At the end of 2009, South Africa had about seventy shopping malls in all major urban and tourist centres. Most were to be found in Johannesburg, 23 of them. Some of the biggest shopping malls are also in Johannesburg, like Eastgate and the newly enlarged Cresta. Another mega shopping mall is the Gateway in Umhlanga, just outside Durban, which offers 150,000 square metres of shopping. Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront shopping mall has over 400 stores to cater for all shopping needs, budgets and tastes. Other exclusive centres are Johannesburg's Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square and Hyde Park.
Beauty-wise, many say that Victoria and Albert Shopping Centre in Cape Town has no rival. Its situation is simply superb: it is close to the ocean, at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront that has so many activities, shops, restaurants and spectacular views. For others, the beauty contest is between the Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg and the Gateway Shopping Centre in Umhlanga, near Durban. Rosbank Mall is famous for its upmarket shops and traditional Sunday Roof Market, with a renown African crafts section that offers wire sculptures, beadwork, pottery, carvings and so on. As for Gateway, its indoors fountain is almost as much admired by visitors as are its opulent shops and entertainment areas.
Shopping malls in South Africa are never just about shopping. They incorporate cinemas, theatres, skate parks and much more. In short, that is where people go not only to shop, but also to meet friends, to see - and to be seen. There are so many things one can see and do at the larger shopping malls in Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth that shoppers will find they can easily spend hours and hours milling around without getting bored.