City, North West Province, South Africa
Sun City is a luxury South African
casino resort, situated in the North West Province. It is located about
two hours' drive from Johannesburg, close to the city of Rustenburg. The
complex borders the Pilanesberg National Park.
Sun City was developed by
the hotel magnate Sol Kerzner as part of his Sun International group of
properties. It was officially opened on 7 December 1979; at the time it
was located in the bantustan of Bophuthatswana.
Bophuthatswana had been declared an independent state by South Africa's
apartheid government (although unrecognized as such by any other country),
it was allowed to provide 'immoral' entertainment (in the eyes of the South
African government) such as gambling and topless revue shows, which were
banned in South Africa. These factors, as well as its relatively close
location to the large metropolitan areas of Pretoria and Johannesburg,
ensured that Sun City soon became (and stayed) a popular holiday and weekend
destination. Many famous musicians such as Queen and Elton John also performed
at the 'Sun City Super Bowl', a large auditorium which seats 6,200.
Sun City became the subject
of considerable controversy in 1985 when E Street Band guitarist Steven
Van Zandt made it the focus of his music-industry activist group, Artists
United Against Apartheid. Forty-nine top recording artists - including
Ringo Starr, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Run DMC, Grandmaster Melle
Mel, Duke Bootee, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Big Youth, David Ruffin,
Pat Benatar, Eddie Kendrick, George Clinton, Joey Ramone, Jimmy Cliff,
Daryl Hall, Darlene Love, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Ruben Blades,
John Oates, Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, Jackson Browne, Peter Garrett, Nona
Hendryx, and Kashif - collaborated on a song called "Sun City", in which
they pledged they would never perform at the resort.
Sun City has continued to
flourish since Bophutatswana was re-incorporated in the new South Africa
The resort has four hotels:
Sun City also has two international-standard
18-hole golf courses, the Gary Player Country Club and the Lost City Golf
Course, both designed by Gary Player. The Gary Player Country Club is home
to the prestigious Nedbank Golf Challenge (formerly the Nedbank Million
Dollar Golf Challenge), while the Lost City Golf Course is noted for the
38 real crocodiles in the water feature of the 13th holes.