Johannesburg (/, also US: -/, Afrikaans: [jʊəˈɦanəsbœrχ]; Zulu and Xhosa: eGoli), informally known as Jozi or Jo'burg, is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa's three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.
The metropolis is an alpha global city as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. In 2019, the population of the city of Johannesburg was 5,635,127, making it the most populous city in South Africa. In the same year, the population of Johannesburg's urban agglomeration was put at 8,000,000. land area of the municipal city (1,645 km2 or 635 sq mi) is large in comparison with those of other major cities, resulting in a moderate population density of 2,364 per square kilometre (6,120/sq mi).
The city was established in 1886 following the discovery of gold on what had been a farm. The city is commonly interpreted as the modern-day El Dorado due to the extremely large gold deposit found along the Witwatersrand. Within ten years, the population had grown to 100,000 inhabitants.
A separate city from the late 1970s until 1994, Soweto is now part of Johannesburg. Originally an acronym for "South-Western Townships", Soweto originated as a collection of settlements on the outskirts of Johannesburg, populated mostly by native African workers from the gold mining industry. Soweto, although eventually incorporated into Johannesburg, had been separated as a residential area for Blacks, who were not permitted to live in Johannesburg proper. Lenasia is predominantly populated by English-speaking South Africans of Indian descent. These areas were designated as non-white areas in accordance with the segregationist policies of the South African government known as Apartheid.
Controversy surrounds the origin of the name. There was quite a number of people with the name "Johannes" who were involved in the early history of the city. Among them is the principal clerk attached to the office of the surveyor-general Hendrik Dercksen, Christiaan Johannes Joubert, who was a member of the Volksraad and was Republic's chief of mining. Another was Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (better known as Paul Kruger), president of the South African Republic (ZAR) from 1883–1900. Johannes Meyer, the first government official in the area is another possibility.
Precise records for the choice of name were lost. Johannes Rissik and Johannes Joubert were members of a delegation sent to England to obtain mining rights for the area. Joubert had a park in the city named after him and Rissik has his name for one of the main streets in the city where the historically important albeit dilapidated Rissik Street Post Office is located. The City Hall is also located on Rissik Street.