Jo'burg‏ aims to be 'Africa's New York'

12th Jun 2013

A 99.8 billion rand (£6.4 billion) plan to transform Johannesburg into the "New York of Africa" has been announced.

The continent's wealthiest metropolis is already increasingly popular among holidaymakers on city breaks.

Its international traveller numbers have soared by 53.6% between 2009 and 2013, powering it into the MasterCard Index's top 20 global league table of fastest-growing cities.

A predicted 2.54 million international visitors this year should make Jo'burg Africa's most popular tourist destination, according to the third edition of the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities.

It already boasts a plethora of museums, galleries and great shopping, and the world-famous Sun City resort is just two hours' drive away.

Johannesburg is already one of the world's greenest cities with an estimated six-million trees.

For many visiting South Africa overall, Jo'burg is a leading city for connecting flights to other tourist attractions, such as Kruger National Park, Durban and Cape Town.

Now city mayor Parks Tau and fellow civic leaders plan to make the destination even more enticing to visitors on family holidays and group tours alike.

New York City is the role model for Jo-burg's 10-year facelift.

Extensive new road, railway and cycle networks are planned, enabling people in outlying areas to make connections by buses, taxis, trains and bikes.

Housing will be improved and buildings revamped to revitalise the city, originally built on a gold rush in the 19th century.

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