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Gauties Keep Pace with Aussies, Brits, Dutchmen, Rhinelanders, Yanks

News in from the tourism bodies of the various provinces is that local South Africans have accounted for almost as much new travel business as international visitors this summer, if not actually more.

South Africans didn’t need to be told this. It’s been clear from the start that this has been a bumper year for the Gauties.

Gauties – pronounced HOW-teez, with the “H” like the “ch” in the Scottish “loch” – are people from Gauteng (HOW-teng) Province, and essentially deserve to comprise their own nationality. It’s not difficult to identify a Gautie: the men’s hair is shorter and their eyes are closer together; the women’s heels are higher, and their voices are capable of reaching distant galaxies. Another telltale sign: they drive powerful cars with “GP” in the licence plates.

Gauteng is the smallest province in geographical terms, but with cities like Johannesburg, Tshwane (Pretoria) and Vereeniging – and don’t forget Hekpoort – it’s also easily the richest province, in terms of per capita BMWs. Gauties undertake a yearly mass exodus to the coast during SA’s holiday season, spreading the wealth they’ve acquired amongst lesser peoples. To give you an idea of how dearly these traditions (acquiring & spreading wealth, dashing for the coast) are cherished in the province, this year a Gautie drove the 1405km, 16-hour trip from Jo’burg to Cape Town in her brand-new imported Hummer – during the petrol crisis which saw filling stations run dry. And she made it! Isn’t that heartwarming?

If you’ve been searching for a good SA getaway, only to find everything’s booked, blame the Gauties, and point your travel search engines to Johannesburg. Hit ’em where they ain’t!