Sun City

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Sun City was developed by the hotel magnate Sol Kerzner as part of what would become his Sun International group of properties. It was officially opened on 7 December 1979; at the time it was located in the Homeland (formerly called a 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, (e.g. the famous "Sun City Extravaganzas").

As a theatrical venue

The complex gradually developed a number of entertainement and performance venues, including the Sun City Super Bowl(a large auditorium which seats 6,230), the Galaxy Revue Bar (an intimate venue opened in 1981),

Notably it has become the place where huge international theatre events are offered. 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 performers such as Dame Kiri Janette Te Kanawa, Elaine Page, Frank Sinatra, Queen, Elton John, Sarah Brightman, Julio Iglesias, The O'Jays, Ray Charles, Boney M., Black Sabbath, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Laura Branigan and Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) also performed at the Sun City Super Bowl.

Theatrical shows put on include ***

Its symbolic role

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 continued to flourish when Bophutatswana was re-incorporated in the new South Africa as part of the Northwestern province in 1994.

The resort now has four hotels, two international-standard 18-hole golf courses,and a variety of entertainment venues where it has continued to host various concerts, musical theatre, cultural and other entertainment events.


For more information

Go the the Sun City website at

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