Pretoria & Johannesburg


Gauteng is in the heart of the Highveld, and although it is the smallest province in South Africa it's the most densely populated. The name Gauteng comes from the Sesotho word meaning "Place of Gold", the historical Sesotho name for Johannesburg and surrounding areas. This referred to the thriving gold industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg.

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Pretoria is located in the northern part of Gauteng Province. South Africa has THREE capital cities. Like the American government, South Africa's government has three branches, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial, but each branch has its own capital city. Pretoria is the capital of the Executive branch, and is generally considered the national capital.
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Pretoria is popularly known as The Jacaranda City due to the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens.

The city's original name was Pretoria Philadelphia ("Pretoria of brotherly love").

Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius. The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River. It became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on 1 May 1860. The founding of Pretoria as the capital of the South African Republic can be seen as marking the end of the Boers' settlement movements of the Great Trek.

Pretoria previously had a rather sinister image as "the capital of Apartheid South Africa". However, Pretoria's political reputation was changed with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the country's first non-apartheid President.

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The Voortrekker Monument opened in 1949 and was built to commemorate the thousands of Voortrekkers who moved through South Africa in their search for land and life. Physically, the monument is a 40m cube. It was constructed so that at noon on the Day of Remembrance, December 16th, the sun shines through the building onto the cenotaph within. The monument is built on a hill overlooking the city of Pretoria, so that you can see it from virtually everywhere in and around the city.

Gold Reef City is an amusement park just outside of Johannesburg.Today, at 3pm, their temperature is 61°F. I'm not sure if water rides will be an attraction while we're there...
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UNISA is the University of South Africa, a self-described "mega-university" with a highly developed distance learning program.

Resources
Voortrekker Monument
Gold Reef City
Pretoria - Wikipedia
Pretoria, South Africa
Pretoria News - local newspaper