When I was 8 I moved from Mondeor in the South, to Kelvin in the North. I grew up in Sandton. Sandon City shopping Centre was very much part of my growing up experience. The area is now a CBD as major corporations have relocated from the centre of Johannesburg CBD. The rush hour traffic is a nightmare running in all directions from the Sandton CBD as the roads were not planned to handle the amount of traffic in the area. If you're staying in one of the hotels this won't be a problem for you.
It's as first world Africa as you can get, you can shop for an array of international products to your hearts content, but be warned while the labels you buy may be real, the general atmosphere is pretty fake. If you're into that then this is your home.
If however, you are rich and not fake, or not rich and not fake, Sandton City is not for you, too many people too many wannabees, to much in your face fake. People who live in Sandton spend all their time following international fashion trends rather than setting them, so don't expect to find anything new here when it comes to fashion.
A few years back I would have recommended a vist to YDE (Young Designers Emporium) a local designers shop, but the quality of the fabric and the stitching has led me to give up on them, if you want local fashion this is the place but check the garment carefully, since you won't be able to return it when you get home.
I'm assuming travellers to this area will be en route to somewhere, in which case I will admit, it's about the best area you can be if you want to feel spoilt and safe and protected, Perhaps your currency may work in favour on the purchase of some products, but I doubt it. This centre is the first place to have the latest in SA, and usually a good few months behind the 1st world countries.
I guess what I mean is - If you're from a third world country you'll love the shopping experience, if you're from a 1st world country, it'll all be pretty glitzy soulless and boring.
If you feel a little uncomfortable here there are plenty of day trips you can take to get away. Please look under Johannesburg transport tips and find the numbers for Jay and Oupa, or send me a private email I'll help you out with free advice on stuff to do.
"Nelson Mandela on the Square at Sandton City"
This hideous 6 metre statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled at the renamed Nelson Mandela Square on 31 March 2004.
It's positively repugnant in that it makes Nelson Mandela(tm) look like Goofy(tm)
This is a prime example of commercial, crass, tourist capitalism and I suggest you merely take pix of it to laugh at back home, rather than frame yourself into the shot and see your friends laugh at you.
For interests sake, the statue was designed by a white guy using a black helper, it was funded by donors who have refused to disclose themselves.
Nelson Mandela did not attend the unveiling of the statue.
Mandela is a global hero, this statue cheapens his namesake for the interests of commercialism. If he wasn't just a man I'd say it verges on blasphemy - in a cute mickey mouse(tm) kind of way.