Reference no: EM131292897
The Sotho word, Gauteng, translates into English as ‘place of gold'. It is the new name given to the Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vaal triangle, one of the largest industrial regions in the southern hemisphere. In 1886, on a patch of windswept veld, an unemployed miner came across a stone containing traces of gold. From this event came the discovery of the world's richest natural treasurehouse. Speculators, prospectors, fortune seekers and adventurers arrived in the area from all over the world and, in a comparatively short space of time, the pastoral landscape was completely transformed.
First, shanty towns sprang up as goldrush fever gripped the area. Then these shanty towns rapidly changed into modern concrete cities. Johannesburg became known as the ‘gold capital of the world' and the entire country became the centre of an economic boom. The revenues generated by gold in the world's export markets enabled the country to develop its impressive industrial, commercial and financial strength. South Africa is home to an extraordinary variety of ethnic groups, cultures, creeds and languages. The background to this human diversity extends over thousands of years to the original inhabitants - the Stone Age hunter-gatherers known as the Bushmen. Black migrants arrived from the north to take their place and they, in turn, were followed by European and Indian immigrants. Gauteng is a dynamic, cosmopolitan kaleidoscope representing most of these different cultural components. Johannesburg is nouveau riche territory: a modern, cosmopolitan metropolis packed with vitality and verve.
In quiet, leafy suburbs, baronial mansions in manicured gardens lined with limousines testify to the fact that the city, at the top of the supertax bracket, is a very affluent society. In the central business district, the astute make daily fortunes on the stock exchange. Skyscrapers tower over chic boutiques, aromatic Indian bazaars and African muti (medicine) shops where traditional healers dispense advice and herbal remedies. Some 50 kilometres north of Johannesburg, Pretoria is well known for its colourful gardens, shrubs and trees. The city developed more slowly than Johannesburg but now boasts high-tech shopping centres, museums, art galleries and multiculinary restaurants.
The city has four universities and several scientific institutes, including the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute, both of which are famous worldwide. Soweto (South Western Township) is a huge sprawling township, estimated to be inhabited by more than two million people. Homes range from affluent mansions to makeshift shacks. Soweto residents belong to nine ethnic groups, among whom Zulus and Xhosas predominate. The township has the Baragwanath Hospital, which is reputed to be the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere. Here high-quality training and medical standards are provided.
The hospital attracts patients not only from the rest of South Africa but also from countries as far north as Nigeria. Despite this, it is estimated that between 80% and 85% of Soweto residents consult traditional healers. Commercial activities in Soweto are expanding rapidly. New supermarkets, retail chains, banks and shopping complexes are constantly being developed. In the north of the country lies the Northern Province. The Venda, who inhabit the eastern part of the Soutpansberg, are thought to be descended from chiefs who travelled south from Central Africa towards the end of the 17th century. They are an intensely superstitious people who place great store on rites and rituals. For example, in the python dance, barebreasted teenage girls perform a slow, rhythmic dance to the throb of tribal drums. The drum is central to traditional Venda religious belief.
Scattered throughout the Northern Province are to be found the North Sotho people who live in small settlements with family homesteads clustered around their cattle kraal. The most famous member of this tribe was the legendary Rain Queen, Modjadji, who was believed by many to be immortal. Small numbers of the Tsonga people also inhabit the Northern Province. In rural areas they pursue a leisurely pace, spending time on arts and crafts. Unlike other tribal people, the Tsonga are also keen fishermen. Pietersburg is the commercial and cultural hub of the region, featuring impressive art exhibitions and elegant historical buildings.
It also possesses wide streets, jacaranda and coral trees, colourful parks and sparkling fountains. In the vicinity, the countryside is the setting for some of the most prosperous cattle ranches in South Africa. Mpumalanga (the former Eastern Transvaal) is steeped in the history of pioneers, hunters and fortune seekers and goldrush towns abound. Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest are among the most famous. The Middleveld region is inhabited by the Ndebele people who are renowned for their strikingly attractive dress, characterised by vivid colours, metal rings and beaded hoops. They are also notable for the exceptional quality of their beadwork and the strong geometric designs on the walls of their homes. The capital of the region is Nelspruit and revenues from the extensive fruit growing that has taken place in the region have played a vital role in its development.
The town shows the signs of the opulence generated by the natural wealth of the region produced by the fruit growers. KwaZulu-Natal is the main home of South Africa's Indian population. Languages, especially among the older generation, include Tamil, Telegu, Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. The strictly regulated patriarchal, extended family is not as evident today as at one time and Indian languages tend to be heard less often. Younger people tend to speak English as a first language and lead an increasingly westernised life. Members of the Indian community are found throughout the upper echelons of commerce, industry and the professions. Durban has good shopping centres where you can buy anything from photographic equipment to couturier clothes and rare antiques. Fleamarkets and craft trails attract leisurely browsers, while discount stores offer quality merchandise at bargain-basement prices. Within a stone's throw of the city centre, oriental bazaars, fragrant with spice and incense, offer silks, saris, unusual jewellery and ornaments. Theatres and concert halls present avant garde and ethnic programmes.
Although most of the South Sotho (Basotho) people live in the kingdom of Lesotho, a self-contained mountain kingdom in the middle of South Africa, many of them live in Qwaqwa and in other parts of the Free State. Marriage customs among traditional South Sotho people involve the exchange of lobola, whereby the bridegroom gives a specified number of cattle to the bride's parents. Marriage between relatives is allowed for the simple reason that this keeps wealth within the family. Old tribal traditions still continue in the mountains where the people are fairly isolated. Farmers till the fields with hand-held ox-drawn ploughs.
Bloemfontein originated at a spring which at various times was a source of water for Bushman hunters, Sotho farmers, Voortrekkers and enormous herds of game. For many years it remained a tranquil agricultural settlement, but it has recently developed into a prosperous commercial and industrial city - the capital of the Free State and the judicial capital of South Africa. With its stately old buildings dominated by skyscrapers, the city has many facets, ranging from sophisticated up-market shopping centres, restaurants and theatres to vestiges of the gracious Victorian ambience that once prevailed. Surprisingly, for a city that was formerly the capital of a Boer republic, Bloemfontein has many British features - legacies of the Anglo-Boer War when the town was occupied by British forces. In the north of the Free State is the attractive garden-city of Welkom, which lies at the centre of the Freestate goldfields. It has good shopping malls and restaurants, an airport and a thriving theatre.
Winburg, steeped in Voortrekker history, is the oldest town and first capital of the former Republic of the Orange Free State. The Voortrekker Monument symbolises five major trekker groups. In the early days of European settlement in South Africa, groups of Malays were brought to the Cape by the Dutch East India Company. Among the many talents the Malays brought with them were exceptional cooking skills and this has exerted considerable influence over the cuisine of the Western Cape.
Over the past 340 years, their lifestyle has become a unique blend of East and West - but much of the mystique remains, as Malay culture is firmly rooted in Islam. Although Malays are found throughout the Western Cape, the area on the lower slopes of Signal Hill, known as the Bo-Kaap, is the place most closely identified with Malay culture. With its majestic Table Mountain backdrop, Cape Town is one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Between high-rise office blocks, Edwardian and Victorian buildings have been meticulously preserved and many outstanding examples of Cape Dutch architecture are to be found. Narrow cobblestone streets and the strongly Islamic ambience of the Bo-Kaap enhance the cosmopolitan sense of the city.
Cape Town's shopping provision includes elegant malls, antique shops, craft markets and fleamarkets. Specialist boutiques offer an enticing array of unusual items that are not readily obtainable elsewhere. Gourmets and lovers of fine wines have a treat in store. The Xhosa are a diversity of Eastern Cape tribes of Nguni origin who moved south across the Kei river from KwaZulu-Natal before the 17th century. While the Xhosa are increasingly moving into towns and adopting the white man's lifestyle, those who remain on the land cling to their old tribal systems and timeless traditions. Each rural family lives in a group of huts known as a kraal with a cattle byre and a small garden. In every kraal a man lives with his wife and children, together with his married sons and their wives and children. Cattle, sheep and goats play an important role in their social life and its rituals. A man counts his wealth in cattle: his daughters are valuable assets, for their bride price is paid in cattle. Kimberley is in the Northern Cape and its diamond mines were largely responsible for financing the Witwatersrand goldfields. Today, Kimberley is a modern city with broad, tree-lined streets, attractive parks and gardens, comfortable hotels and busy shopping centres. Source:
1. Discuss the kinds of problem that would be encountered in segmentation research in South African markets.