A new era began for South Africa when, in 1886, an out-of-work miner struck gold at the Witwatersrand in South Africa. The consequences of the discovery of the world’s largest natural treasure were dramatic. From all over the world speculators and adventurers flocked to the area. Scattered »gold fever« shanty towns mushroomed, which soon developed into modern concrete cities, though. The wealth created by the gold made South Africa grow into an industrial and financial power. Today, the economy of the country is the most important of the entire African continent. But there are many pitfalls. It is imperative to recognise them in order to confront the challenges of the future.