- Sun City, North West
Sun City is a luxury
South African casinoresort, 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 Kerzneras part of his Sun Internationalgroup of properties. It was officially opened on 7 December 1979; at the time it was located in the bantustanof Bophuthatswana.
As Bophuthatswana had been declared an independent state by South Africa's
apartheidgovernment (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 gamblingand topless revue shows, which were banned in South Africa. These factors, as well as its relatively close location to the large metropolitan areas of Pretoriaand 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., Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Brightman, Laura Braniganand Thomas Anders(of Modern Talkingfame) also performed at the 'Sun City Super Bowl', a large auditorium which seats 6,230.
Sun City became the subject of considerable controversy in
1985when E Street Bandguitarist Steven Van Zandtmade 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
The resort has four hotels:
Sun City Hotel;
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
golfcourses, 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.
Jeanne van Eeden, “Theming Mythical Africa at The Lost City,” pp. 113-135 in The Themed Space: Locating Culture, Nation, and Self, ed. Scott A. Lukas (Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, 2007), ISBN 0739121421
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