HistoryThe municipality was established in 2000, superseding the Eastern Gauteng Services Council, the Khayalami Metropolitan Council, and the previous administrations of Alberton, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale/Lethabong, Germiston, Kempton Park/Tembisa, Nigel and Springs. The planned abolition of the , which includes , and its absorption into Ekurhuleni after the 2016 municipal elections, were blocked by the High Court of South Africa in 2015. The name ''Ekurhuleni'' meaning ''place of peace'' alludes to the fact that the East Rand townships were the site of severe political violence between supporters of the and the ANC in the early 1990s, prior to South Africa's first multiracial elections in 1994.
GeographyEkurhuleni lies on the plateau that is the highveld at about 1600 metres in altitude. The highest elevation is at the Gillooly's Ridge – Bill Stewart Side – Fisher's Hill at 1772m asl. The lowest point is at 1552m asl. The city is rich in wetlands, pans, streams and rivers. The city is highly urbanised; however, the north especially has high-potential agricultural land.
ClimateEkurhuleni has a subtropical highland climate ( Cwb) according to the Köppen-Geiger Climate classification. This classifies a warm temperate climate of warm summers and dry winters. In the winter months (May - October) the city has a diurnal temperature pattern with a high amplitude, as temperatures can range from freezing at night to mid 20s °C in the day. The main precipitation falls between October and March with a monthly average precipitation of up to 148mm which falls usually in convective thundershowers. The daily maximum temperatures in October–March are on average 27 °C. The Winter is mostly dry with only a few s reaching the highveld from the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Main placesThe South African National Census of 2011, 2011 census divided the municipality into ''inter alia'' the following Populated place, main places:
Parks and natureEkurhuleni has over 206 wetlands and lakes. Germiston Lake is a natural pan in the Elsburgspruit system and has a catchment area of 1174ha. It is fed mostly by surface runoff water and stormwater drains. The lake is one of the cleanest bodies of water in South Africa. It has a size of 57.4 ha and a maximum capacity of 2839×. Its depth is approximately 8 metres. On the banks of the lake are a recreational park with playground equipment and Braai areas as well as a rowing club and golf club. A wetland of note is the Blesbokriver wetland which stretches over an area of 1858ha. Flamingoes can be found in the Marievale Bird sanctuary. The Bullfrog Pan is almost 10 hectares and is home to more than 150 bird species.
LandmarksIn 2017 the Chris Hani memorial at Thomas Nkobi Memorial Park in Boksburg was revealed during the 22nd commemoration of his death. The Chris Hani memorial site consists of the Monument, the Walk of Remembrance and the Wall of Remembrance which recognizes the historical events, places and people associated with the liberation struggle of South Africa. The Thokoza Wall of Remembrance commemorates the people who died in the fight between the and the residents.
Arts and cultureEkurhuleni has a rich cultural life. In 2017 the Thami Mnyele Fine arts award had its 30th anniversary. The local music scene is well and alive and Ekurhuleni gave rise to a few notable music stars. O.R. Tambo Narrative Centre tells visitors all about the lives and contributions of the Oliver Tambo, Tambo couple towards the dismantling of Apartheid in South Africa. It is situated on the banks of the Leeupan Wetland. It also has an exhibition of environmental education aimed at children. Since 2016 Ekurhuleni has hosted the Ekurhuleni International Film Festival.
DemographicsIn 2016 3,379,104 people lived in Ekurhuleni, of whom 22.7% were under 15 years old, 71.2% were between the ages of 15-64 and 6.1% were older than 65 years old. Ekurhuleni had 1,299,490 households with an average people per household number of 2.6. 80.2% of people lived in formal dwellings and 52.9% owned housing. The following statistics are from the 2014 census.
EducationEkurhuleni has two school districts: Ekurhuleni North and Ekurhuleni South. There are 671 schools in Ekurhuleni, of which 137 are independent. Ekurhuleni has two colleges of further education and training (FET) as well as two centres of adult education and training (AET). The municipal government under Executive Mayor Mzwandile Masina conducted a feasibility study and lobbied the national government to establish a university in Ekurhuleni which was formally announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the 2020 State of the National Address.
PoliticsThe city has scored best in governance out of all metros in South Africa. The municipal council consists of 224 members elected by mixed-member proportional representation. 112 are elected by first-past-the-post voting in 112 ward (South Africa), wards, while the remaining 112 are chosen from party lists so that the total number of party representatives is proportional to the number of votes received. In the South African municipal election, 2016, election of 3 August 2016 the African National Congress (ANC) lost its majority on the council for the first time. The ANC subsequently formed a coalition with the African Independent Congress, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, Pan Africanist Congress, the Patriotic Alliance (South Africa), Patriotic Alliance and the Independent Ratepayers Association of South-Africa. The following table shows the results of the 2016 election.
Economythe Gross domestic product, GDP of Ekurhuleni was estimated at over US$55 billion (Purchasing power parity, PPP), being US$17,361 per person. Ekurhuleni has an active workforce of 1.6 million people of whom 28.8% are unemployed. Ekurhuleni makes up 6.2% of national production. Ekurhuleni has in Rand Refinery the largest integrated single-site precious metals refining and smelting complex in the world.
ManufacturingThe city is an important manufacturing centre in South Africa, contributing 32% of manufacturing production. The city has been described as "the workshop of the country". It contributes 11% to the GVA of South Africa. Ekurhuleni has held the "Manufacturing Indaba" Conference every year since 2014. This two-day conference provides contacts and networking between business owners, industry owners, capital providers, experts and the government.
Road networkEkurhuleni is connected to the main motorways in South Africa via the M2 (Johannesburg), M2, N3 (South Africa), N3, N17 (South Africa), N17, R21 (South Africa), R21, R24 (South Africa), R24 and R59 (South Africa), R59 highways. As Ekurhuleni is part of the Johannesburg Conurbation, Transport routes in Ekurhuleni share the same Metropolitan Routes in Johannesburg, metropolitan route numbering system as Johannesburg. The road network in Ekurhuleni spans 8,024 km of paved roads and approximately 1,200 km of gravel road.
Public transportEkurhuleni is one of 13 cities and towns in South Africa to implement the bus rapid transit (BRT) system. Phase 1 of the project runs from Tembisa to Vosloorus via Kempton Park and the . New routes have been integrated from Katlehong to Rhodesfield, from Vosloorus to Rhodesfield, and from Reiger Park to Rhodesfield. Passengers are served by Metrorail (South Africa), Metrorail which sustains the passenger rail network in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Seven train lines serve Ekurhuleni.
RailEkurhuleni has the largest rail hub in South Africa used by Transnet.
AviationSeveral airline companies are headquartered in the Kempton Park area of Ekurhuleni. Ekurhuleni is Gauteng's first aerotropolis. This is a metropolis with an airport at its centre. One should be able to get to the airport from anywhere in Ekurhuleni in 25 min. The major aim will be logistics and connecting the local industry and agriculture to the world markets. O.R. Tambo International Airport has two terminals handling domestic and international flights. Terminal A handles international traffic and Terminal B domestic flights. The airport services airlines from all five continents and plays a vital role in serving the local, regional, intra- and inter-continental air transport needs of South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. It is the biggest and busiest airport in Africa. OR Tambo International handles more than 20 million passengers per year and employs more than 18,000 people. South African Airways, the flagship air carrier of South Africa, and its subsidiary South African Express have their head offices in Ekurhuleni. Mango (airline), Mango, a low cost airline owned by SAA, is headquartered on the grounds of OR Tambo International Airport. The headquarters of Comair (South Africa), Comair and Kulula.com are at an intersection within Ekurhuleni in close proximity to OR Tambo International Airport. Federal Air also has its headquarters on the OR Tambo International Airport grounds. 1Time has its head office in the Isando Industrial Park. Safair's head office is in Kempton Park. Airports Company South Africa has its head office in Bedfordview, Ekurhuleni. TAAG Angola Airlines has an office in Bedfordview.
Stormwater systemsThere are 11,318 stormwater systems and a total lengths of pipes and channels of more than 3800 km.
Sports and recreationEkurhuleni has at least 16 golf courses and is home to the international Golf Tournament the South African Open held at Glendower Golf Club. There is an over 100 year old rowing club at the bank of Germiston Lake, and over 30 swimming pools can be found in the city. Ekurhuleni United FC play in the fourth division of South African Football. Ekurhuleni has the Ekurhuleni masters league, a soccer league of retired pros and talented players who did not make the cut. 38 eco "outdoor gyms" can be found in Ekurhuleni.
Notable people from Ekurhuleni*Nthati Moshesh *Kelly Khumalo *Emmanuel Ngobese, Emmanuel Asanda 'Scara' Ngobese *Www.facebook.com/sabelonhlanhla, Sabelo Nhlanhla Kubheka (Holy-Ghost SabturaH) *Lebo Mathosa *Rebecca Malope *Bonginkosi Moloi Jr. *Willem Coertzen *Ernie Els *Chris Hani *Sibusiso Khumalo (footballer, born 1991), Sibusiso Khumalo *Kwesta *Sbusiso Leope *Senzo Meyiwa *Sindy Mabe *Pearl Modiadie *Khethi Ngwenya *Charlize Theron *Oliver Tambo *Vusi Thembekwayo *Skhumba Hlophe *Japie Mulder *Chris Rossouw (rugby union born 1969) *Lood de Jager *Jakkals Keevy *Jaco Taute *Mabaye Calvin (Award Winner 2019/20), Mabaye Calvin