The Third WINIR Symposium was held in Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa (click map to enlarge). Also known as Egoli (which means “place of gold” in Zulu), Johannesburgstarted was a mining town in 19th century when the discovery of gold on a farm triggered a gold rush. Johannesburg’s prosperity has since been linked to gold mining and the city remains the center of mining activities in South Africa. Johannesburg is South Africa’s financial center, home of the “richest square mile in Africa” where the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is located.

Johannesburg (or Joburg) is an international city and a popular tourist destination (more information here). Places of interest include the Apartheid Museum, Gold Reef City, Soweto and the Mandela House Museum, and the De Wildt Cheetah Park.

The city has several unique attributes. There are 11 official languages in South Africa, all of which are spoken in Johannesburg, although the most widely spoken are English, Afrikaans and Zulu. It is the only city in the world that is not built on a coastline, lake or river. Sometimes referred to as an urban man-made forest as it is home to around 10 million trees, both in private gardens and in public spaces. Johannesburg is the only place in the world in which two Nobel Peace Prize laureates have lived on the same street: Vilikazi Street in Soweto has housed both Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela. The Cradle of Human Kind, a world heritage site situated on the outskirts of Johannesburg, is where 40% of the world’s human ancestor remains have been discovered (more information here).

The Symposium was held on the grounds of the event's generous sponsor, PPS, roughly 10 minutes by car from the University of the Witwatersrand and close to the central Rosebank area of the city, roughly 3km from the recommended accommodation.