Monday, December 29, 2008
Amongst the emails I found a batch from some crank, with a batch of pictures mainly from the lower Fox Street end of Johannesburg, near the old Anglo-American head office. With these pictures he was trying to persuade me that the city was actually wonderful and I was just a liar etc. etc.
Well, as anyone who is familiar with Johannesburg knows, of course the part of the city around the AAC offices and lower Fox Street is almost (but not quite) the same as it always was.
In fact, one could actually say that the whole city used to look a bit like that. The fact that private enterprise has managed to more or less keep that one section like it was, merely emphasises the mess of the rest of the city!
Anyway, the one valuable thing that my crank friend did send me, was a picture of a ‘rescued’ building in Marshall Street. This, he said, was proof that the city was being rejuvenated.
My original picture looked like this: (taken in 2006)
According to my IDASA friend, the same corner now looks like this: a cheap restaurant, which nonetheless has a coat of paint:
Now, I thought, let’s give credit where credit is due. That is an improvement, even if that is a ‘restaurant’ in which I would not want to eat.
But then to my astonishment, the very next picture my IDASA friend sent me was this one, which is the building right next to the ‘refurbished’ eatery. You can see the end of the ‘restaurant’:
Oh dear, it seems as if the slum was not quite eradicated after all! Tough luck, IDASA sock-puppet, try again next time! Still, thanks for the effort.
These pictures above, by the way, should be clickable through to larger size and better definition. I will soon be starting to replace the pictures on the rest of the site in the same way, so that those of you who want better definition pictures will be able to get them without having to email me.
I would like to do an update on the images (that is, if the electricity stays on in Jo’burg long enough to recharge my camera batteries) the next time I visit. Anyone who wants, in the meantime, to take any pictures and send them to me at the above email address, please do so and I will post them.
I have just added a whole batch of new images to this blog. There are far too many to fit on one page, as I have done till now, so I have split them up into their own pages.
Please visit them — you won’t be disappointed — and each page as a link back to this “Death of Johannesburg” Main Page so you can navigate back here and and have a look at the next set.
The new galleries are:
Three Castles Building, Marshall Street
A Drive Down Anderson Street
The Cartlon Hotel
The View from the Gauteng Legislature
A Drive Down Jeppe Street
The Johannesburg Bus Depot
The Jewish Museum, The Great Synagogue and OK Bazaars
Joubert Park – Then and Now
A Drive Down Marshall Street
Oppenheimer Park: The Vanishing Springbuck
A Drive Down Troye Street
Death of Johannesburg – Eloff Street and Others
Von Wielligh Street and Others
This is What Remains of the Wits Drill Hall….
When the Queen of England visited South Africa in 1947, the official reception for her was held at the Wits Drill Hall, 95 Anderson Street For decades, the Wits Drill Hall was a famous venue and even a tourist attraction in central Johannesburg.
Councillor Carol Milner, Ward 66, City of Joburg [Johannesburg] has sent me the following pictures and commentary: “95 Anderson Str, Joburg CBD has been like this for a at least a year. We have told the Council and told us that they will be using it for Emergency Services but it’s still standing (or barely).”
Welcome to Bree Street in Johannesburg — where gold used to lie in the street.
Now, it’s just rubbish.
Bree Street is one of the main thoroughfares running through the city centre of Johannesburg, from east to west. It runs right through the CBD, and used to be one of the major economic centres, as well as being a residential area.
Today, as you can see, it is a slum, another shattered, filthy, ruined monument to the “New South Africa.” Pictures courtesy of MZ, who made this hell-run down Bree Street. Thanks MZ – send more (and that goes for any reader anywhere else as well).
I found this remarkable essay online and wanted to share it with my international audience.