Northern suburbs Travel Guide

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The Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg are centred around Sandton and its enormous shopping mall (Sandton City) Since its establishment, in 1969, as a self-governing extension of Johannesburg-proper Sandton grew tremendously and, following the post-apartheid political dispensation of the mid-1990's, was incorporated into the centralised government of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

With the much publicised increase in Johannesburg crime, Sandton flourished as big business (mainly financial) fled the 'treacherous' streets of downtown Johannesburg, looking for a safer environment in which to continue South Africa's business of business.  Major banks and investment companies and even the South African Stock Exchange have now relocated their headquarters to Sandton.

Even before this influx of big business into the area, the Northern Suburbs had a reputation for being an upmarket suburb of the city.  The Sandton Central Business District (CBD) incorporates the areas of Benmore, Parkmore, Sandhurst, Sandown and part of Atholl and then extends to include Rivonia, Rosebank and other neighborhoods.  The tremendous expansion to the north of Johannesburg has made for many blurred boundaries and the 'Sandton suburbs' have now spread through Fourways towards Randburg and through Woodmead and Kyalami north towards Midrand, however most people consider this entire area to be Northern Suburbs.

Clinging on to the side of the northern suburb, tragically, is the township of Alexandra.  This is one of the country's biggest informal settlements and is the home of much of Johannesburg's impoverished black population.  Separated from the plush suburbs by a mere four lane road (Louis Botha Avenue), 'Alex' is deemed to be the source of much of the crime and haven for much of the criminals in the Northern Suburbs.

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May 07, 2007 change by sandtonian

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