A Blog illustrating the collapse and physical destruction of Johannesburg in the "New South Africa" -- the things that tourists are NOT told about.
I have spent hours on this site. I am a South African living in the USA and I am amazed at what I both read and the pics I see. I chose to leave South Africa 13 years ago. I have only been back twice, the last time being 6 years ago. I now have a 9 year old son and it breaks my heart how unlikely it is I will ever have the opportunity to show him where and how I spent my childhood. Rightly or wrongly so, I had a wonderful childhood in a beautiful place that will always be home to me. It makes me sick to my belly to read the hate and venom and downright disgustingness of attitudes if they differ from any one individuals point of view. Call me naieve, but aren't these pictures proof enough of the destructiveness that takes over when a lack of love, respect and dignity take over? This is a side of the country that needs to be seen. While outside of the scope of this blog, it would however be interesting to see pictures of some of the development and growth.
One possible solution, if the personal negative attacks etc become a problem would be to do what other such sites do - have a number of trusted moderators.Hopefully this won't be the situation, but sometimes unmoderated forums just get out of hand.Of course having dialogues among many different points of view is what keeps the site exciting.
"It makes me sick to my belly to read the hate and venom and downright disgustingness of attitudes if they differ from any one individuals point of view."There has been this from both sides. Thoughtful responses are more interesting.
Hi Real Realist,Once again, great job on your site and your efforts. I see the comments record the time of posting. Is there anyway to include the date of posting? I check up on your sites daily and it would be a nice to have. Thanks :-)
I agree you need moderation because there a re quite a few idiots that are blinded by patriotism and cannot see that there is a real problem and just abuse anyone that points it out..A bit like the Yanks.. when you complain about the war they jump down your throat saying that you are Anti American... no redneck dumbass we are anti war not Anti American..Bit like the crime and stuff in SA.. no redneck dumbass’s we are Anti Crime not Anti South African… we love South Africa
Sad to see our country rapidly crumble away, while the fat-cat politicians live it up in the wealthy suburbs.
Ive been in Australia for 3 years, and still miss the vibe of SA (ex- Yeoville girl).All I can say Its a GREAT pity that this website is really doing damage to tourism and the worldcup chances, which was a very good factor for job creation in SA. Come on readers be realistic, if a man doesnt have 2 cents to buy food how can you afford to maintain a flat/house?
Anonymous said... Ive been in Australia for 3 years, and still miss the vibe of SA (ex- Yeoville girl).All I can say Its a GREAT pity that this website is really doing damage to tourism and the worldcup chances, which was a very good factor for job creation in SA. Come on readers be realistic, if a man doesnt have 2 cents to buy food how can you afford to maintain a flat/house? So you left 3 years ago? Pray to share with us WHY you left this wonderful Rainbow Nation?
Thank you for an excellent site! I left for the USA 3 years ago, and returned recently for a 3 week visit. My reaction was extreme dissapointment at the degradation in Johannesburg in general. Finally my rose-tinted glasses have come off! It's a city characterised by grime, neglect and extreme fear. It's a great shame as an African show-case. I never believed the day would come when I would say to myself that I'm pleased I left, my kids have a future in the USA. I sincerely hope, but feel very skeptical that something will be done about it, not only because of the 2010 World Cup, but more importantly for what follows.
Firstly, thanks for the pictures. I was home about six months ago and it is definitely a true reflection of downtown Jo'burg. However, what surprised me most was your refusal to show pictures or even talk about all the great strides that the government have made to improve Joburg and the surrounding areas. To mention a few projects, the Nelson Mandela Bridge linking Braamfontein and the north of Johannesburg to Newtown in the heart of the city’s central business district. The development of the Mary Fitzgerald Square, situated in the heart of the Newtown Cultural Precinct, and the Metro Mall, a multi-modal transport and retail centre catering for 150 000 daily commuters. Furthermore, a R200-million initiative to develop a 95 000 square meter Constitution Hill in Braamfontein, which will include a new Constitutional Court; accommodation for the Constitutional Commissions and related commercial, retail, transport and hospitality facilities; a visitor's information and exhibition centre; and new museums, community facilities and recreation space. Go ahead and make your argument but do us all a favor and look at both sides. I would be an idiot to admit that South Africa doesn't have any problems and I fully acknowledge that that it may be years if not decades away from becoming a stable and safe place to live. But spending all my time bashing a nation that has given me all the opportunity in the world would be absolutely pointless. Don't forget where you came from and keep asking yourself what exactly you are trying to achieve by spending all your time and effort bashing one of the greatest nations on this earth. Good luck figuring it out...
However, what surprised me most was your refusal to show pictures or even talk about all the great strides that the government have made to improve Joburg and the surrounding areas. To mention a few projects, the Nelson Mandela BridgeHo Ho Head on over to the southafricaiscrap.blogspot.com and you will read all about the Nelson Mandela Bridge, about how it is a crime nest and about how the locals are busy stealing everything they can off it so that it is actually in danger of falling apart.You'll find the articles (there are two) in the arhives section.We'll get pictures of all the other places you mention as well, all in good time. We'll also get pictures of the majority White residential areas, so people can compare, and see how the Whites have to protect themselves with barricaded streets, electric wire fences, armed guards etc. against the New South Africa.
After my kids and mother-in-law were held up at gun point in our garage, it was time to make the move! We now live in the beautiful city of Chicago. It's not Africa, but it's safe and treasured by all the people who live here. I agree, South Africa has given me all the opportunity in the world too, I'll always miss it and regard my self as a proud South African, but sadly, one cannot ignore the reality of what is happening. If it's government intention to make this one of the greatest countries on earth, they seem to be doing very little about it. They love to talk-the-talk, attend conferences, and then conferences on the conferences...all the while the rot get worse.One little point about how a city could and should be made safe...here in Chicago, if you are caught speeding for example, you go to court!!! No questions, no excuses. The cop takes your license and you only get it back after the judge has dealt with you! Your insurance premium immediately goes up, and your credit rating gets hit...you land up paying far more than the cost of the fine...IT WORKS!! Speed limit in the suburbs is 40kms, there are no speed bumps. They are not necessary.
To the previous anonymous person, obviously the Realist realizes that there is still positive sides to SA. But he is doing the world a great service by opening their eyes and informing them that SA is actually far from sunshine and rainbows. What? Did you expect that on a site called deathofjohannesburg?? "Given me all the opportunity in the world"? I highly doubt it... What are you doing in the States?I appreciate SA as the place of my birth, it's my roots and I do love it... but I love what I remember of it before I left, not what it has become. "...bashing one of the greatest nations on this earth." Yes what an obviously great nation it is that forces us to leave our friends and family for a safer existence OR live locked up in our cages in fear of our lives every second of every day. Let's be realistic here. If you disagree with me - why did you leave?
How are you helping the problem? It just gives ex-pats more to whine about and smugly justify to themselves (wrongly so) why they left the Rainbow nation all those years ago.This site while interesting doesn't show the other side of Johannesburg. The massive modern redevelopments. Neighbourhoods come and go.Look at those in LA which have seen better days. Even in Cape Town, Seapoint was once fashionable and became almost a little Hillbrow but now it is back in vogue and one cannot get in at any affordable price. Witness too the revival of the Cape Town CBD. In Johannesburg the trend since 1994 has been to desert the CBD and move to satellite suburbs. What you are showing is classic decentralization plus the added unexpected exodus of refugees from the rest of Africa. East Los Angeles is exactly the Same. Except the refugees there are poverty stricken central Americans.All I can say is yes it is sad to see these neighbourhoods lost to decay, but there are two sides to every coin. Show us the Glitz too.
to anonymous from Australiawhat a hipocrit you are - you fled South Africa and now think you can sit back and critise us for what is happening - put your money where your mouth is and immigrate back to South Africa and after a few months here lets see if you still sing the same tune.
I am a former Capetonian and have lived in California for the last 20 years. I spent 3 years in Johannesburg at Wits Technical College living in the old Sullivan House dorm and being one of the first to make the move to the new Doornfontein dorms. The memories I had of the Hillbrow of the 60's & 70's have been shattered. This was a vibrant cosmopolitan oasis which demonstrated the potental for a "New South Africa" to join the rest of the World. This was the heart of the city and demonstrated to the rest of the country that Johannesburg was not some soulless business centre with concern only for the then mighty Rand. I was last in Cape Town in 2001 and saw some changes there, however the essence of the Cape seemed to remain. From what I have seen on your site the life has been sucked from Johannesburg by parasitic infection. I fear for the Cities of South Africa. I know there is the great cry that one should not criticise, but if the New South Africans cannot manage and maintain these once great cities the future is bleak. As for the World Cup, selling South Africa on the beauty of the Cape and all the other tourist attractions is false optimism. Managing an event with the compexity and fragility of the World Cup or Olympic Games I believe is beyond this South Africa. The old isolation has infected all South Africans with a delusion that all will work out if we deny the problem exists.The New South Africans have wasted an opportunity left to them by the political change. These cities should have grown and developed into opportunities for all, now they might help destroy them.
I cannot speak for other expats, and do agree that many expats are indeed smug to see what is happening in SA. Frankly most of them belong to the old Nat school (though they would not dare to admit it). Having seen my kids suffer the trauma of having guns held to their heads WAS reason enough for me to leave for the USA. If that labels me as having "fled" then so be it, I do not care...my kids have now shed that trauma. It is more than refreshing to know that in my neighbourhood fences are forbidden, and considered an eye-sore.Before dishing out wild generalisations of fleeing expats, consider that I am still heavily invested in SA, will continue to do so, and pay substantial tax. I would expect that this money is used to keep the city in good order amongst other things, clearly, the vivid pictures posted here prove otherwise.
"revival of the Cape Town CBD"I LAUGH at this quote mentioned by one of the anonymous posts.I worked in the Cape Town CBD for 18mths up until April 2006 and on some days there would be RAW SEWAGE flowing down Hans Strydom Street (Avenue?) which was where my friend and I use to have coffee at Vida quite often. Disgusting.Lets see what else. Blacks swimming and bathing in the fountain.Having my car broken into and everything stolen from it.The bank across the road from where I worked was held up (I could see this from the office window where I worked).I JUST missed the security guards striking and destroying everything in their path.Revival of Cape Town? Please, get real.
siw sounds like someone bitter who has been retrenched (probably for a good reason- given that logic of thinking)and has his/her geography all mixed up.On top of that, he/she probably could not even afford to live in the CBD.Only idiots leave cars filled with stuff waiting to be stolen in any big city anywhere in the world.- Cape Town is no exception. London is bad too.In the hot Summer it is not unusual for Cape Town kids to cool off in the Fountain. Does it matter what colour people are? You will see kids in Harlem, NY, USA cooling off with ripped open fire hydrants, and you will see Europeans cooling off in fountains all over the EU.Raw sewerage? in that location? No. You will maybe find it in Mexico City and Rio for sure.There has not been a Bank hold up in that location either.As to the security guards strike- How can someone who missed them even comment on what they did? A few broken windows is all.The City Of Cape Town CBD is well and truly thriving.Investments are heavy.I sympathize with the family above who had guns to their heads. It is horrible. It does also happen in the USA in fact it can happen anywhere. Moving there does not guarantee your safety. You also sacrifice a lot of your freedoms- freedoms we take for granted in the Rainbow nation. The Grass is not always greener on the other side.
To the post above.Your argument really is like the ostrich with his head in the sand. Of course there is crime in every city, but statistically nothing like Johannesburg! Believe you me, if the average USA suburbs had this problem, they would be walled cities too, and they are not.I sincerely hope South Africa can pull her way out of the de facto crime and degradation crisis that it finds itself in. The alternative is that all you will find at the end of the Rainbow is another Zimbabwe.
First of all, I have never been retrenched. I resigned from the worst company I have ever worked for in Cape Town (never again). In fact, upon returning from the USA after 3 years, I was ASKED to go contract there (which I did for 18mths).I have my geography all wrong? huh? Explain? And yes, I could afford to live in the CBD had I wanted due to the salary I was earning as an IT contractor. Not that I would live in that area (for obvious reasons).I wouldn't call just having loudspeakers in my car having a car FULL of stuff like you mentioned. I had removed the car stereo (the detachable bit) and yet they still broke in to steal R100 worth of speakers (and various other small items in the glovebox). Since I am always aware of crime in SA NOTHING was ever visible in my car (I even shieled my speakers so that they were concealed).Yes yes and yes there was sewage running down the street. I was not the only one to comment on this. One of the covers had been lifted up and it was coming out. The stench was awful and needless to say we never returned to the coffee shop there again. There most certainly was a bank hold up in the CBD outside our office building and it was on the major news sites, why would I lie? I still remember all of us standing at the window commenting .I can comment on the strikes because my best friend still works in the CBD. It was quite scary to hear about it. I even had a coloured woman MSN me that I use to work with telling me how TERRIFIED she was when she was trying to get into the office from the station. Luckily she wasn't hurt!I'm not sure why you are attacking me. I was merely stating what I had experienced in the CBD for the 18mths I worked there for.If stating facts that occurred in the CBD make me negative then so be it.
Where are the leaders?The last true leader is old and frail but he accomplished what he set out to do and that was to rid the world of a despicable regime. Since then, nobody has emerged that has the charisma and drive to lead this wonderful country into a fabulous future. Somewhere out there, is someone, black , white, green, the colour is of no importance, who will be able to transcend the vitriolic hatred that currently exists among some people and unify this land and take it to its proper place in the woeld order. That person might not even be born yet, but we have to nurture that dream and encourage foreign investment in our country to create a sustainable economy. I believe that these and similar webb sites should be used create the suitable platforms to enable progress and not to pander to the fascist and racist whims of our previous masters. It is horrifying to read about the daily attrocities that occur and to witness the decaying of a great city. However, I believe that out of the ashes a great future lies ahead, but we all have to contribute positively. Keep the dream alive.
To anonymous that says "siw sounds like someone bitter who has been retrenched (probably for a good reason- given that logic of thinking)and has his/her geography all mixed up."I left SA in 2001 and went back "home in April this year--it was a SHOCK--I lived in New York and now in Tampa--These cities are by far more bigger and busy than Jo'burg and Cape Town. I do talk of experience and not what I do hear or think. Percentage wise by magnitude (area per square foot or meter) and quantity of people, your problem grows much faster and is much bigger than what is(as what you like to compare with New York, Chicago crime and "downtown" areas). Have you been to these cities? Have you been to the State? Please, I beg you to come and try to swim in our city parks and water fountains and see what happens to you! My friend the cops will lock you and your family away-you will have so much trouble and will not see your homeland for a long time. I am save and many a time park my car (new Dodge Durango SUV) in the City Center of Tampa without fear of hijacking or criminals. We have VERY LITTLE CRIME and DEGRATION compared to you. I have been back and forth between SA and the USA-my train of thought was like yours but no more--Thank heavens I woke up-The grass it greener here with much less shit in it! As for me and my family we are not rich but we have a much more safe and relaxed, crime free (murder, rape and theft)life-We feel we are redeemed from all that crap and "bad atitude" people.Real Realist, please continue with reality-I show my friends your website and they say they would like to get an army in to SA to cleanout the Crap.RedeemedTampa FloridaUSA
Tings will only get worse, before getting better!There are (according to touted stats) approximately 4.5 million illegal aliens within our borders. Where do they work? Where do they live? How do they subsist? Read the daily crime stats...that's how! Regularly, this, that or the other union, strikes for increased pay. Businesses are dwindling in numbers..factories have shut down...there is little foreign investment to talk of. Where do the school leaving people hope to find jobs? Many will resort to crime.The rich get richer and the poor have little hope! I am no racist...I'm a realist. South Africa is going down the tubes. It's all related to the weak handed manner in which govt addresses the crime and illegal alien situation.It's time for reinstitution of the death penalty. Convicted thieves should publicly have hands amputated. Rapists, their testicles removed. Murderers to be hanged in public squares.But no...the govt says that we must preserve human rights. For whom??? The criminals have more rights at the moment! They have the right to shoot, stab, maim, rob and kill, whenever and whomever they choose to! Human rights my arse!If the majority of our nation has no will to live decently (just look around you) then I have no desire to even be one iota concerned for their self made plight.We are 12 years down the road since 'democracy.' Down the road...and still sliding!!To all of you who have left SA and are now living elsewhere...I say, "Well done and prosperity in all senses to you!" I ensured that my sons left here. They live a decent life elsewhere. If I was able to afford the exchange rate situation, I'd be out of here in a heart beat! I certainly don't feel any allegiance to a country that is run in the manner that SA is!!!Folks! Take off your rosy tinted glasses...The country is disgusting!
I have never been to SA, although I have worked on SASOL projects before and hope to again.One thing that strikes me from these photos, the people are all well fed to look at, the cars are mostly newer models and maintained to a reasonable level, but the overall impression is of a war zone.Why would people deliberately destroy their own homes and businesses?The only thought I can come up with is this; They will not be happy until they have destroyed every sign of the white man and his success.When they are squatting in the dirt , holding their hands out and whining about the harshness of the world, they will be happy.Poor World.Robert in England
Thank you for a site that is truly an eye opener.I recently visited Johannesburg with some American friends (I now live in the States having lived for 45 years in Jo'burg). On a balmy winters Sunday afternoon, I took them around the city, and yes, I was astonished to see Yeoville, after all, my wife and I had our first date at Mama's, it's pathetic to say the least. The fact is, you cannot see Johannesburg any more, the entire suburban area is walled, so we resigned ourselves to being impressed by the size of some of these monsters, 10 meters becomming common, a couple even looked higher. The M1 for example looked very tatty and degraded, and this is supposed to be a pride of the great City. Even the new Joe Slovo Drive signpost looked as if it had been put together in 2 minutes. I remember the wonderful plantings and manicured lawns on this highway. Why is this degradation allowed to happen? Who is being held accountable? Who is going to change this? Why is there no pride left in this "great" African city?This is a superb site, well done. The more pictures of the degradation the better, and hopefully you can shove them up the noses of the relevant authorities, for what it's worth.The conclusion was that Johannesburg's only redeeming feature is the weather.
Perhaps if we had the balls to have protested like this earlier on under the previous regime, we could have avoided this outcome. What did we expect?Are we to turn our backs on SA now? South Africans are well aware of what's going on around them without having it rammed down their throats. It's this kind of pessimism that breaks down the morale of the people who have no choice but to stick it out.
"Real Realist, please continue with reality-I show my friends your website and they say they would like to get an army in to SA to cleanout the Crap."That's all fine and dandy mate, but I remember when the CIA left us to dry when the SADF saw the lights of Luanda before us..so make sure what you say is what you can do ..this is Africa...actions speak the truth....not deceit..so speak to the REALIST..and do it with no "FORK TONGUE"..
Anonymous to Redeemed. Yes I lived in those cities and I also lived in Florida.I can tell you something. You can have all of them. I do not like living in a virtual Police State with petty laws and with a Government which ignores it's own constitution.- and filled with brainwashed, plastic people...and I choose to raise my family in SA of all the places in the world I could go.You may feel "redeemed" but do not kid yourself nor take comfort in all the terrible media stories-I can tell you deep down You miss Sunny SA (and You will never admit it either)And you have forfeited part of your soul for a country that you will never find an Identity in.And to Everyone. Remember South Africa is NOT a first world country and it should be viewed as any other developing country. You cannot compare life in "safe" brainwashed America, or in other first rate first world countries like Australia,NZ, Canada, and the UK with life in South Africa. Quality of life is what the individual makes of it.
"I do not like living in a virtual Police State with petty laws and with a Government which ignores it's own constitution - and filled with brainwashed, plastic people... "I do not like living in a non-existent Police State with no laws and with a Government which ignores it's own constitution - and filled with brainwashed black people..."I can tell you deep down You miss Sunny SA (and You will never admit it either)"Talk to any expat, and the first thing they tell you is how they miss SA so terribly. What they don't miss are the township necklacings, the throwing of grenades into churches, the bombing of city centres, and more recently, corruption, BEE, anarchy, incompetence, the senseless BRUTAL murders. No question, this country is paradise on earth...without certain members of society. "And to Everyone. Remember South Africa is NOT a first world country and it should be viewed as any other developing country."And to Everyone. Remember South Africa WAS a first world country and is developing into a turd world shithole."Quality of life is what the individual makes of it."I dare you to live and work amongst these savages while maintaining quality of life. Quality of life is determined by society and government policy NOT by the individual.
And to Everyone. Remember South Africa is NOT a first world country and it should be viewed as any other developing country. You cannot compare life in "safe" brainwashed America, or in other first rate first world countries like Australia,NZ, Canada, and the UK with life in South Africa.Quality of life is what the individual makes of itThe point is, is that SA was a first world country. Why must we put up with crime ? And there is no such thing as a "developing" country. It is a third world shithole. You sound like Telkom when they whine about being compared to telecom corporations in first world countries.Besides, I bet you're an ANC or guvment agent spreading their propaganda.
To anonymous that says "Anonymous to Redeemed. Yes I lived in those cities and I also lived in Florida.I can tell you something.."My dear educated friend, I was born and bred in SA, I do long for my people and the real wildlife. We had real ("not plastic") life in SA but you know, we are people's people and made very good friends over here with Americans and ex South Africans and therefore, we have quality of life-here in the USA as what we had in SA. Why does it seem as if you cannot make friends or have a very funny way of looking at life? God gave me a brain to think! Therefore I do not need to sit and wait for attacks on my family or me! I saw were it was going and therefore I left. If you drive on the Ben Schoemann N1 and a car is coming to you and you realize it is going to hit you, why do you change your coarse or are you just going to continue? I decided to "change lanes" and that was my final decision after been robbed. Once again, I feel sorry for people that cannot leave-I had family that has been killed---I rather sit in another country with fewer friends than have to look over my shoulder and have sleepless nights when I hear noises. By the way, I lived in a good suburb in Pretoria (Tswane) and remember were my property had no fences to were I had to progress from fence to burglar bars and gates in front of all doors to 8-foot devils fork fencing to alarms a with boerboele. I did not call it "life"-may be you! SA was good on its way to be a 1st world country and if your friends (the current rulers) wanted to they could have make it work-unfortunately SA is still part of Africa and Africa has a cynical attitude and therefore it is not going to happen and is worse off now. By the way is all the new home the build in the Porsche areas without burglar bars and high security fences?I still have parents in SA and many friends. As with our recent visit to SA we were SHOCKED-we visited Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town--bad news!! That is all I can say. I do believe the media because I saw all this when we visited 3-months ago. I believe it because I call my family and friends and do hear it. I do believe it because I read it all over.RE "Petty laws and police state"-Now I only see it -hmm-O! That is why there are so little crime here compared to SA-I am not afraid of the Cops because I am a law abiding person--what about you? You know what, I would love SA to be the Mecca of Africa as it was! I wish that the criminal forces will be stopped. The reality question is "Who is going to stop this"? You and me? I do not think so. I caught criminals stealing a radio from a car. 3-months later I was summonsed to go to court seeing that I was the primary wittiness. I court the criminals lawyer tried to change the coarse of the case and wanted the court to get me for assault. I got out of it. Unfortunately the criminals get away most of the time and the "powers to be" does not do much about it.So my friend I do live in Tampa with just as much sunshine as in SA, with good people and "plastic people” just as you do. The possibility that a criminal will get to us here is 1 out of 200-million where in SA it was just a matter of time (when is it going to happen again and are we going to survive it)! I have a better life and change to make it here than what you might have there!Good luck to you!Redeemed
It is poignant to read the posts here. I do not believe the motive behind any of these comments is for the destruction of any city or society in South Africa. On the contrary, every one would like to see South Africa succeed. I have my family and friends living there, and would love to be able to spend my retirement years back in SA. And yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, it's more than often bleak and daunting. Leaving SA was in fact the hardest thing I have ever done without fail.The reality is that South Africa is now an elected democracy, and has been so for 12 years. People elect government to look after them and take care of their needs, that is what the tax base is supposed to be used for. Government HAS to accountable for this, if not, the results speak for themsleves, and it is obvious that they are not doing their jobs properly for the good of Africa's greatest city, and others. There are pockets of excellence in South African government, but there seem to be more incompetent and corrupt morons who make things very difficult for the people at large. If an official cannot do his job, he must be booted out by his superiors, not protected. The Minister of Police's recent comments for example about crime whiners would NEVER have been tolerated in a true democracy.The USA has much corruption too, but society works because the encumbants are held accountable and dealt with quickly! A functioning democracy has to be run like an efficient business, if not, the business goes bust.
Anonymous said... "Real Realist, please continue with reality-I show my friends your website and they say they would like to get an army in to SA to cleanout the Crap."That's all fine and dandy mate...I know it is Africa and I was one of the guys that saw the lights of Luanda--what a waiste of time and lives--I know talk is cheap and money buys the whiskey--I know what they mean by the above words-They agree and mean that what they see in the photos is a digrace to not only "true at heart" South Africans but to any human that has a little dignity. They thought South Africa was such a great place -- this opened their eyesThank you for your perspective Mr. Real Realist--Keep up the good work and photos-Redeemed
Your new pictures are astounding...it's an absolute pathetic disgrace!
I have lived in South Africa for 23 years. Since 1994 I have watched so called Democracy destroy this country. I've moved further and further away from the decline that is wrecking Johannesburg but now it has overtaken me and has me trapped in the middle. 3 attempted burglaries in 10 days and not a Cop in sight. My daughter stopped by an African and told to get in his car (sorry, Stolen car) or he will stab her. Luckily she's a good runner, and got the registration number.Africas decline has finally reached us and will continue to ruin this beautiful country and, ofcourse, it will all be blamed on the White man as usual.I'm leaving this place this year, God help those who cant.
Anonymous to Redeemed. Well it looks like you are constantly on the move in the USA! -restless & rootless. But good luck to you too and may you enjoy Tampa. There are some of us living in SA by choice who believe South Africa has a bright future, but we are aware maybe we will not see this in our lifetimes, but we live in hope that our children and our children's children will benefit from what took place in 1994.EVERYONE fails to realise that 12 years is nothing in the greater scheme of time. America has only had democracy for 200 odd years...and they are still working on it.Yes things will get worse before they get better. Change takes a generation at least. Most of the Racists have emigrated. The new generation are integrating well with unpoisoned minds.This will be our legacy. - For those of us brave who could and did stay and played our part to help rebuild SA.- Under difficult circumstances maybe. But all things considered...Once Africa is in your blood, it is there forever. And I and my family, while not rich either, do enjoy a quality of life that can be had nowhere else in the world- and I have seen the world. Too many ex-pats exclaim shock and dismay on certain decay & crime but there is no instant gratification.One more thing. For all those who emigrated to "safer" pastures, there is a huge waiting list of people wanting out of your pastures and into South Africa. Once Home Affairs gets its act together, these people and their skills will be warmly welcomed.So, to all you emigratees-good luck & Get on with your new lives and let us get on with oursBut the problem is that for some reason you can't get on with your new lives because you are spending your all your time posting here!!
Real Realist your site is excellent! Pehaps you should refer it to the people who run this site, http://www.joburg.org.za/ for a bit of a reality check!!!!!!
You've put an incredible amount of work into this site, Realist. Hopefully it will open some people's eyes. I am not a South-African, but I lived for several years in Benoni during my youth and early adulthood, first going to High-School there, later to Wits University before returnung to my home country. That is more than 30 years ago. Needless to say, South-Africa was a clean, secure firstworld country back then.I did return to South-Africa 1994 on a business trip, using the opportunity to visit friends and familiar places. To say that I was deeply shocked from what I saw is an understatement, even so I had (and have) contact with South-Africans fairly regularly and try to keep myself updated on South-African affairs. I take it, that things are even worse now.What really strikes me is, how any white person having first-hand experience of the New South-Africa can actually hope for things to become better there. Just looking at some other places where there are sufficiant numbers of blacks (and often increasing) show the path very clearly. Things will deteriorate further and further until all the substance inherited by the new rulers is used up and the last white will have finally thrown in the towel. Then South-Africa will be indistinguishable from any other African country with their filth, poverty and crime. From what I hear and read I actually believe - breath it quietly - that there is a covert race war going on, black on white. And to blame it all on white racism and/or apartheid is utter non-sense. Wherever blacks hold the power on this world, they have failed miserably, even when free of any whites influence for hundreds of years (Haiti comes to mind).To all white South-Africans, for whom I really feel very sorry, I must say: be realistic, you have lost your country. It is gone forever, there is no way to redeem it. The only thing left to salvage is yourself.
Anonymous said... Anonymous to Redeemed. Well it looks like you are constantly on the move in the USA! -restless & rootless...Thank you for the good wishes!! FYI I work for a large int. company and used their offer to get here --they used me in New York and from there I took a position in Tampa, so I am not restless--can you say the same? atleast I have a future and so my children. Any intelligent person will always think back of his past and see where he was and where he is now. Even when I am eight year old I will look back. I was in Windhoek from st6 - st10 and am still looking back and am glad when that country makes progress and so for South Africa, so one will also be sad if you see your pass countries, friends, family etc goes down the drain. I did not know that when one lashout to bad things happening to the above that one wishes them further into the dungeons. I do not. Do you want the realist not to be real? Or must he hide this bad cancer? I do not wish this on you but wonder what your reaction will be once these criminals move into your neighborhood and your house gets damaged and robbed. Hopefully you and your family will get away with your life! I have lost an aunt, my uncle had a knife on his throught, my cousin had a revolver on his head, my wife's friend was raped infront of her husband and two boys then they killed the husband infront of the two sons and my wife's girl friend. My friend, I am not bitter but sad!!!!Once again, the realist shows the cancer and if you do not do something about the cancer it will progress quicker and quicker till the "SA body" dies!Good luck in the cold SA winter.Redeemed
Anonymous to anonymous who"Lived in Benoni and thought South Africa was a first world country 30 years ago"I first suggest that you have photocopied your Wits degree. Wits has never accepted basket cases.Words cannot adequately describe you. Please stop burdening society with your misery. See a Psychiatrist. But I fear you are beyond all help.You are Racist with a Capital "R" and You probably live all day in a dark room with the curtains drawn. Please go on a big time diet, loose the weight and stop babbling nonsense. Botswana, for example, is Highly Successful and has the fastest growing economy in Africa.Namibia is another.Please move to another apartment. Your neighbours will appreciate it.South Africa is Wonderful and Please never ever come back.
Originally from Windhoek, I lived in JHB/Roodepoort for 18 years. My family and I had a great time over these years. In 2000 we immigrated to New Zealand, for sad but realistic reasons (attempted robbery at home/hijack) and have not been back to Jo'burg since then.The picture galleries are truly shocking and depressing - but this is the story of Africa: too many of the post-colonial "democracies" simply do not have the competencies or the will to govern, let alone maintain economies or cities.Yes, I know of success stories, even today (July 2006) in Jo'burg - but they are like raindrops falling into a dusty and barren desert. My prayers and blesings to all those, who still make their lives over there.
I am sooooo sick and tired of expats spouting utter garbage. I suggest ANYONE who left South Africa PRIOR to up to 2001 not to post here.The common trend for those who left is those who lost their jobs to affirmative action or were "crime victims". My heart goes out to any violent crime victim - But surely this does not mean one has to leave a country?I do not see Brazilians fleeing Rio, Columbians fleeing Bogota, to name but a few cities with violent crime.Anyone working for an intl company in the USA- eg The post from Tampa- You cannot be sure you will not loose your job in this climate. In fact there will be no social security left for you! Maybe you should move down the road to Orlando. Disneyworld caters to your imaginations. (plus you can visit Mickey every day)
Such a pity we can't choose who will become victims of violent crime. Unrepentant liberals should be the only ones made to suffer the results of their particular brand of logical reasoning. Anyone leaving prior to '94 might have been overly cautious, but nonetheless proven correct.
To anonymous...I left in 2003 and therefore "qualify" to post here??? A statement which makes no sense.Is crime a good reason to leave? In my case, it was the ONLY reason to leave. Crime like Aids is an epidemic in SA and slowly but surely stangling the country. Perhaps you should take note of the brain drain, and ask top execs how difficult it is for them to hire really competent staff.Having had my kids suffer the nightmare of guns to their heads, major trauma and fear, perhaps you could tell me how to look a little girl in the face and lie to her that the chances of this sort of thing happening again in JHB are statically remote. Get real!!! As it so happens, the unfortunate people who bought our house we hijacked soon after in the same garage my kids were traumatised in. Fortunately through hard work, my wife and I had built up the means to be able to leave, we are not sorry now!
I too am "qualified" to post here as I only left SA after 2003 for better career opportunities as an RN in the USA.3 months before my departure though, I had the misfortune of being 'carjacked'with a gun being held to my head on the private hospital premises where I worked in Cape Town.A week later my best friend was also carjacked.Fortunately we both were survivors, unlike the hundreds of innocent patients I saw coming through the trauma resuscitation unit doors with gunshots to their heads,husbands seeing wives shot in front of them before being victims themselves and 80yr old ladies who had been savagely sodomised and raped before being beaten to death by armed robbers.No...this was not in Joburg or even in a bad neighbourhood in Cape Town. These victims came from Rondebosch, Pinelands, Newlands, Constantia and even Bishopscourt.I live in Los Angeles now, and while there is crime here, it's not out of control. The police have the upper hand still. I do not have burgler bars on my windows or doors and do not use my security alarm and can leave my car on the street without worrying about it being stolen or stripped.I too have been back to SA and Cape Town on two occasions and have seen the decline in the way public property is maintained.The litter that just lies around, the overgrown sides of the roads, the black taxis's that still rule the roads without concern for any other motorists.Yeah, I miss SA and will always be proud of the land of my birth, but I now feel safe here and have a great career and good friends as well as Blue Skies ,loads of Sunshine and the ocean and mountains.Hey, I even get to Braai every weekend too (with Boerewors nogal!)I hope that things will get better in SA in years to come, but until that happens I would rather live and be a good citizen in my new country.
...a lot of emotion from those who left and those that continue to stay. Wherever I choose to go there I am. Sadly the reality of this blog is just that - Jo'burg is not the place we choose to remember. Just a note the building with "Big Deals" on Kotze and Edith Cavel was known as the Summit Club. Used to be a night spot and entrance into the residential hotel - sigh.Keep up the good work, some may like it (keep coming back) some may not (your choice to back off)- it is what it is!
Being a young South African (27), my partner and I moved to Australia almost 2 years ago after both growing up in Johannesburg. We we're to young to have experienced the "good times" of Hillbrow and the CBD. We have however seen area's that we spent most of our teenage years running around fall apart in the space of 10 years. We both left South Africa for Australia, not just because of the crime but because as young white South African professionals we couldn't see a future for ourselves. My partner received her Business Degree from a very respectable, expensive international university. After studying for 4 years, she struggled to find a job in the "New South Africa". She was either to qualified or the company were trying to fill positions of colour. Now, before anybody questions this, she was informed by one of her interviewers that she was ideal for for the vacant position but unfortunately they had colour quota's to fill.So crime wasn't the only reason we left for pasture's new, we fortunately were never victims of 'serious' crime, vehicle theft and burglary but we were never seriously injured.We obviously miss certain things about South Africa but we have a future here in Australia that we could never of had in South Africa. our children will have more of a future and not have to live behind 6 foot walls, electric fences, razor wire and bars on their bedroom windows. We feel free here, and until you've experienced the difference like we have, then you cant blame anybody for leaving South Africa for a safer life.P.S...The grass is greener.
Anonymous said... I am sooooo sick and tired --Move to Orlando --see Mickey--Thank you Anonymous for the suggestion! We can visit Disney and these places also without fear!!! we have enough jobs. If you want to work here in the states you will always get something. Luckely we do not rely on Social security-we can with safety envest our pension in 401K and many other retirement schemes. Why are you changing the topic? BTW I am not trying to fight you-Why do you get upset over the Africa truth? sorry Anonymous, may be we need to ask the Realist to paint the kind of unrealistic pictures that you want to see.There is a afrikaans saying; "Spyt kom altyd te laat" ---hopefully it will not the reality for you!"I do not see Brazilians fleeing Rio, Columbians fleeing Bogota, to name but a few cities with violent crime...."Oh does your papers/news not reflect what is going on re how these people flee to the USA and other countries north of them?I met a Colmbian (Eduardo Alfonso) that fled from Columbia (2002) due to the drug wars which also affected his family---He is a Electonics Engineer and we became very good friends. So it seems to me the trend is that the educated people are always the ones that first move out! Like in SA, a lot of the Medical profesionals move out and then they get replaced with "better educated Cuban doctors". Hmm-- These guys did not move out because of better jobs and so did I also not move for the same reason.You have the most beautiful country in the world, what are you going to do to keep it that way and to improve it? I tried and is willing to give it a try if ALL WORK TOGETHER. Can you make it happen?Where do you live? Please send your photos to the realist that we can see your "Disney".
"I tried and is willing to give it a try if ALL WORK TOGETHER. Can you make it happen?"Time to come home buddy, living among majority whites is starting to cloud your judgement again (as apartheid did). Come back to South Africa, at least once a year, to experience the liberal idea of "ALL WORKING TOGETHER". Time to come home.
I left South Africa 28 years ago. I returned last year for the first time. I tried to go to Hillbrow. We turned left from Louis Botha Avenue into Fife Street because my sister wanted to see her old school Barnato Park. We had not gone more than 100m when we were stopped by the police who searched the car and then told us to go back as it wasn't safe. I saw the devestated building around Clarendon Place where we turned round and then headed left past the wilds to Killarney & Rosebank. I knew that there was a problem but I had no idea that it was as bad as this. The entire area looks like a war zone.
Anonymous to redeemed. Educated people are always the first to leave any country- you are correct. The Doctors leave because they are for the most part materialist &Greedy and cannot hope to make money in Private Practice as there are so many of them. These Doctors balk at any form of public service-thus the Cubans are brought in to serve the Public not the Private Clinics. That said, South African Doctors are among the best trained in the world and we have more than enough Top specialists in Private Practice- Witness Foreigners flocking here in droves for surgery. There are many SA Doctors in the USA- who do NOT disclose their SA roots but they come home on holiday and buy retirement homes- big palaces too.To: RN in LA;You have gone from bad to worse without even knowing it. I lived in LA and in a good area and I had my Motorcycle stolen, and security was a big issue- it still is there. People do have Alarms there and armed response. East LA? Why don't you go and have a look at night. Park your car and turn up the radio.If the earthquake doesn't get you, (and that's just a matter of time, but wait til you feel the first tremors...)then the Smog will get you. I feel sorry that you will spend the rest of your life sitting in a car instead of in a Hospital- Oh, and I forgot yes money money money...Sorry SA cannot afford to pay you what you earn there, but the cost of living will balance things out.Please let us know when you are sick of LA. Most ex- SAFFIES live in San Diego. That's a far better place as far as blue skies go. For you I recommend a visit to Disneyland just down in Orange Co. Minnie will shake your hand and give you a balloon.Siege City- enjoy your new life. May it be crime free.
Why does this page ONLY show the dilapatated building in Johannesburg and none of the progress that has been made? I.e. Newtown? I'm all for showing where things have gone wrong, but what about where there have been improvements? The "death" of the old Johannesburg has also given rise to a new Johanneburg.
I cannot believe the pictures that I have just looked at....I left South Africa in 1979 and visited in 1984,I have no words to describethe destuction and wanton damage that has been done to all of the buildings,instututions, shown here, YET I SHOULD NOT BE. I had avery big business in South Africa and when I built a new factory to accomodate my expanding business, I went out of the way to build, proper toilets, lunch rooms,washing basins and fitted them out, way beyond what was required by law......and what happened..THEY DESTROYED EVERYTHINGI could not understand the logic behind their actions, as I was never going to use those facilitiesI built them for them and to this day I cant understand their actions...so looking at THE DESTROYED PICTURES OF WHAT WAS ONCE A BEAUTIFUL CITY ..having been taken over since the change of goverment and the dismantling of APARTHEID I will never understand what these animals did to THEIR CITIES that they destroyedWHY ................
Dear Real RealistDo you think you could risk your life and limb to take some photy's of the Ponte (Ponti) area? Would really like to see how that hell hole is looking.Great site, visit everyday, keep up the good work
We chose to stay and to try and make a difference in this beautiful land of rich cultures, sunshine and beautiful landscapes (and braai vleis) - can't say it's all roses or all doom and gloom. Yes, poverty, crime and unemployment are issues...but isn't that the challenge that lies before us - to be the difference we want to see. If we keep looking at the gloom it's easy to get depressed and doubtful we can make even the slightest difference, but if we focus on what is changing and the improvements being made then the skies the limit!One last comment before we sign off - check out most downtown areas (probably the areas you avoid if you've moved elsewhere) of the major cities in the world and you're likely to find the same as here - shacks, squatters, run down buildings, litter. London, Bangkok, Sao Paulo come to mind as cities we've visited that had the same.
There are several postings of people angry at expats commenting on the current situation in rsa.Let me assure you that they are expats because they had the intestinal fortitude to make the decision to leave and also because they had the financial means to do so, because they saved and did not splurge on all the fancy gizmos that saffies are want to show off. So to you disgruntled and angry saffies, dream of us living in first world countries in peace and tranquility.
Ifound this site whilst web surfing. I forwarded it from Australia to my Sister in PE. She replied "Please don't send me any more anti SA propaganda like this"I last visited in 2001 after being away for 15 years. Never again. It hurts too much.
There is no right or wrong answer to any of this. All I can say is that emmigration is difficult. In the USA where I live people ignore you because of your accent. I don't understand the sports (crazy football, baseball and basketball)and I paid R3 million (average price in a working class neighbourhood) for a house built from wood with hardly any land and it makes makes me wonder what the heck am I doing here? I was back in SA in December last year, and many of my professional colleagues who have decided to stay on there, are doing well for themselves and vacationing twice a year at Balito and Plett. I on the other hand am working 60 to 70 hr weeks and just about earning enough to pay my mortgage and car. So for anybody who reads this and is contemplating a move out, I understand why you want to leave SA and I don't discourage you from doing so, but just be honest with yourself and expect it to be tough on the other side too. Unless you can afford to emmigrate and not have to work on the other side, then you will a "lekker joll".
I left SA nine years ago. Nearly eighty years old, I felt that I wasn't in the best position to defend myself and wife anymore. Not a very gregarious person by nature so never new that many people yet nine of my friends and associates have been murdered and several family members have been attacked. Only had two murders outside our gate though. Still, I was a farmer so what else can you expect.
With regards to anonymous who went and lived in the USA and paid 3 million for his house, damn poor guy you really must have "battled"i left SA with the total sum of R 30,000-00 and have made a good living for myself in oz out of sheer determination and the will to succeed, so you don't need millions to immigrate....just guts and determination.So now no one has an excuse for not being able to leave that craphole called South Africa, as i said guts and determination. Good luck and god bless...you going to need it.
ummm .... looks ready for the world cup soccer....
Ummm..I say the Western World gotta check this SITUATION out...I think there are a lotta BULLSHIT going on with this so-called FANTASTIC NEW WORLD GOVERNMENT !!!..Imean wher do you see OLE people get MURDERED and RAPED and the NEW GREAT GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT...!!!!!
From Canuck - - - Most of the racists have emigrated - - - Bullshit. Very few have emigrated. They were mainly poorly educated Afrikaners who are now part of the poor, unemployed 500,000 whites living in backyards. The other resident SA racists dare not open their mouths, right? Most people who left are the highly skilled open minded types. There are hundreds of thousands of doctors, accountants, teachers, nurses, engineers and scientists in Canada, OZ, USA, Europe and UK. The poorly skilled whites are still in RSA. And regarding plumbers , construction workers, electricians and clerks try getting into USA with those skills. Canada needs trade skilled people and mechanics boiler makers welders would be snapped up. In the Athabasca tar sands in Alberta there are thousands of vacancies for people with trade skills. Booming Fort McMurray has a few hundred skilled SA artisans working there. SA official government stats are utter bullshit . The 'émigré's rate is at a very minimum 3x higher than the official stats. Most people never officially emigrate they just pack up and go, like I did and all the people that I know who left in the early 1980's. There are hundreds of SA doctors in Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. In fact a medical specialist at the Univ of British Columbia Medical School in Vancouver stated that had it not been for well trained SA general practitioners the BC rural health services would have collapsed. That also applies to Saskatchewan and Alberta. - - - The new generation are integrating well with un empoisoned minds - - - Bullshit . I have been over to RSA many times over the past 20years and three times in the past year alone. My kids are at university there and my brothers live there. My brothers stay not because they love RSA but because they are too chicken to leave, they hate the crime and all are frightened every day of their lives and are very pessimistic for their children's futures. My kids tell me that very, very few of their friends have jobs and the majority of them are leaving SA. My daughter is completing a B.Sc. honours and none of her immediate class mates are staying because they know there are no jobs for pale faces. My son tells me that most of his friends are in their twenties and without jobs. Those who have jobs are paid shit. Case in point one chap with a B.Sc. honours in computer science earns R5,000pm . Now in Canada, minimum wage is $5 per hour - $40 per day - $200per week - $800per month . $800 Canadian dollars is equivalent to R4,400 per month! This person pays no tax and has FREE health care and could undergo a liver or heart transplant etc for FREE. No school fees either. Makes you think!For those of us brave who could and did stay and played our part to help rebuild SA. Bullshit. Most are trying to keep their jobs and stay alive. Any extra energy goes into "fun and braaivleis". At the bottom of the list are things like doing charity services for the poor. In fact I would venture to say that the vast majority of whites look after their own ass with little or no time spent on uplifting the poor!- - -- Once Africa is in your blood, it is there forever. - - - -Bullshit. Any émigré person, be they Japanese, Iraqi, American or Italian longs for their homeland. It is that they miss. To make a sweeping statement that it is "Once Africa is in your , it is there for ever, is your simple personal view of a total life experience, not just Africa in your blood. Every émigré has their "total life experiences" in a country of origin in their blood, not the continent per se. Everything about your birth place is in your blood. When an Italian says "Italy is in his blood" he means: his people, the food, the customs, the fashions, architecture, natural surroundings and cultural events . That is what is meant by "Italy is in my blood" The same applies to the Saffer, when they say "Africa is in your blood"! - - - - And I and my family, while not rich either, do enjoy a quality of life that can be had nowhere else in the world and I have seen the world. That is an utterly ridiculous statement. Waht exactly do you mean by quality of life? The ONLY thing you have that USA OZ Canada or New Zealand do not have, that is better, are the wild animals and in some case weather. And do you go to Kruger every weekend to make use of that heritage ? No! Do you make use of the fantatstic weather to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. Most Saffers don't! They stay indoors to watch TV because it is too hot and some step outside to have braais. In RSA you go to shopping malls, watch cricket or rugby and take a trip to Durban (filthy and high risk) Plett or Cape Town, when you can. Most ctizens of USA , Canada, OZ and NZ are doing those same sort of things. And guess what the Saffer is doing in overseas countries? Exactly the same things! They are going to malls, ice hockey and football games, Miami, Seattle, New York and Boston. They can go to fantastic wild life and national parks and many beaches. Only Canada, of the four countries mentioned, has lousy weather. And funny enough most Saffers that I know here after 5 to 10 years, say very little about the weather. They take up skiing, snow mobiling and watch ice hockey. Only the recently landed Sandtonian BMW Yuppie opens his/her beak and whines about good ole RSA. I have never heard of Saffers in Oz, USA or Kiwiland bitch about the weather. So take the weather story out of the equation. Frick weather versus personal safety, what a choice! It is a no brainier when you have an exponentially higher risk of assault, rape, hi jacking or murder. - -- One more thing. For all those who emigrated to "safer" pastures, there is a huge waiting list of people wanting out of your pastures and into South Africa. - - - -Really? Then why are there so few jobs for young talented South African graduates. Overseas business people are welcome to RSA, no doubt for BEE ventures and let us not go there. Posted by Canuck in Canada
The degradation of South Africa in many areas is appalling.It is too easy, and unfair, to blame 'the blacks' but the reality is not so simple. Few people wish to face the reality that the biggest single problem is the presence of hundreds of thousands (who knows how many?) of illegal aliens from neighbouring states and of course the ever present and evil Nigerians. These people are unaccountable and apparently untouchable and get away - literally - with murder.They have no concern for, or pride in, South Africa and to label South Afican blacks with the same stigma is wrong.
You know what?Us South Africans that chose to stay here, or couldnt leave, would LOVE to see some POSITIVE pictures of Joburg and not all the negative. I havnt spent much time on your site, but the time I spent made me realise I wasnt going to waste any more time looking at your pictures. Maybe I am wrong and you have put some positive pictures somewhere, if so, I apologise. I am not an ostrich, I do know that this country is not what it used to be, but you are totally stuffing up any chance of this country getting out of the dwang by sending this out all over the world. I received it from a friend in Australia. She would still love nothing more than to come back here and live, but her husbands job there prevents it. How do you think this site makes people feel who cannot afford to leave this country, but would dearly like to????? Or people like me, who had the opportunity to emigrate but decided to stay and make the most of what is left of a stunning country. I have had family and friends affected by the crime, I have been lucky so far, touch wood. I do think that there is no purpose to this site whatsoever other than to spoil what could have started out as a nice sunny day. I know you have spoilt my day. thanks for that! I dare you to print this one!
It was sad to see the destruction of some of the most beatifull buildings and sites where I have spend a lot of time and have a lot of good memories. My first apartment block in Joburg way back in 1976 near Joubert park/drill hall is inlcuded on one of the pictures. However being realistic we must remeber that together with the fall of the apartheid regeme also came the fall of the gold rush, yes, RSA had the longest gold rush of them all, the gost towns in Canada and the USA will confirm that. But that is no excuse, look at PE, after being out of RSA for 5 years I drove trought PE at 02H00 on a Saturday morning and there were "ladies" cleaning up the streets, sweeping it. Ater few hours later on my way to the airport I drove the same route down central town and the place was clean. The problem surely does not lie with the national goverment, but local government as far as I am concerned. I now live in Tanzania, poor, but a hell of a lot cleaner than Joburg with virtually no crime, come and have a look for yourself. Here there is a common respect between Black, White and Asian.
Man on lift falls 16 floors2006-08-08 16:32:14http://www.news24.com/Images/Photos/20060808163150Lift_elevator.gifA construction worker has been seriously injured after a lift on which he was working fell 16 floors. Johannesburg - A construction worker was seriously injured when a lift on which he was working fell 16 floors in a Hillbrow building on Tuesday, said Johannesburg emergency services. Divisional commander Malcolm Midgley said the La Rossa building in Abel Street was being renovated, which included work on the lifts. The man was on top of the lift which had been secured by a safety cable when the cables snapped and the lift fell 16 floors. "Some of the cables apparently have been stolen and the safety cable snapped," said Midgley. "When it eventually landed on the ground floor, the lift caved in, collapsing because of the impact." The man was taken to Johannesburg Hospital. Hospital spokesperson Lungi Mvumvu said the man, who is about 33 years old, broke all four limbs and had a lower spine fracture. She said hospital staff were still assessing his condition. ------------------It's just an insane disrespect for anything!!!!!!!!
hello....I think this site is BS. period. Hillbrow has gone to crap agreed , but their has also been huge development. Do a site like this in the USA , where their were once street that were great but now are trashed. Sandton is the new city Centre , show pics of Sandton. overall South Africa's buildings in hillbrow have gone to hell , but the economy is ten times bigger than it was b4 the 1990's
Anonymous said... hello....I think this site is BS. period. Hillbrow has gone to crap agreed , but their has also been huge development. Do a site like this in the USA , where their were once street that were great but now are trashed.Yes, I have been to the USA, and seen cities like Detroit etc, -- and all I can say is that the reason why those cities have alos gone down the toilet is exactly the same why JHB has gone -- a quick look at the complexion of the population on the streets of those cities tells you what has happened.Sandton is the new city Centre , show pics of Sandton. Oh I will, don't worry -- I am sure overseas readers will find the barbed wire, electric fences, armed guards etc. etc just as interesting as the wrecked JHB CBD.overall South Africa's buildings in hillbrow have gone to hell , but the economy is ten times bigger than it was b4 the 1990's Well now we can debate that. See my Why SOuth Africa is Crap blog for some interesting entries on the 'blooming' economy in SA,,,
I was sent this blog from a fellow SOUTH AFRICAN living in Canada.We are both saddened to see what has happened over the last 10-15 years in SA.My brother , who still lives in Durban, says that he is also rather saddened by the local degredation of what he sees.A very sad deal indeed,as i also wanted to someday show my kids my "HOME".That is now very unlikely.
I now live in the USA and I am so tired of explaining the reason why I left South Africa. I have emailed all my American friends this website so that they can see for themselves what the Africans are capable of doing to a country. The reaction is amazing ....they are totally shocked! I am so sorry for the people of South Africa that cannot leave the country. There is no future, not while it is run by the new Government. Are they not ashamed of themselves...they got what they wanted and this is the reward all the South Africans receive by destroying the country because they are USELESS ABSOLUTELY USELESS.
The shoe is on the other foot.30 years ago the farmers used to take the sjambok to the workers if they misbehaved, now is the other way round
With the difference being that the whites aren't misbehaving.
Anonymous said that the degradation of Yeoville, Hillbrow etc is a natural process and happens in the USA etc. Yes it does but why should the SA 'Utopia' be like other countries. When I left SA 28 years ago Yeoville/Bellevue were making a resurgence from being a lower middle class neighborhood it was becoming the place to be with many houses being upgraded and remodelled. rather a fast decline! When I left Mayfair, 'Doories' and other such suburbs were the poor areas with a finacially strapped community. There were some derelict houses and unkempt empty lots but the area was relatively safe and garbage free. Don't make excuses. SA had the opportunity to become a great country but had been let down by a spineless and corrupt political leadership that does not have the courage to enforce the rule of law.
Real RealistWhat you need to do is leave the city and come live in paradise in the Transkei where we don't have keys, locks or fences...On the other hand, the fact that you'd be surrounded by black people might freak you out. Imagine, no police you can call, no ADT security, just you and the people...Maybe that will be what can waken you to the fact that you're still living apartheid. Apartheid ended as a political system in 94, but a system so brutal doesn't just evaporate into "happily ever after." The price will be paid for a long time... Why is South Africa by far the most criminally violent in Africa? I've been to most countries in Africa (including living in the townships in Kinshasa, Younde, Lagos) and I've never experienced crime like we have. BUT, before you see some vindication of your "all is lost" campaign... How about some statistics (to refute your anecdotes):in 1994: 27,000 murders in SAin 2005: 19,000 murders in SAThat's a lot of murders either way, but a huge drop too (well done new government!). For impartial analysis of the crime situation I suggest readers visit the Institute for Security Studies they're the most reputable organisation in this field.I also find the allusions to "rich members of government living in luxury in expensive suburbs" a bit much. You'd think driving into the leafy Jhb suburbs there would be mostly rich black people! Come on! You know that the rich in SA are almost entirely white (I think in the richest 100 there are fewer than 10 black people).The rich in South Africa, are whites who seem to keep themselves busy being horrified that the handful of wealthy blacks are so ostentatious...Anyway, I think this is probably a waste of time.Just leave, and let the new generation sort SA out - but please don't come back when it's fixed. You're the past tense.
Been through so many arguments as to whether you're right to leave or right to stay. There is no answer, just what is right for you. I'm in Australia, lots wrong with it too, but lots right as well. I miss Zim a lot, but I miss what it was, not what it it now. It might get better but it'll never get back to the place where I spent my childhood and young life.There are always 10 percent of the people on both sides who cause the crap. The other 80 percent can get along with each other just fine. What we need to do is find a way to get rid of the 10 percenters. I am not sure there is one.....A word of advice though, NEVER think that SA is too big and too powerful and too organised to sink to the depths. That's what we in Zim thought - "we'll never get as bad as Zambia / Mozambique / Angola." Look at Zim now. And I reckon Zim is how it is now not becausse of Mugabe - bad dictators are a dime a dozen in Africa - but because of Mbeki, who does not have the guts to stand up for what he professes to believe in. Nelson Mandela must be so disappointed in the misuse of his legacy. Good luck, stayers.....
Thanks for sharing these pictures, sad as it was viewing them and seeing the decay in JHB. Thanks also for having the courage to go to these places to do so. I'm living in Australia now but used to go to JHB/Hillbrow regularly in the late 80s and early 90s to various nightspots. I have experienced a great sense of loss and hopelessness in viewing your photos. What I would like to know is, are there any success stories in the centre of JHB? Any flats that don't look like the ones you have shown? Is normal business conducted in JHB and Hillbrow, chain stores, restaurants etc? Is there anywhere we can see pics showing another side of the coin, or is this really how bad things have become there? It's just tragic to see all those buildings in such a state of decay. I'd recommend this to anyone who still thinks there might be a ray of hope for SA. Thanks for enlightening those of us who thought that maybe things weren't that bad :-)
'Nelson Mandela must be so disappointed by the misuse of his legacy'Are you on cheap drugs there in Oz? Nelson Mandela is as racist as the rest of them - he's just (slightly) smarter at being diplomatic about it. He was imprisoned for a reason remember - terrorist (sorry 'freedom fighter') activities and planting bombs in Wimpy Bars etc. You can be rest assured he wants the whites dead or gone (don't matter which) just as much as Mbeki does - at least Mbeki makes no bones about it.
I am originally from SA (born in Hillbrow!), but have spent most of my life in the US and Canada, currently living in Boston. I travel regularly on business to SA. Your site is an eye opener on many levels, as this is truly the side of the country never seen by visitors. Running the risk of appearing to downplay the seriousness of the situation, I would like to point out that similar pictures could be taken in the less desirable areas of many North American or European cities. (Ever been to Newark, NJ?). The points I'd like to make are:1. Johannesburg is not unique on a global scale, just a more concentrated example of urban decay, perhaps.2. Cities can in fact recover. All is not lost for Jo'burg, but I agree that the momentum is still moving in the wrong direction.I don't pretend to have the answers. I think that the huge and growing income disparity in the country is the root cause of most of SA's ills, and till the society manages to come to grips with that, I fear it will get worse beofre it starts improving.
Running the risk of appearing to downplay the seriousness of the situation, I would like to point out that similar pictures could be taken in the less desirable areas of many North American or European cities. (Ever been to Newark, NJ?).What you seem to be missing is that the reasons why Newark loks like Johannebsurg are exactly the same -- i.e. the inhabitants. Take off your blinkers.
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_decayhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_FlightUrban decay and white flight happened all over theworld.... not just SA!
Your images indeed paint picture of doom and gloom. I agree with you the places featured are filthy. It is interesting that you have shot most if not all of your pictures out of your car window. This suggests that you probably do not set foot in the city that you profess to know, you have been unashamedly one-sided. I'm not a supporter of the new city council, just an ordinary resident who has lived in this city for 19 years. There are parts of the city that have seen a revamp. The Van Der Bijl bus terminus, Bree Street Bus & Taxi Ranks, The Mandela Bridge, new low cost inner city apartments near Bree Street taxi rank. If JHB was dead or dying, don't you think major companies like ABSA, FNB and Transnet would have established major business centers in the CBD? The CBD is vibrant. Since the installation of the CCTV cameras, even SARS have moved operations to the CBD. The rot highlighted in most of the places you mentioned is no fault of the city council. It's the fault of the landlords. I'll tell you why. Most of the apartments in Hillbrow & yeoville rot because of overcrowding and neglect and lack of control. Overcrowing is caused by exorbitant rents charged to tenants. Many of the landlords happen to be of the old order by the way and I can't say they are entirely non-racist. You'll find that as the rent goes up, tenants are forced to sublet in order to bring the rent down. Landlords also invest nothing back for maintenance and upkeep. If you knew your facts, you would know that the City council has a plan to reverse the deterioration. I could post links here for you if you would allow. Instead of pointing out problems, don't you think it would be more beneficial to suggest solutions? Many of us who live do not have a choice of fleeing to Australia or God-knows-where. Tell us what do you think the solution is?
I find it fascinating, how people fail to see the obvious, or one should say firmly close their eyes to reality. Read in compact e.g. at http://vdare.com/misc/rushton_african_iq.htm .If interested one can find a lot more (also scientific) literature in the internet. This explains it all and no more need to be said, really. But since everybody is afraid to be called a racist these facts are just negated and people keep searching and come up with the oddest explanations. And as long as that is so the situation will become worse and not better as many seem to be hoping here.
To : James (5:25 PM)I read your comments regarding the reason as to why the buildings in downtown JHB /BEREA/YEOVILLE are in such a bad state of repairs and I ask you this question in all sincerity...."do you actually live in one of these area`s or are you involved wth these communities" ?I`m asking this question because your statements that these buildings are in disrepair are because the " old school landlords" (what you are really saying is "terrible white racists") dont maintain the buildings and keep raising the rents and the renters cannot afford to pay,and therefore sublet, is the most naive,leftist apologist DRIVEL I`VE READ ON THIS SITE.Let me explain why you dont know what the heck you`re talking about.My Mother in law lives in Berea,she owns 2 flats in one building,which she bought from the previous owners (black SA`s) who defaulted on there electricity payments (along with every the other black owner).Why did she buy the flats from them...because the City Council started proceedings to expropriate the entire block of flats due to non payment of the Electricity bill.With the exception of herself and another white owner,nobody was paying there account.She nearly lost her flat.The elec.bills were not paid for over 1 year.She has since taken over the board that controls the levie`s that are paid to the council.By the way,this board was controlled by a Nigerian who was subsequently thrown "out of office" by all the black renters/owners who had voted him in,in the first place.Here`s another story...she gets a frantic phone call from a old lady at another block of flats in Yeoville,this old lady tells her that she is being told to hand her monthly bond payment to these guys that will come and fetch it from her each month...yes,she is being threatened with death if she does not do it,it turns out that every resident is being told to do this by a gang of Zimbabwean gangsters who are trying to take over the building (this is common in these area`s).When this is reported to the SAP, they would not attend (they are later observed by residents talking to the leader of the gang down the street).My mother in law (she doesn`t take crap from anybody) goes to the head of the SAP in that region and tells him that she`s going to the newspapers unless this is not sorted out in 24 hours....the police finally attend...a gangster threatens to "get her" out on the street, she walks up to the guy in full view of the SAP riot squad and punches him in the head...he drops.The cops do nothing but laugh.All the black SA`s start singing praises to her and dancing, she is now being called out to all the other blocks of flats that have been invaded by building hijackers.The point I`m trying to make here is that...landlords are not going to maintain buildings when they`re not getting rent payments...HELLO...do you think its there job to pay for the painting repair etc while not getting the payment due to them.You cannot even get these guys removed from a building for non payment of rent....and you still expect them to keep the buildings nice...give your head a shake.Most of these buildings have been hi-jacked.Craig in Vancouver
Reading the comments here, where people living in SA deny that the problems are that bad, really baffles me.I sent a link to this site to many of my friends around the world and was most amazed by the replies I got from friends who live in SA. ( I need to state though, that these friends live comfortably either earning salaries on overseas assignments (US $'S) or making so much money in SA that they dont face the struggles that the average man in the street faces. They called this blog 'propaganda' and a load of lies.My only thought as to why they (educated people) would say this is because they truly have no way out. With no way out, they have to defend the anarchy and mass murder that is going on, if only for their own sanity sake.I also think that if one has never lived in a peaceful ,low crime place, where you can leave your home open when you go out and let your kids play outside in the street without fear, you will not know any better.It's the type of life that one has had to adapt to. (called "survival skills")I too remember being a strong ambassador for the country until the violence became too real , seeing innocent victims in the trauma unit at the hospital on a daily basis and then being a survivor of a violent crime myself.I took my second chance at life and moved abroad.The most recent statistics that 51 people are killed in VIOLENT MURDERS every day really shocks me;(1700+) in 34 days. After being back to SA the last 2 years for vacations , I dont think I will be returning for another until the government does something about the epidemic of violent,grievious crime that sweeps the country.I wont even get started on the government's planned land grab from all the farmers. Thanks for a great ,insightfull blog "Mr Realist". Would love some pics of Cape Town.
Hi mr realist. Being as realistic as you are I thought it wise for you to at least update your blog with realistic updates? Dont you think that would be realistic? Your pictures of the Drill Hall does not give a clear picture, as it has been rebuilt and renovated - actually won an architectural prize.The stampeding Impala? Also actually back at their post.The Carlton Centre? 83% occupiedThe Carlton Retail area? 97% full, and being renovated as we speak - new cinemas, shops etc.Carlton Hotel? Currently Architects are working on the new design.The Johannesburg Sun? Approved to reopen in next year (the 22storey tower) with the 40 storey part refurbished as a Condominium.The Turbine Hall? Welcome to new corporate offices.The old Ernest and young? Welcome to the luxury Franklin (SOLD OUT)Ashanti (SOLD OUT)DOGON (SOLD OUT)Mapungubwe (SOLD OUT)Shakespear place 1 and 2 in Rissik - opposite post office (SOLD OUT)Corner House (SOLD OUT)Penmore Tower (SOLD OUT)The Newtown (SOLD OUT)Lofts@66 (fully rented in 24hours)All of the above are luxury apartments.If you travel down main street you will find new restaurants on street level such as Capello's, Nando's, Wimpy, King Pie, Dulci's, Palio's, The good old Coffee Shop, Nino's and many more. You will find street sculptures and fountains and people sitting working on laptops in front of the old standard bank building in fox street.ABSA have acquired a whole city block south of its current campus, east of the carlton and due to start construction soon.In Newtown alone R500million worth of projects are waiting to be given a go ahead.Bree Street? I dare you to walk down there as I did the other day.Taking pictures, nogal...In short, Here is a realistic, OBJECTIVE overview for you to chew on. The CBD is in dire straits. Some areas look awful. Other areas look incredibly good and clean and its safe and pleasant. Constitution Hill (how easy do you ignore development)The CIVIC theatre with the new ballet school?What do you propose mr realist?1. That we buildoze the CBD - and then watch how the greatest urban sprawl ever hit gauteng? In Short: Bulldozing the CBD will not solve any problems.2. That we flee the CBD and rebuild elsewhere? Great idea, but because urban decay is a worldwide phenomenon soon the new area will decay to, and with it we will need to flee again. (you cant construct sandton's ad infinitum?)3. That we invest in our existing infrastructure, redevelop and solve problems creatively. This is what the JDA, UrbanOCean, UrbanInc and many others have been doing. What have you been doing? How are you helping? What are your solutions?And if you are such a realistic realist such as the one you claim to be, be a good jaguar and post this anonymous post on your little piece of vile crud.I dont mind you showing off Jozi's underbelly at all - it is there for all to see. But you cant claim to be realistic and still have outdated pics (claiming to be present) now can you?so REAL updates would be nice.another good thing would be some REAL analysis of why things look the way they do.That would be REALISTIC and as such you would do your name proud.I have the sneaking suspition that you are going to be the only person ever to read this post. because your REALISM wont allow for comments such as mine to be heard.
Some solutions to questions 1, 2, and 3...instead of your "lets throw more money at the problem" type "creative" solution crap. How about a mention of trying to solve the crime, entitlement, accountability, morality before the law issues? But hey what the hell, morons like you and your upliftment spend will give the thugs and thieves so much more to steal and plunder into the future...HULLOOOO!!!!
So wiseguy... What do you propose? My question to you. How do you solve ANY problem without SPENDING MONEY? your solution would be to bulldoze south africa then? Clearly this is the message sent out by websites/blogs such as these:1. South Africa is crap2. There are no solutions3. All is lost4. Lets all moan togehter5. If we moan hard enough, we will irritate the rest of the world enough and they will feel sorry for us. (taking into account that us complaining only burns calories and causes heartburn)WHAT SOLUTIONS DO YOU PROPOSE?I don't see an attempt to change anything around.Clearly, if you don't want to save jozi, you are not passionate about the city.And if the city is a hellhole according to you, WHY BOTHER?Desktop revolutionaries. I know bugs with more guts...
On the contrary smarty money-spend, the first thing I did was refer this blog to a few government agencies with a couple of wake-up call notes attached. Those that did respond were somewhat offended of course, offering some good excuses why all is well in the rainbow nation. The truth is Mr Ostrich, there is NOTHING you can do until the ANC realise that democracy MEANS accountability...do you see that happening??!! You can throw all the money in the world at the problem, you can try and get Meyer Kahn to sort out the cops again (though that was a waste of time), it is not going to help until the government decides to wield the big law stick. I had ideals of Jozi and SA being great too...it simply is not happening. Sites like this as far as I'm concerned will do far more good than to pretend everything is a rainbow haven...these imbeciles who run SA and Jozi have no clue nor desire for anything or anybody, other than to enrich themselves.
if the last entry on your blog is true. i.e> rejuvenation of the places that you photographed. how old are these photos, by the way??? i have no love for the new sa but i do think the truth is always a good place to start a discussion.!!! why not show some of these places that have been upgraded and let people decide for themselves.
Well, so the ANC is not accountable you say. Would you suggest that they are less accountable than the previous regime? Do you know the extent of corruption under Botha? But I am glad that you made the previous government aware of their own lack of accountability during the lockdown on press freedom. I am not saying the ANC is not corrupt, but dude, certainly you have to agree that in the middle 1980's it was possible worse? Of course not for you, no crime, no grime. You lived in a theme park. South Africa was at that stage also falling apart. But your little theme park was protected. Today the country might also be falling apart, but you only complain now because it hurts you too. 20years ago it was easy to ignore injustice, ne. Today we get all worked up about it... Interesting. Fact: outdated pictures are put on this blog. Rather update them with other pics - to be realistic at least. Many of the facts are OOOOLD, it is as good as reading a newspaper from last year and making all decisions based on that.
YES...I am saying that the ANC is not accountable!! Does the madness of the old oppresive regime excuse the madness of the current regime? If that is your argument then SA has zero chance, because that is exactly the argument of those that feel entitled, and therefore have the "right" to plunder. Surely the point of post-1994 was to move ahead and progress, do you think this is being achieved? So we should get worked up about it too, the ANC is failing to govern effectively, and this should be shouted from every roof-top, after all, it was you who was looking for solutions!?It's been a shift from one crap, corrupt regime to the other, and the masses still shit-off. Just like they had nothing to lose by throwing stones in the old days, the same will hold true in post-apartheid SA, it's already happening.
How sad to see those photographs of places that I knew and occassionally visited.Regardless of ones political standing, one cannot ignore the utter disregard for property that seems to be the norm in Johannesburg right now.Maybe it's just as well that they rename the place as that is not the Jo'burg I once knew.
Why the outdated pics?Why the outdated info?
can we have some more pics.i am startign to think that you have lost interest or that you have run out of shitty places to photograph!
real realist where are you?
Why no more pics ?I`ve been checking back each day for something new...and nothing.
My heart weeps for old Jo'burg, I lived and worked there for many years, and when I close my eyes I can see the streets and the names in my memory. Always bragged about the fact that I knew the streets of Jo'burg like the back of my hand. I no longer live in SA, I'm now in the UK, but Johannesburg will always be home. I do hope and pray that people will see the error in their ways, we should have a heritage to show to our children. Joubert Park at Christmas was always a treat.
time for new photos please ..... excellent site
fantastic site ... c'mon blogger ... please update your site
Hi, greats blog, well I know that South Africa is so bad now days with the black power in the state, streets, etc. I´m form south of Chile in south America, and the situation in my country is not good, but is better that south african situation.Well we have a european nationalista group and we have a blog www.ksscs.wordpress.com bye
In the fifties I used to attend school in Johannesburg. Later I worked for quite a few years at the Wits Technikon in the centre of the city. I knew the place like the palm of my hand. I loved Joburg.Ten years ago we moved to The Netherlands. We saw it coming. My eye opener was a TV story I did on Johannesburg station. An attack on my person was the final straw. But to look at these images is simply heart rending. The liberals can say whatever they want - for this no excuse is possible. It feels as if I have lost many years of personal history and good memories. Please continue with this good work putting the real face of Africa on the internet. It reminds us of the realities we left behind. We are the fortunate few!Marinus Wijnbeek
As an American studying Sociology and Urban Development, and having studied in South Africa as well, I believe the owner of this blog needs to step back and ask himself what he is truly trying to achieve.You need to remember that South Africa, though strengthening connections in our globalized world, is still considered a developing country. The government is still in a transitional state and vast improvements do not take place in such a short period of time.It is also important to recognize the larger picture. In capitalist societies, central urban degradation has taken place in post-industrial cities all over the world, where capital flight to the suburbs is almost routine. This, combined with lasting effects of apartheid, a high level of poverty and unemployment, lack of education, mismatch of skills and other social/economic issues, create a broader reason of why your Johannesburg street corners are filled with trash and criminals. I am not at all surprised that this is the state of the city today; similar situations are common throughout the world.I support free speech, and I applaud your use of the web to voice your opinion. But, I am hesitant of what exactly showing photos of crumbling buildings and streets is doing. It certainly does not encourage tourism in South Africa or support for the World Cup placement. It certainly does not encourage problem solving for economic growth or organizing South African citizens to find solutions. It certainly does not support recognition of the underlying meanings of the urban decline. Instead, you strengthen hostility and fear of the city, through one tiny piece of the story.And that does not help anything.
As an American studying Sociology and Urban Development, and having studied in South Africa as well, I believe the owner of this blog needs to step back and ask himself what he is truly trying to achieve.An easy question deserves an easy answer.The purpose of this web site is to show the world that when Blacks take over White civilization, they turn it into a trash heap.There, can I be plainer than that?
In regards to your response,I am deeply saddened that such blatant racism and hatred exists in our world, proven by your comments and pictures. South Africa has accomplished an amazing feat of empowering their long oppressed majority. It is obvious that such a transition would create unrest, especially in urban areas like Johannesburg. With time, resources, and economic growth these people will have the opportunity to be lifted out of the poverty that Apartheid has subjected them to for years. In the meantime, what is your website really doing? Inhibiting economic growth potential for tourism in South Africa? Instilling fear and doubt of Africa's regional power center? I'm sorry, but that just does not make sense to me.
Anonymous said... South Africa has accomplished an amazing feat of empowering their long oppressed majority.Pure bullshit. All that has happened is that power has been transferred to a Black clique from a White Afrikaner clique.Political power has nothing to do with what has happened in Johannesburg city centre. It has everything to do with the ability of the Black majority to maintain Western Civilization, as simple as that -- as is evidence everywhere in the world where they are in significant numbers to trash the former White environment where they have taken over.With time, resources, and economic growth these people will have the opportunity to be lifted out of the poverty that Apartheid has subjected them to for years.You really need to get a job with the Comedy Club, you are so funny!So "time" is the answer is it? Well then, how do you explain how it is that the Black "republic" of Haiti, which has been independent since 1803, is today the poorest, most backward country in the entire Western Hemisphere?Or are you still blaming "White racism" for that one as well?Or how about Ethiopia, which apart from a brief spell under Italian rule 1936-19410, has been independent for centuries, and yet which today is a miserable, starving, wreck of a nation, dependent on food handouts from the White West?Or is that all "White Racism" as well?Yea right.In the meantime, what is your website really doing? Inhibiting economic growth potential for tourism in South Africa? If this website is succesful in inhibiting just one tourist, in preventing one fool from investing his money in the wasteland of South Africa, then the effort will have been well worth it.
Could it be that Haiti and Ethiopia suffer from lack of a sound economic base because of numerous factors intertwined, not because of skin color? Could it be that globalization has forced these people to heavily rely on agriculture for trade, though their land is not fit for development? It is just ignorant and silly to think that "blacks" cannot maintain "Western" civilization. Perhaps you should think about class distinction instead, where a large number of black South Africans, but not all, require resources and training to lift themselves up from poverty manifested by the Apartheid era. How do you explain the rising black middle class, who have utilized their rights through recent policy? They have black skin, don't they. South Africa will never become the "wasteland" you speak of, with high investment rates, a strong economic foundation, global respect and local hope and vibrancy. Therefore, go ahead with your pictures of crumbling streets, because it will not make a difference in the long run. It is websites like this that make the rest of us shake our heads and scoff at such narrow-mindedness.
Anonymous said... Could it be that Haiti and Ethiopia suffer from lack of a sound economic base because of numerous factors intertwined, not because of skin color?No.Before the slave revolt in Haiti, that island was the most successful, most profitable and booming colony in all the world, supplying more than half of all Europe's sugar.... as soon as the Blacks took it over, it went to crap and has remained at voodoo level ever since.
Anonymous said... I cannot speak for other expats, and do agree that many expats are indeed smug to see what is happening in SA. Frankly most of them belong to the old Nat school (though they would not dare to admit it).Well, I voted "NO" in both referendums as I could see this coming. But the blind DF's like you are the ones who gave our country away with your "what does the dumb dutchmen know anyways?" attitude. Now are all of a sudden "dismayed" at the state of matters. What's wrong, could your money not buy your safety?All I can say is "We told you so, DF!" I will rub this in as long as I live. Now I hope you suffer as much as us who saw this coming. You contributed to us sitting elsewhere as expats, and if you are also living overseas I do hope you and your superiority complex suffer more than we do.
That's what happens when we leave the town for it's native inhabitants take "control." It gets run down and ruined just as anything else the "natives" touch.Let's hope the rest of the world fairs better.
Wow. omg wow. I havent been in JHB for over 10 years yet I live 15 minutes away. I have been working in African countries for the last 8 years on contract and only go back to SA 2 or 3 times a year so I dont really keep up with the news etc. The photos of JHB shocked me. I cant believe. That is what I see out here on a daily basis. I always new SA would come to this, I just didnt expect to see it so soon. Makes me sick to my core. I used to work in Braamfontien, go ice skating at the Carlton, jolling at Top Club and Bellas. Ho hum. Better not miss my flight to NZ in Feb as its a 1 way ticket for me and my family. Really sad to see such decay in such a once beautiful city
I left SA for the USA in 2004. I get very upset and rebelious when I see how everything that was built up and cultivated over years of time, get trampeled on. The only natural occurence that I can compare the "new South Africa" to, is a swarm of locusts devouring a lush green field and leaving only dust behind. I am very sad to know that I will never be able to return to the peaceful SA that I knew as a child.
to the "dumb dutchman" above. Yeah, that never admitting you are a Nat posting was so right. You are the DF. Those moronic dutchman (which I'm assuming you fit right in) could never see the wood from the mampoer. What would have been better you moronic idiot...to carry on with PW's scorched earth policy? Had you and your fascist, racist, Nazi ilk woken up years ago to the legacy you would eventually have no choice in leaving (and aprtheid didn't have a snowballs hope of enduring on a black continent), things could have been much better in SA today!!You reap what you sow dutchman.
To the dutchie who voted no in the referendums....are you enjoying using the internet? I have no doubt that if you lot were still in charge, the internet would have been banned. No question about it...then we couldn't have debates like this.Comperhende DF!
While it is certainly true that these areas have not been cared for or maintained the question one must ask is why? Under the previous administration all the areas pictured were white only areas and as such received the lions share of government concerns and taxes while the majority of the population suffered under conditions which were frankly barbaric. Under the new dispensation the money is finally being spread over the entire country and while this does reflect in some areas (those pictured) degrading it means that the average South African citizen is living a much higher quality life today than they were ten years ago. More people have electricity, water and sanitation and if the cost of that is for the previously white areas to look a little shabbier then I am all for it. It's very easy as a white south african to notice a degeneration around you without paying heed to those advances which have taken place, but for the majority things are improving and will continue to do so. You obviously have no photographs to compare the rural areas of natal, the eastern cape, Limpopo and Northwest back then, and now, but if you did you would notice the presence of electricity poles, taps and the like which were not present under the supposed halycon days of the past. Just because the bloggers world has gotten worse, from his perspective, doesn't mean that the country is going to the dogs. And before you ask, I am a young, white male who believes in righting the wrongs committed by the generations before me. If correcting these wrongs comes at the cost of Yeoville, Hillbrow and one or two other suburbs deteriorating then I say let it happen. Things will come right in the end.Warren RobertsonP.S: It's Rocky Street not Rocky Road which is an ice-cream flavour.
Anyone who knew the exciting, vibrant and sophisticated CBD (with many five-star hotels -- the Carlton, the Johannesburg Sun, The President, Tollman Towers, the Landrost; great restaurants -- for example the incomparable institution, Chez Andre in Kruis Street) and Hillbrow with its great boutique hotels and cosmopolitan bars and restaurants (think the Chelsea, the Montmartre and Cafe Zurich) will be devastated visiting your blog.Just one example of what the old Hillbrow meant -- in 1972 South Africa hosted the Federation Cup (the world championship of women's team tennis, sensationally won by the home team comprising Pat Pretorius and Brenda Kirk). Teams from 32 nations attended and they were put up at the Casa Mia in Soper Road, Berea -- in preference to any of the city five-star hotels because it was thought that the young girls would enjoy the atmosphere of cosmopolitan Hillbrow. And didn't they just! My brother and I (Wits students at the time) were asked to act as escorts and to introduce "respectable" friends to so act. We had several nights out in the 'Brow visiting many of the places now shown to be derelict in your photographs (for example the Chelsea, which had a great nightclub). But many of the girls simply hit the town on their own and I remember that they loved Hillbrow! Imagine allowing 100 odd of the world's top female professional tennis players (many of them teenagers) to roam today's Hillbrow at night!I now live in Sydney and my teenage daughters (19 and 17) freely travel into the city by train at night with their friends to have the sort of fun that we used to having Hillbrow -- and they are perfectly safe. Sadly, that will never again happen in Hillbrow, or in any part of Johannesburg (or even Sandton) for that matter.
These pictures remind me of the vacated, burned out and vandalized streets and buildings of Detroit. What a shame. The world owes SA a huge apology!
Anonymous said... to the "dumb dutchman" above. Yeah, that never admitting you are a Nat posting was so right. You are the DF. Those moronic dutchman (which I'm assuming you fit right in) could never see the wood from the mampoer. What would have been better you moronic idiot...to carry on with PW's scorched earth policy? Had you and your fascist, racist, Nazi ilk woken up years ago to the legacy you would eventually have no choice in leaving (and aprtheid didn't have a snowballs hope of enduring on a black continent), things could have been much better in SA today!! You reap what you sow dutchman.Whining DF soutie, I never voted NAT, they were suffering from the same delusional superiority complex like the lot of spineless wankers of your kind. Having dealt with your kinship here overseas I for the life of me cannot understand were your superiority feelings come from, most of them lack common decency and moral values, not to mention common sense. It has been quite an eyeopener...No, you have it wrong, we reaped what you sowed. The difference is that you actually did us a favour, we are heaps better off than we were over in SA. I thank you for that.So I hope you enjoy your miserable life you brought onto yourself and others. I just feel sorry for the other you dropped into the same cesspool without having a choice in the matter. ,b>Eat my dutchie.... said... To the dutchie who voted no in the referendums.... are you enjoying using the internet? I have no doubt that if you lot were still in charge, the internet would have been banned. No question about it...then we couldn't have debates like this. Comperhende DF! ,/b>Porra, I enjoy the internet very much, no thanks to you though, I sincerely doubt you had ANY input into it at all while tilling your vegie gardens. As a matter of fact my opinion is that you are likely one of the plenty out there who are great at talking, but never really did anything to contribute by actually doing something. That is why you backboneless ppl are still stuck in that hole you dug for yourselves, you don't have the drive to get out and start over.As for internet access, continue paying your extravagant costs for ASDL access in SA, I'm pretty sure it makes you feel like a real big boy, being milked like that by a bunch of ignoramuses who are getting rich of your stupidity.Man, have you made it in life or what!
As a white South African born and bred I had to leave three years ago because of serious trouble with organised crime which the police refused to help me with and they were involved with the criminals.It is just so heartbreaking to see South Africa being reduced to ashes and disaster by the current ANC government it's so typically African, can't these blacks understand what they are doing, from Cape to Cairo it's just the same chaos.
I have not been back to S.africa since 1992..the last time I saw JHB...and it was septic then. Those lovely art deco buildings that used to be Stuttafords,John Orrs and others...all wasted. Memories of my childhood tainted now with garbage and dirt..I hope and pray that one day some miracle happens and the city can be restored. But I know I am only dreaming.
People do not bash South Africa as such, people bash what South Africa has become. They see the rotten fabric of the ANC government deteriorating on a daily basis.A lot of Whites and Blacks beleived that with the advent of the ANC would herald a bright new future. This has not really materialised and a realisation that the ANC does not give a damm about "the people" gnaws at the soul of South Africa, a nation ridden by crime, corruption and disillusionmentWe see apartheid renewed by the ANC in the form of BEE, an indifference to reason, a disregard for victims of crime. We see administrative nightmares, bureaucracy gone mad, a dysfunctional Health Service and a demoralised and apathetic Police Service. The ANC inherited a beautiful and functional country and since that time have demonstrated a singlular talent to destroy it, a fact which all the pictures on this site amply demonstrate.
Nelson Mandela? Isn't he the one who sings a song about killing the Ama Bhulu. Yes he used to be State President did he not? and now there is someone called Mbeki who sings about what he can do with a machine gun? Yeesh all these nice people to run a country, what is there to complain about?
How ironic it is for an Afrikaner to quote "moral decency"!!What was moral about indefinite detention without trial, bantustans, the 1913 Land Act, the Immorality Act, state sanctioned torture etc. etc.?I do not for one minute condone what is happening in SA now, but these people should not try and claim superior values, when in their own right, they were just as barbaric, and downright stupid.
Real live killing & burning of blacks in South Africa:Download this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl4Nwz5xiv8real African lynchand please post it on this website. Download this video withwww.keepvid.comYou may need to use a flv player to view the downloaded file, such as flv 1.3.3Please upload it to other websites that doesnt censor videos, like Zippyvideos.We urge all the readers to download this video. It is proof of the crime and genocide committed in the name of Nelson Mandela and the ANC.
I left SA 3 years ago and have to agree with the comment posted earlier that we "have forfeited part of your (my)soul for a country that you (I) will never find an identity in". How very sad that despite the yearning to smell the dust of Africa and missing my family every day, it still remains a better option for my children that I continue sacrificing my soul for their benefit.Despite all the arguments, the reality is that crime in SA has reached proportions equivalent to genocide, that the average South African today has a far lower quality of life than they did in 1980 (including Blacks and even under Apartheid), that the government has not the willingness nor the ability to run South Africa effectively and that none of this makes me feel better about not being at home. I take some personal responsibility for the situation in South Africa. I truly believed that given a chance, South Africa could become a free, fair and non-racist society governed justly by the people. I advocated this, worked towards this and in establishing democracy, ultimately and dismally failed.I can also understand many of the angry posts from ex-pats. Many of them feel the same way as I do. Many are angry at being refugees. How ironic that "we are the scaterlings of Africa".I don't want SA to fail. I want to come home. Sadly, I never will.
Having left SA in 82 after living in Hillbrow at the Summit Club I am shocked to see how it has gone downhill from then, it was a vibrant and fun place to live there were troubles then but not so that you would notice just hsad to be carefull when going around joburg.Mike
Hi Alex here,I came here from Scotland as a young lad but grew up in this wonderful place called Johannesburg, with fond memories of many places in the photographs posted. I remember seeing Talep Petersen and the CT Coon Carnaval perform at Joubert Park in the late 70's. We walked there from Kensington! The filth and deterioration there now is enough for me, never mind the crime. If you get the time to branch off a bit you may like to start "The demise of the East" by photographing Germiston, Boksburg and Elsburg. Scary stuff!
it is depressing that so many people dislike such an awesome city. suck it up emo's its an wicked cool place where i have lived my whole life and never experienced any of the negativity that some have. joburg has been good to me, and it will be good to everyone if they werent so damn negative and paranoid. suck it up and stop whining, find something better to do with your time...
This is horrible. No respect for anything. I was in Durban city last week and the same is happening there. I was to scared to stop and take some pictures.
I remember going with my dad to his offices in town, back in 1984 or something. Used to take me for haircuts at the barbershop on the corner... Now it looks like a town in a war-torn African state...
it breaks my heart to see what has happened, I feel that South Africa will loose a lot of it's history and beautiful buildings if this continues. When you travel in europe they keep their buildings in tact and the age of them is overwhelming. Even though SA is much younger then europe we should preserve that we have as it is apart of everyone in the country. If you travel to eastern europe this is what you see building torn down ruined and destroyed and replaced with terrible new builds just built with no thought or beauty, something the government has thrown up for the sake of replacing what is ruined, that means nothing to someone who is interested in a counrty. It really breaks my heart how the government just allows this to happen!
There has been some improvement in Jhg, granted. However, the vast majority of the city centre is an unadulterated mess.Anyone who says otherwise is welcome to drive or walk through ANY part of it after dark, including Newtown, Constitutional Hill, or Main.Speak to the people actually living in the new residential developments in the city before you sprout off about how "safe", "secure" and "wonderful" Joburg city centre has become.Even in the suburbs, people live in fear - THAT'S why there is a new category of crime, viz. "house robbery". "House robbery" is where a gang of armed men invade your house and proceed to rob it WHILE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE IN THE HOUSE. If you don't believe me, go check out the "official stats".We live in a constant state of fear. Four house robberies in my neighbourhood in 48 hours last month. 80-year old man beaten to within in inch of his life in my road this month. Best friend staying with us was victim of armed robbery in Randburg parking lot in broad daylight. Three house breakings at my house in 4 years. Attempted car theft in my driveway while home. Gate motor stolen while @ home. Close friend raped and murdered. Car stolen. Car broken into. Smash and grab. Family member hijacked outside my house. Break in at business - 3x. Many friends hijacked. Friends in armed robbery at restaurant in Hyde Park. It goes on and on and on. Anyone who says otherwise must please come and live here. Those that do (live here) must answer one wuestion, namely: "Are your kids in state schools or private?".I used to love this place with all my heart and actually came back from a long period abroad to be part of the "New SA". Unfortunately, one cannot remain in a state of denial indefinitely. This sight is merely a photographic recording of the degradation - as far as I am aware NONE of the phtographed sites has been improved...
I left South Africa for Europe ten years ago and am now living in Italy - the best choice I ever made in my life. Today I have no regrets. Instead I feel that I have moved from hell to heaven. I miss nothing !
Greetings,Do you still operate?Please reply to me email@example.com I live in Israel and want to tell you a few things of interest.Lou
It is interesting to see how a part of a town (Hillbrow close to downtown Johannesburg) is deteriorating. though you can witness this kind of negative development in any given city all around the globe.like abroad the trend in SA is to move to the suburbs and alienate the city centers for whatever reasons.as i am from germany i have to tell you that there are quite a number of TV programmes which feature SA as a prime country for immigration. Yes, they all mention the hight crime rate and the high level of South African bureaucracy but they also show the opportunities you CAN have in SA.Of course you cannot compare SA to a first world country, cause it's not and it has never been.SA is enjoying a robust economic growth and i believe the World Cup will be of an importance you are not able to comprehend. I very much hope that South Africans will then show what SA is about. flock to the stadiums and shout to us with that friendly south african spirit (which you do have don't you?). no time for whining.
Thank you so much for sharing those pics with us. It is really shocking to see what has happened to the City of Gold. It would be great if we could see pics of all the major hospitals (now and then) as well.
To the anonymous commentator who referred to Americans as "redneck dumbass"... you are completely and utterly clueless, my friend! May I ask you if you have ever been to America? For the record, I am a Mahattan native, with two post-graduate degrees. Most of my family, friends, and employees hold advanced degrees as well.If you are looking for an American "dumbass", please look elsewhere! Education is, and will remain the key to a better life (and/or world), at least for me and mine. It's a shame there aren't more people who share that core belief. I too, am "anti-war", but also subscribe to the "just war" theory.Perhaps you would as well, if you witnessed (as I did) your hometown brutally and viciously attacked by 19 retrograde fanatics on 9/11/2001.It was not merely an attack on America; it was an attack on ALL of Western Civilization! Citizens of over 50 countries were murdered in The Twin Towers when they collapsed! There comes a time when one has not only the right, but the obligation, to defend one's self and one's family (as well as one's country) from those who seek your destruction.It's true in South Africa as well as America.I certainly sympathize with your plight; I have visited SA on numerous occasions (Pre- and Post-Apartheid) and can not imagine the heartache you must feel at the plight (and blight) of your beautiful nation. I fear it's a foretaste of the shape of things to come here in the US. That is why I keep and bear arms, as is my RIGHT. Given that, is it "blindly patriotic" to want to defend your family, property and your way of life? I think not!We, as Westerners, should be united, and not divided in that regard! Best of luck to you and your nation, I hope things take a turn for the better!
I really love my country S.A. with all its colorful people like Mandela who lives in the wonderful surroundings of Qunu and our President of the ANC who always has a shower after he has sex as to not contract AIDS. And those cultural songs he sings like Give my knobkerrie or AK so that I can silence any one who does not like me. And Im really proud of my beautiful city Josie where the soothing sounds of gun shots reverbarate through the leafy threes at a rate of one every ten minutes. I live in the cosmopolitan Hillbrow where every man is free to get drunk and stoned on tick and buttons and cases of quartz with the money brought in from the northern suburbs. I cant wait for the world cup soccer to come so that I can club these tourists like seal pups and enrich myself. To all those negetive people out there why work 40 hours a week when you can make the same money in an hour. All you need as our leader ses is my AK......And as for those broken buildings, those are some of the best shabeens in town mounas.... whats wrong with you people dont disrespect another mans shabeen..The police are also very lenient with us, so stop complaining and join us the New South Africans where crime pays.P.S. Our Leader shower head Zuma will give us each a farm if we vote for him and I say Soega Wena thats a good deal. Remember the money is in the Northern Suburbs, keep your AK's loaded and Ill see you at the Shabeen after a hard hours work.
I viewed the disturbing pictures of Joburg with a sense of loss, anguish and then fear.I knew this town as a youngster and visited with my parents. I now live abroad.Johannesburg, formerly, the grandiose, well-planned, most-beautiful city in the Southern-hemisphere with reputedly the largest man-made urban forest was a marvel of white entrepreneurial vision.A testimony to hard-work and perseverance, it arose out of the dry, dusty Highveld grass, gaining status as the only world-class Metropolitan centre not built on or near a natural waterway. It had a world-renowned work ethic and was a place which “meant business.”It is not without seeing or experiencing the former white-run Johannesburg that one can appreciate the sense of loss one feels, described by some of the posters here.We are meant to believe that since apartheid was supposedly aberrant then this sort of degeneration in a moral and physical sense is somehow acceptable? How perverse, as not even the few decent blacks can say this is an acceptable outcome.The loss represented by Joburg’s demise is representative of the coming loss of the entire Western Civilisation to the blacks. Conquered not through military might or ingenious means, but through the moral decadency of whites themselves giving into the gamut of Liberal notions, including but not limited to, Political Correctness.Let us not lie to ourselves.“White Flight,” from Western urban centre’s the world over (London, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Cape Town, Durban, Birmingham UK etc.) is not due to anything other than the barbarians being handed the keys to the gate , entering the cities and fulfilling their nefarious ends thereby forcing whites to flee for the relative safety of suburban enclaves.Good white people did not wake up one morning and decide to leave downtown Joeys (Joburg) with it’s culture, night-life and vibrancy on an impulsive whim.No, charming and sophisticated Hillbrow, Yeoville and Observatory were deserted because hordes of blacks (the country of their origin is irrelevant), with no regard for order, self-discipline, hygiene, culture or fellow human beings (including blacks) descended en masse spoiling everything they encountered.To the American apologist here, go to London, UK and visit the neighbourhoods South of the River Thames. Witness an air of decay that has set in; knife crime is rampant, drug-dealing rife. Hooded blacks loiter on street corners intimidating passers-by. Apologists put Joburg’s degeneration, and SA’s problems in general, down to poverty and blame the legacy of apartheid and the lack of opportunity for blacks as the reasons (see excuses) for their failure.We, as human beings all started at the same point.Blacks in the UK are heavily discriminated in favour of. They receive State handouts for all purposes, including studying or attempting to further themselves. Why then the decay, crime and victim-mentality in Britain too I ask?Ultimately, my fear is that this problem will come to a city near you. No country is safe. Liberal, guilt-ridden media (see BBC, CNN), continue to indoctrinate the gullible masses reaching all corners of the globe.White people the world over need to get their morals back in order, return to Christianity (which is the source of their success), or else be prepared to be on the run perpetually, you and your children’s children.Civilisation is built on order and a high regard for one’s fellow man, these spinning off from the reverence for an Almighty God.This is where we can start claiming our heritage back.Hear the past cries of the children delighting in the Christmas celebrations at Joubert Park (now a disgusting, cess-pit), downtown Johannesburg, as you read this.Johannesburg is a metaphor, a foretaste, of what is happening to the white man the world over.We need to change before it is too late.
In 2001 my dad and i were hijacked outside our home in midrand. we got off fine - both alive despite a concussion my father had after he was kicked flat-out in the head. after that event i remember very clearly that i wasnt scared - i was angry, very angry. and it must have been not long after that when i, who had before been a great enthusiast for my country, gave up hope and care, turned my back, and left for europe.ive been living in europe for about seven years now, more or less. for the first two years i travelled all over, after that i tried to return to sa but i just couldnt stand it there and so again i returned to europe. but, unlike before, this time i tried to settle down. first in holland, then spain, and finally, where i am now, in south france with my french girl-friend. my life here is great - good food, easy living, work opportunities, low crime, and a beautiful girl whom i love very much to top it all off. so why then, if everything is so good, do i have this ache to go back to sa?a friend of mine in sa got hijacked too some months back. and recently he too has left sa and is now making it in england. maybe it was then that i started to think, 'but if we all leave the country (and no ones against us doing it, after all, we have the right), then whos going to be left to maintain any good there? and what about all the people who would leave but just dont have the means - are we going to leave them there with all the baddies to deal with it alone? our home, our country is being destroyed before our eyes and were just going to sit back and watch it, complaining, or leave the country and try forget about it? im sitting here in europe and im seeing whats happening there and im ripping my hear out! so much so thats its coming to the point where i feel im going to have to abondon a good life here, and the woman i love to go back home to live a life of potential suffering, just because thats what the country needs right now. am i crazy? isnt there anyone else who shares this feeling? if there are then i urge you all, and ill join you, to forget about the old sa - thats dead and gone for everyone regardless of your colour, to learn to adapt, to make a new place for us all, to have children who will become this new breed of south african and to stay there and and do good. we arent going to let this country turn into zimbabwe are we?
So why does it happen? Why the same devastation is happening to those parts of American cities where African Americans predominantly live? I don't think it is related to race. You can see similar devastation in the provincial cities of Russia, Brazil. Wherever people don't live productive lives.And to the moron who dislikes patriotic Americans:Nobody like the war. But to be anti-war during the struggle with Islamofascist is like whine about Americans being warmongers during WW2. Why wouldn't you take your dislike of the war to the aggressors? Or suggest an alternative to us defending our Nation? What can you offer? A UN peace conference ending up in an anti-American and anti-Israel resolution? What was your solution to the problem of Saddam? Set him free? Thanks but no thanks. Try your anti-war drivel with the relatives of that Polish engineer who was beheaded by your beloved freedom fighters from Taliban if you have any guts.
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