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The Bridge of Time facing the Entertainment Centre

Sun City is a luxury South African casino resort, situated in the North West Province of South Africa. It is located about two hours' drive from Johannesburg, near 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.

As Bophuthatswana had been declared an independent state by South Africa's apartheid government (although unrecognized as such by any other country), it was allowed under the South African law at the time to provide entertainment 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, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Julio Iglesias, The O'Jays, Ray Charles, Boney M., Black Sabbath, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Brightman, Laura Branigan and Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) also performed at the 'Sun City Super Bowl', a large auditorium which seats 6,230. Sun City also became the site of several important Heavyweight boxing matches during the late 1970s and early 1980s. One such boxer was Gerrie Coetzee, who later (1981)became heavyweight world champion.

Speaking in the 1980s to Jani Allan of the Sunday Times, Kerzner described his strategy; "You take a chance...Calculate the odds, research the international market properly, establish the Southern Africans' taste, style, appetite and enjoyment, aim at giving them a good time at the best quality they can afford - then go for it."[1]

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 collaborated on a song called "Sun City", in which they pledged they would never perform at the resort. Additionally, Simple Minds, on their double-live set album "Live in the City of Light" released in 1987, included a song called "Love Song - Sun City - Dance to the Music" in which they declare "I ain't gonna play Sun City."


Sun City has continued to flourish since Bophutatswana was re-incorporated in the new South Africa in 1994.

The resort has four hotels:

  • Sun City Hotel;
  • Cascades Hotel;
  • The Cabanas;
  • The Palace of the Lost City.

In addition to the four hotels, the complex includes time-share facilities called "The Sun City Vacation Club" which is a popular self catering facility.

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 hole.

The resort was also the site of the Sun City Agreement.

External links

Preceded by
Millennium Dome
Miss World Venues
1992 - 1995
Succeeded by
Cricket Stadium
Alexandra Palace

Coordinates: 25°20′25″S 27°5′27″E / 25.34028°S 27.09083°E / -25.34028; 27.09083


  1. ^ Allan, Jani (1980s). Face Value. Longstreet.  

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