Johannesburg is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kern County, California, in a mining district of the Rand Mountains. Johannesburg is located 1 mile (1.6 km) east-northeast of Randsburg, at an elevation of 3,517 feet (1,072 m). The terminus of the Randsburg Railway was here from 1897 to 1933. The population was 172 at the 2010 census, down from 176 at the 2000 census. Johannesburg is divided from the neighboring community of Randsburg by a ridge. The town is frequently referred to as "Jo-burg" by locals and frequent visitors to the northwest Mojave.
Johannesburg was founded to support mining operations at Randsburg. In addition to providing rail access, the region's first wells were operated by companies located in Johannesburg. During the first half of the 20th Century, the Rand Mining District was the principal gold producing region of California. Activity centered on the Yellow Aster Mine, discovered in 1894.