Gauteng is a diverse province that offers whatever your taste in the fields of art and entertainment. Whether you like more modern sounds of music, nightclubs from Soweto or jazz Gauteng has it all.
If you are more attuned to the classical, the State Theatre in Pretoria and the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg regularly present ballet and drama of international standard. And then there are smaller, more relaxed venues presenting music and drama – the Market Theatre, the Sound Stage, the casinos, the Barnyard Theatres, to mention just a few.
To experience some of the diversity that is part and parcel of the Rainbow Nation, take a guided tour of Soweto, visit the Ndebele Village at the National Culture History Museum or spend some time at the Lesedi cultural village. Don’t stop there. Gauteng has museums catering to every interest from railroads to military history, not to mention art galleries that feature indigenous, modern and classic artists.
And, of course, the casinos. Gauteng offers several five star casinos that are well run and attractive – music, drama and dance – as well as fine restaurants, hotels and safe, comfortable places where you can try to beat the odds.
Constitution Hill: With the objective of creating a human rights precinct and a world class heritage tourist attraction that will contribute to the growth of the tourism sector in Gauteng, the Constitution Hill project is already well underway. The new Constitutional Court and the Old Fort are open to the public and historic buildings like the old Women’s Gaol and the Native Gaol are being refurbished. Museum, archives and libraries, offices and conference facilities are part of the overall plan. Newtown – an initiative to regenerate and promote cultural industries in the heart of Johannesburg. It is home to the Market Theatre, Museum Africa, a number of craft markets and restaurants as well as a new social housing development.
Kliptown: Another major urban regeneration initiative, which includes the development of the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication and offers opportunities in housing, tourism and business development, among others.
Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site: Declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, this 47,000 hectare treasure house of paleoanthropology is the scene of remarkable find over three million years old. Still in progress, it offers opportunities in tourism facilities, hospitality, conference facilities, infrastructure and scientific research.
Dinokeng: Development of a premier tourist attraction which will include a ‘big five’ game reserve, Stone Age and Anglo-Boer war sites and the historic diamond mining village of Cullinan. Within easy reach of major urban centres, it offers opportunities in lodge development, tourism facilities, hospitality services, conference facilities, manufacture of African-themed artifacts, and commercial and retail services.
FIFA 2010 World Cup: No discussion of investment opportunities in Gauteng would be complete without mention of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. South Africa is the first African nation to host the World Soccer Cup. To successfully organize one of the world’s premier sporting events is both a source of national pride and a challenge for the country. The 2010 World Cup is one of the primary drivers of infrastructure development in the near term. The central government has stepped up infrastructure spending dramatically not only because the infrastructure is under heavy pressure from sustained economic growth but also because the demands of 2010 are enormous. Some 400,000 visitors are expected, who must be accommodated and moved around the country to see their favourite team. As many as 160,000 jobs could be created and estimates of the economic impact are as high as R20 billion. Prices for cement and other basic materials are sky rocketing as the demand for construction material rise. In Gauteng, Soccer City will host 8 events, including the opening and final matches and Ellis Park will host another seven. There is no question that countless business opportunities lay in wait however it’s difficult to calculate the implications of 2010 for consumer spending and investment – in accommodations, in transport, in food, beverages and catering, and in a variety of construction activities related to infrastructure development.