The suburbs of Johannesburg are officially demarcated areas within the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality , South Africa. As in other Commonwealth countries, the term suburb refers to a "neighbourhood", although the term has a somewhat stronger meaning[dubious ] in South Africa as most (but not all) "suburbs" have legally recognised borders (see legal definition of township) and often (but not always) separate postal codes. The municipal functions for the area, such as municipal policing and social services, are still managed by the city government.
Johannesburg, like many other boom towns, grew rapidly and with little planning, and thus the city covers an extremely large area. The main differences between the city's suburbs tend to be socioeconomic: The north is often associated with wealth due to areas such as Houghton, which boasts large properties and contained the residence of former president Nelson Mandela, and Sandton which has become an alternative business district and is referred to as 'Africa's richest square mile'. The South of Johannesburg is associated with poverty as many former townships fall within this area (orange Farm and Soweto). However, this north/south prejudice is too general as Johannesburg is becoming increasingly less economically segregated. Alexandra township, a low economic area, borders Sandton and the South boasts affluent areas such as the newly developed "Meyersdale Eco Estate" and "Eye Of Africa Golf Estate". Many people see themselves as being a resident of their suburb first and foremost to being a resident of Johannesburg secondarily.