Sandton at a glance
Despite Johannesburg’s city centre doing its utmost to change perceptions about its capacity to function as the heart of the city, Sandton continues to reign as the most important financial and business district in South Africa, and arguably sub-Saharan Africa. It has been such since 1990 when the mass exodus to the northern suburb first began, and Sandton became known not only as a materialistic centre, but as a refuge of the ‘white flight’ from Johannesburg’s CBD.
It is hard to believe that this sophisticated district, home to the top investment banks, financial consultants, the Johannesburg stock exchange, and one of the biggest convention centres on the continent, was but mere sandy horse trails where the ‘mink and manure set’ lived on wealthy, large estates 50 years ago - small wonder it is known as one of the most opulent areas in Johannesburg.
Sandton started life at the beginning of the century as the suburb of gentlemen – properties were no smaller than one morgen (just less than one hectare). Life has fundamentally not changed, although the landscape has radically altered. Gone are the farms and the sedate way of existence for the white upper class, to be replaced by glass and chrome buildings, and South Africa’s emerging black middle-class: the ‘empowerment kugels’, according to author Sarah Britten, do lunch not in Soweto but in Sandton.
Known as ‘Africa’s richest square mile’, Sandton has headed upward with a barrage of Manhattan-style skyscrapers that function as landmarks throughout Johannesburg, particularly Sandton City’s pyramid-style rooftop. Visit Nelson Mandela Square, various art galleries, or go on a personal walking tour that takes in 29 Sandton landmarks and stops off at various restaurants.
In 1969, Bryanston was established as a suburb of Sandton, but after municipal boundaries were revised following the end of Apartheid, it was merged with Johannesburg to form part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. Bryanston is home to a number of spectacular entertainment facilities, shopping malls as well as a few world class restaurants.
The Bryanston Shopping Centre caters for the affluent community of Bryanston and its surrounding areas. The centre boasts 55 stores catering from beauty, fashion, food, services and more. The tenant mix at Bryanston appeals to the wealthy residents in the area. There is a diversity of superb coffee shops and top restaurants from which you can choose from.
Set in the heart of Sandton's residential belt is the Bryanston Country Club. This country club is an established sporting and social facility, founded in 1948. Enclosed in a secure haven of majestic old trees, lush green lawns, peace and tranquility, the club today boasts in excess of 2 000 members who show a common appreciation for the club and its environment.
As one of South Africa's finest golf clubs, the Bryanston Golf Course is graced with undulating grounds and a wide variety of vibrant South African birdlife.