the city of Johannesburg from BBB+ to A-.

Like many other world cities, Johannesburg has gone through a difficult period over the past 15 years. Sandton emerged as the new financial hub of Gauteng. But in recent years traffic congestion in Sandton and high rentals have moved the focus to other areas. The efforts of Blue IQ (a government initiative to bring back investment to Johannesburg) are paying off.

The Johannesburg CBD Perception Survey 2003, conducted by Surveillance Technology, found that the inner city can never be replaced as one of South Africa's prime national assets, and that public and private sector confidence is dramatically returning to the central business district. This would place the inspiring return of life to the Inner City of Johannesburg in correlation with the trend registered internationally.

The political will from both local and provincial governments to improve the economy and welfare of the inner city is evident from a broad range of projects and impetuses aimed at stimulating economic activities.
 
Another very telling fact emerging from the 2003 Perception Survey is that 92% of business entrepreneurs, professionals and residents interviewed said they would consider relocating or reinvesting in the Inner City. A vote of confidence that starts from the bottom up bodes very well for the Central Business District and is sure to see a dramatic increase in property values in the very immediate future.
 
Ease of access to the inner city is guaranteed by the strategically placed Nelson Mandela Highway, which opened in July 2003 with the Johannesburg Marathon and other festivities, making the area very attractive to professionals seeking to reduce commuting times and distances.
 
Major corporate head offices that today are situated in Johannesburg CBD includes:

Anglo American PLC

Standard Bank Ltd.

First National Bank Ltd.

Gencor Ltd.

ABSA Ltd.

Transnet Ltd.

SA Eagle Insurance Ltd.

Hollard Insurance Ltd.

Compushare PTY (Ltd.)

Chamber of Mines and numerous smaller organisations


These corporations employ more than 80 000 white-collar workers in the inner city. Other businesses are rapidly moving back into the city. The government is moving back into the city with the Department of Justice and the Department of Economic Affairs, adding another 10 000 white collar workers to the city within the next four months.
 
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