Johannesburg was founded as a mining settlement in 1886, when gold was found on the Witwatersrand; by 1900 the city had a population of c.100,000. In accordance with apartheid law, racial groups were once restricted to separate residential areas; most blacks still live in Soweto. Formerly a group of townships southwest of the city, Soweto became an independent city in 1983; it is also now in the City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality.
The Univ. of Johannesburg and the Univ. of the Witwatersrand as well as other institutions of higher education are in Johannesburg, and the city is the seat of South Africa's Constitutional Court and the African Union's Pan-African Parliament. The city is also home to several museums, an art gallery, a planetarium, a zoo, a bird sanctuary, and numerous parks. Jan Smuts House is in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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