Sun City is a luxury South African casino resort, 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 Kerzner as part of his Sun International group of properties. It was officially opened on 7 December 1979. At that time it was located in 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 to provide 'immoral' (in the eyes of the South African government) entertainment such as gambling and topless revue shows, 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 a popular holiday and weekend destination.
Many famous musicians such as Queen, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Julio Iglesias, The O'Jays, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Laura Branigan and Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) also performed at the 'Sun City Super Bowl', a large auditorium which seats 6,230.
Sun City became controversial 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. Simple Minds included a song on their double album called "Love Song - Sun City - Dance to the Music" in which they declare "I ain't gonna play Sun City."
The resort has four hotels: Sun City Hotel, Cascades Hotel, The Cabanas and 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 golf courses: 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 20 real crocodiles in the water feature of the 13th hole.
In addition to this Sun City is also home to the magical Lost City water-park, The Valley of Waves.