Sandown is where business gets done in modern South Africa. The home of the African Stock Exchange and many of the continent’s largest financial institutions, this small suburb of high-rise blocks is one of the most affluent in the country. Essentially, it’s the premier business suburb of Sandton, which in turn is a suburb of Johannesburg.
Sandown stretches north from Nelson Mandela Square and the Sandton Train Station. Fine dining restaurants and smart cafes line the square, and their terraces look out towards a six-metre bronze statue of Nelson Mandela. Buildings on the surrounding streets are glass fronted and rise high above the streets, creating a skyline image that can be seen from all across Johannesburg. Everything looks and feels new, including the local population. Sandown is a very mixed community, where all of South Africa’s 11 official languages might be heard in a single day. A residential area can be found in the north of the suburb, close to the M1 highway.
Gauteng’s modern Gautrain is one of the best public transport systems in Africa. The high-speed railway was installed for the 2010 World Cup and provides expedited travel between Pretoria and O.R. Tambo International Airport, stopping in central Johannesburg and Sandton Station along the way. Alight at the station and much of the business area is within walking distance.
Sandown is one of the two suburbs that were combined to form Sandton in the late 1960s. At that time, Sandton was an independent town and became part of Johannesburg in the 1990s.