Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Greetings readers.
I have been asked a few times now what my idea is with setting comments to moderation status, instead of allowing a free for all.
There are three basic reasons:
1. I want to keep racial epithets out of it. You can refer to race as much as you want, but there is no need to resort to racial epithets -- it lowers your argument level.
2. Please don't try and advertise web sites in your posts. It's not that I don't like anybody else's site, it's just that it's a dangerous precedent to set, and opens up all sorts of problems further down the line, when things appear on web sites over which I have no control.
3. Don't insult me. It's my blog, and I won't allow it, as simple as that. You can say I am wrong, whatever, but your post instantly goes down the drain if you resort to insults. You can resubmit without the insult if you want.
If there are any comments which have made it through which go against these rules, let me know. I have tried to catch all of them, but there are now nearly 1,000 and I may have missed some.


Angela said...

This was quite sad to see - we lived on the 8th floor of Nedbank Plaza in 1987 and loved it and then lived in the flats you have pictured on Saunders Street Yeoville - 1987/88 - we were the ground floor flat and used to park our car under the tree in your picture. I still love SA but it's very sad to see the destruction of Hillbrow/Yeoville etc.

Anonymous said...

Any chance that you could photograph Yeoville proper --Hunter street, Grafton Road, Frances Street??

Thanks so much.

The Real Realist said...

Any chance that you could photograph Yeoville proper --Hunter street, Grafton Road, Frances Street??

I am sure than can be arranged.

savetheoc said...

How do these people live like this? This is an animals living condition! This country has gone so far downhill it's not even funny, It could never be restored to it's former glory.
I'm sure these people who live in the half demolished buildings HAD BETTER LIVING CONDITIONS DURING APARTHEID!
Vote for a lying, incapable party like the ANC and this is what you get!

I as a South African citizen am very distgusted @ this, how have things gotten this bad, oh yeah! Apartheid ended!!

Great truthfull blog by the way! Very GOOD work!! Well Done.......

Jeff said...

This is a side that we don't get much from the media in the United States. Quite interesting to read another side of the story.

Best wishes for the continued success of your Blog. Hope you continue to allow all sides in the comment sections -- makes the site all the more significant.

Anonymous said...

I find your site very one-sided. Not that I don't believe your shots are real, but they are taken out of context. After so many years of apartheid, repression and immoral legislation against the majority of South Africans, how can anyone expect a smooth and "upscale" transition. I fear you do not understand that everything has a price, and this may just be the price of so many years of immoral politics, the dehumanization of a people, and the absolute lack of ethics under the apartheid regime.

Whose side are you on?

The Real Realist said...

After so many years of apartheid, repression and immoral legislation against the majority of South Africans, how can anyone expect a smooth and "upscale" transition.

You don't get it do you? There is no question of "transition" invovled here: what has happened is that the most prosperus, advanced city in Africa, has been turned into a slum.

It's not like they started with crap and now have crap: they started with what was an economic hub, safe and bustling, and now big parts of it look like it has been bombed.

Don't try and blame apartheid for that: it's a flimsy excuse, patently untrue and just doesn't wash.

Anonymous said...

I've read of millions of illegal immigrants flooding across the borders since the early 1990s.

Any idea to what extent the blight in Johannesburg is exacxerbrated by this uncontrolled influx from the rest of the continent?

Anonymous said...

"the dehumanization of a people' HOW ?? WHERE ?? WHEN ?? WHAT A FARCE ! ANOTHER brainwashed LIBERAL!

M said...

You're doing a good job RR. People need to see this side.
I can't fully comprehend the deterioration of Jo'burg because I wasn't alive when it was beautiful. It's just always seemed dangerous and dirty to me. Surely, even if you are really poor, you can live with dignity and take pride in what you do have and respect those who have built what you have?
It's so sad that it has come to that - like an unneccessary end to an era.
I moved to Canada and find many who think immigrants are cop-outs, abandoning a country that needs them. But after looking at the gruesome police file images of some of the killings there - there is nothing for me to go back to.
I couldn't stomach enough to finish looking at them. The shock was unbearable. It's very apparent that these people were killed not for their farm or because of the their murderers' unfortunate circumstances - but for pure bloodlust. These people, reduced to ashes and blood, were real people. They all had stories.
I don't know if I ever want to go back after seeing that. It seems hypocritical to go and enjoy the beautiful parts on holiday, while the murders and rapes continue like everyday occurences. I realize most countries have problems similar to this, but sometimes I am ashamed to say I am from this one. I am so glad I got out.

Anonymous said...

Great Site. It’s good to see that someone can show JHB for what it really has become. All those people that are so Proudly South African need to take that Pride and reassess it. I find it funny how white South Africans can say that the economy is booming and the country is so great, and that look at all the construction that is going on in JHB! Yet all of you live in these golden cages, with electric fences and razor wires. And for the delusional liberals that think its going get better, take a look at Rosebank. Once very trendy with all the trendy spots. Oxford street is full homeless bums, and that whole Baker Street and Jan Smuts area. As for Norwood, once so Kosher, now so…………

Anonymous said...

as much as i would want to deny it - your site is interesting. i grew up in Yeoville and spent many nights out on the town in Hillbrow and i can only look back with fond memories of how a cosmipolitan New South Africa might have been. Often I thought that if the New South Africa was like Rockey Street (multiracial and multi cultural) it would have been a beautiful place emphasising the transformation from our dark days of apartheid.

Sad as the images of Hillbrow and Rockey Street may seem, it is important to remind yourself that cities like London, New York, Paris, Rio, Los Angeles also have slums and "no go" areas. Yes, Yeoville is bad, Hillbrow even worse but isn't that just part of any growing city?

Finally, whilst I would be happy to accept that cities will have slums and degraded areas, what is hard to stomach are the images of farmers and postings of people doing normal things and getting killed, robbed and maimed (both physically and psychologically).

I always thought that I might return but you really need to take a second look when you see what is going on in SA. I really miss SA but the SA I miss will never be replaced - not in the short term anyway.
thanks for the blog -

Anonymous said...

From the general tone of your site, it's obvious that you feel you have a solution to all the problems you've highlighted.
For some reson you seem to have chosen not to share that with the world.
I'd very much like to see a "Solutions" section to your blog as well.

Anonymous said...

"Sad as the images of Hillbrow and Rockey Street may seem, it is important to remind yourself that cities like London, New York, Paris, Rio, Los Angeles also have slums and "no go" areas."

Look at the demographics of those areas that have "no go" cities. The problem is going to get worse if Whites continue to import poverty and third world people into their homelands. All the "no go" areas in the US/Canada/Europe/etc are filled with dark skinned people.

Btw, admin: Can you take pictures of the "White" areas of Pretoria/JHB/etc? By "White" I'm sure you won't be shot at to go to these areas.

Anonymous said...

To the person seeking solutions,

The RR has said repeatedly that he thinks that there are NO solution for the new SA. The way that things have been set up prevents that. The purpose of this blog is to show the world what happens when a 1st world country is governed by 3rd world barbarians, not to try to find "rainbow" solutions for the "rainbow" nation.

Anonymous said...


KDX_Noddy said...

I love SA....it's a pity it has gobne this way. I remeber goign into "Town" with my mom and gran, and stopping by Dick's Sweets for some aniseed drops. Thats now gone. I ahve not been in JHB centre for about 15 years, and remeber going to Rocky Street on weekends to see bands play. Who remebers Tandoors or Dylans.

It's just plain sad. I have a mate who is a policeman in Hillbrow, and apparently, 90% of the problem is illegal immigrants.

I now stay out on the East Rand in a "White" area. I have peop;e of different races staying next to me and they are civilised. keep up the good work on the site, but I think eventually, we may see a bit of a change in SA. Until then, I'll keep holding thumbs

The Real Realist said...

Anonymous said...

Well that's a load of bollocks, JHB wasn't a slum under Apartheid, it was one of the cleanest, modern, economically active, pleasurable cities I have ever seen.

And if you mean that the townships were a slum, and that was hidden: well, that is partially true, indeed: but even then, there were no shanty town squatter camps.

Not that I am trying to defend Apartheid, mind you. It was a silly system, which created a false First World bubble and tried to impose First World standards on the Third World population, and for that reason, could never have succeeded. In fact, much the same can be said for today.

yster said...

Are the "intelligentsia" waking up?

I see you are a real realist,in the publishing industry? Question is,when did you become a realist?

I seem to remember a time when all publications, artists, professors, priests, etc. etc. was warned about their liberal ideas and so called solutions to South Africa's problems.
I also remember the chorus of "enlightened" first world countries like America , Britain , Holland , Sweden etc. etc. funding the terrorists Mandela and company, training them and advising them against the Boer people.

I have lost half my family. I'm also in exile in a country that I despise as much as the terrorists that shot and killed the people I am kin to. I'm having to write in the language of those that took my homeland from me by interning our women and children in order to eventuate the capturing of our republics for economic reasons.

How emty and without substance the pityfull comments of what is going on in South Africa at the moment.
How many times has the world been warned about the consequences of what they were doing. Obviously they knew exactly what they were doing. Much easier to negotiate the sale of commodities with brainless trash like those that was put into power than equals that we're able to hold their own.

To everyone of the so called South Africans that through any one of a thousand reasons made themselves guilty of the situation as depicted in these photographs either through not voting , not getting involved in the politics of the day , laziness to research and speak out against what was wrong etc. I want to say this.
when you or one of your family is depicted as just another statistic in a photograph, hopefully you will also be treated as those in the pictures , just another statistic! And you know what? I hope it happens sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

This is why I voted with my feet 20 years ago. It was obvious to me that SA was on its way down to join the other illustrious African states that in colonial days were net exporters of food and now only survive on hand outs (So call aid) from the evil Western Countries that is the sole cause of their misery.

Anonymous said...

It is devastating to see the deterioration of the city and surroundings. We used to live in a flat on the corner of Muller Street and Harrow Road, Yeoville. Are you able to show a photo of that area? And the Park bordered by Lily Ave and I can't remember the other streets in Berea. My parents' flat in Beaumonde terrace had a beautiful view of the park.

Anonymous said...

Nothing can change in SA until the elite, yes people like me and the owner of this blog - and many others, take responsibility for the ownership as follows:
Land 85% white owned
Boards of Directors 96% white
Economy 79% white run

So any effects seen on this site are purely a reflection of the non-transfromation of SA from those that have (happened to still be white) and those that don't (happened to be in Hillbrow)

Until such time we shift the balance in SA towards accepting our responsibility for what is out there, there is nothing that will change. Sad as it may be looking at these streets and these living conditions - the blog author and I do not live there, why?

Not much has changed in SA for me or the blog author, we're still the priveleged few and the have all we need tyo live a comfortable life. Only we can change this and I encourage those looking a tthis blog to understand that it is not a reflection of our government or our recent liberation, but a reflection of us as a people, especially those that have the resources and are still in charge of the economy. (Shaun R Schwanzer)

Sylvia said...

How sad that ex-South Africans have to resort to photos of trash to justify their leaving the country and their families. I believe that most of you (who have no problem spending your December holidays on South African beaches, while it is freezing cold in your wonderful new country)regret having left the sunshine, the game reserves and the friendly people behind! Please do not come back (even for holidays) - we don't need or want you!

How about some photos of the revamped Newtown (theatres, restaurants, upmarket apartments)?

Every city in the world has its run-down areas! Lets get some pictures of Atlanta's sulms!!!

Anonymous said...

Hardcore liberals! With one foot in the grave they will still argue their point to the death. They absolutely REFUSE to accept when they were wrong.

South Africa is undergoing a "transformation" alright! Just not of the type you rainbow fairies prophecied. Hell, let me do prophecy for you: by the time "we've shifted the balance in South Africa" you'll have voted with your feet.

Simunye - We are one
Tshwane - We are the same

I finally get these ridiculous slogans - we're ALL fucked now!

yster said...

(Shaun R Schwanzer)

And you dare publish your name!

You are a disgrace to reason and common decency! You know what?
I thought I will answer your
"sotheid" but decided against it.

Please god that you become a victim, you stupid bastard.

Mike said...

Thanks for the photos -- very interesting and informative :)

It must be said that the title and description is pretty misleading though. Contrary to what is portrayed, Joburg is very much a vibrant, alive-and-kicking city. Yes, the old CBD's gone to hell, and the heart of the city has moved elsewhere. It certainly hasn't died though!

Anonymous said...

... unfortunately this is not the worst of it. Have you seen Durban lately?

capdog said...

Durban is a very different story. Sure, there are slums but in general, the city is coming alive.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the scum of South Africa, Jobeg! Please publish some pictures of Sandton Fourways etc in a few years time! Those areas will be looking just like these pictures! Randburg is already a dogs breakfast! Please publish some pictures on the Randburg CBD.

Anonymous said...

RR, I fully support you with your 'moderation status' comment at the start of this page. This is not a white-black battle ground. It's an awareness blog re. the state our country is falling into at a great pace - and exposing those responsible, since they're trying their best to hide it from the outside world. If they're black by coincidence, then so be it!

I've got a few good black friends myself - the one's house (in Rooihuiskraal) got cleaned out yesterday while he was at work. Fortunately, said our minister of SAFETY (Ha Ha!) and Security ( Charles Nqakula) - the blacks can cope with it. The rest of us can whinge till we're blue in the face - or leave the country! Since we're not leaving, let's take his advice and turn up the whinging, we've got his permission! And those of you critisizing us for doing so: careful, you're going against the wishes of our minister of SAFETY and Security!

RR, how about a picture of Joubert Park? I recall pictures of soft, lush, green lawns in the midst of a colourful entertainment setup (and kiddies music) during Easter weekends, as a child. It was like a real wonderland from which you refused to escape...


Anonymous said...

It's true those pics are very sad to see. Remember we are a 3rd world country and things like this are going to happen - every country around the world will have "no go" areas EVEN 1ST WORLD Countries.

I feel for you RR that you have to publish something like this to try and prove a point, one which I'm still trying to understand.

Don't knock the country that you were born in..... one day you might have to come back!!!!

Anonymous said...

There has been many references to the early to mid-80's and what Hillbrow and the inner city was all about. I lived and worked in Hillbrow during this period and saw thigs that many or none of the current bloggers ever did. I was stationed as a Police Detective at Hillbrow. I can say that I knew most of the drug lords, whores, massage palour owners and staff, the drug addicts, the dealers and more. These people were then regarded as the worst of the worst, not just in Hillbrow, but in Southern Africa. What I have witnessed on this site scares me. I can say that during the so called bad days, I had even travelled and lived in the so called "no-go" zones, we called "designated locations", but what exists in the living quaters of the environments depicted in these photographs, I did not witness to the extent that our "New South Africans" to day live. No-one can say that the conditions of living has improved, since these people have been given the opportunity to live like advantaged persons. In fact living in Joburg's slums has taken these people back to the "dark ages" and no, apartheid cannot be blamed, these people have been given everything that I had in Goldreich Street, Hillbrow and "they" themselves are to blame for the destruction and mayhem "they" have created.

Anonymous said...

You poor, sad, pathetic people!! Why dont you rather embrace the good that we have all seen, the warmth of the majority of the people we meet on a daily basis and accept that this IS the new South Africa. Of course, if this is too difficult for your pea brains - FIFO - Fit in or F#?k off!!

Anonymous said...

great site it would be good to be in a position to post before and current photos,i recall going to the chelsea hotel,carlton dome and thunder dome that was 1987.well thats why im sitting in new zeland for the rest of my countrymen

Anonymous said...

Nothing can change in SA until the elite, yes people like me and the owner of this blog - and many others, take responsibility for the ownership as follows:
Land 85% white owned
Boards of Directors 96% white
Economy 79% white run

Let me guess ! You a well-off, self-hating liberal living off your parent's millions.

Why don't you set an example and allow every liberated New South African in the street to come shit in your toilet ?
Or better yet, open your house to the public and give the "oppressed masses" free reign. Let them slaughter goats on your manicured lawns, urinate into your pool and shit in the bushes. Let them practise animal sacrifices and other witchcraft nonsense.

Whites got to where they are because they are capable whereas blacks are not. They have confirmed this by insisting that whites hand over their businesses to blacks, rather than encouraging black entrepeneurship. The Black Taxi industry, created by PW Botha, demonstrates that blacks can make it on their own if they really want to.

Peter said...

Depressing. Sad. What else to say? I grew up in Rosebank. Attended King Edwards. Fond memories of all these places. When will it turn around?

Anonymous said...

Hi, we left SA in 2001 and Yeoville looked the same then as it does in your pics now!

Mama's was one street-up on the corner of Bezuidenhout & Rockey Street, not on Raymond. They used to make the best Pizza & pasta on the planet!

Anonymous said...

"FIFO - Fit in or F#?k off!!"...Are you serious?

It's like the Minister of Police saying stop whingeing about crime!!! If that's the case, I don't know why the press bothers to report it, or lament that 19 cops were killed in 2 weeks etc etc. Wake up FIFO!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Read this book for all the answers...

CAPITALIST NI**ER excels as an explosive and jarring indictment of the Black Race. Capitalist Ni**er: The Road to Success (Timbuktu Publishers, September 17, 2000) asserts that the Black Race, is a consumer race and not a productive race. Says the author, Chika Onyeani, "We are a conquered race and it is utterly foolish for us to believe that we are independent. The Black Race depends on other communities for its culture, its language, its feeding, and its clothing." "Despite enormous natural resources," according to the author, "Blacks are economic slaves because they lack the "killer-instinct" and "devil-may-care" attitude of the Caucausian, as well as the "spider web economic mentality" of the Asian." The author is not afriad to use the most hated word, the 'N' word as a title of his book. He says, "It is not what you call me, but what I answer to, that matters most." The further asserts that "Blacks are economic slaves. We are owned lock stock and barrel by people of European-origin ... I am tired of hearing Blacks always blaming others for their lack of progress in this world; I am tired of the whining and victim-mentality. I am tired of listening to the same complaint, day in day out - racism this, racism that. It's getting us nowhere." "Africans have a stance, 'live for today, let tomorrow take care of itself and be damned' attitude," the author says. "We've become a sheep-like consumer race that depends on other communities for our culture, language, feeding, and clothing. We've become economic slaves in Western society." CAPITALIST NI**ER reserves its harshest criticism for African leaders, who according to Onyeani, have allowed Europeans and others to pillage and plunder Africa's wealth, without anything to show for it, other than more starvation, disease, and dictatorships. "We have as little today than when most of the African countries received independence from their colonial masters," Onyeani says. CAPITALIST NI**ER is an anguished cry to the Black race to wake up, stand up and move on." "We must abandon the victim mentality baggage that we've carried for so long: the notion that somebody owes us something," the author says. "We've got to stop whining and stop begging. The Black race needs to wake up and stand on it's own feet." Says Onyeani, "We need to recognize and learn from others what it takes to succeed. We need to adopt the "devil-may-care" attitude and the "killer-instinct and whatever-it-takes attitude" of the white Caucasian, and the "spider web economic mentality" of the Asian."

Anonymous said...

I live in England at the moment but lived in jhb until the late 1990's.
I still think that in its heyday it was the most fantastic city in the world.
Is it possible that someone can give you photos of those same places that are ruined now but in the eighties were fantastic.
I think that it would give foreign visitors to your site a understanding of what the ANC has done to our country.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I live in England at the moment but lived in jhb until the late 1990's.
I still think that in its heyday it was the most fantastic city in the world.
Is it possible that someone can give you photos of those same places that are ruined now but in the eighties were fantastic.
I think that it would give foreign visitors to your site a understanding of what the ANC has done to our country.
Keep up the good work.

Bill said...

Bill from NZ
I worked at the SAIMR in Hillbrow for 9 years from 1984 to 93 and saw the start of the deteriation of that whole area. It was becoming a slum even at that stage mainly because of the increase in crime and the change of the population mix. Only the old white population who were locked into their accommodation through lack of funds had to stay and tough it out. The young and enlightened moved to the suburbs and left the accommodation and the streets to the african majority who were moving in. Reference to the Capitalist Ni**er was very enlightening as I have always felt very strongly about the producers and takers of the world. We see it in NZ as well - europeans pay the tax, the darker skinned people take the government handouts. This is a generalisation but on averages we can easily apply an 80/20 rule to these numbers and what really gets my goat is that they think it is there right as the "oppressed" to take take take.

I spent 3 years in Shoshanguve working for a bus company and the same applied there - with a good clean bus being put out on the route in the morning and by the evening it was littered with paper and waste food, Urine in the corners and the odd window broken just for good measure. Heaven help us if we just put that bus back out like that the next day.

I left for my children's sake to ensure they had the freedom to ride their bikes around the neighbourhood without fear of it being stolen, of walking to the swimming pool (sea) to have a swim and being able to leave your towel unattended whilst enjoying the water without fear of it being stolen and for my daughter to be safe in the movies and on the bus whereever she is. Sorry to leave YES but only because of my memories of the weather, and the enjoyment of my own youth with those freedoms that if I had stayed would never have been experienced by my children.

Thankyou for this great Blogg and I will try to keep following it in the future

Anonymous said...

Baie dankie vir die puik blad!! Hou dit so sodat die buitelanders kan sien wat werklik in hierdie "demokratiese" land aan die gang is. Alles waarvoor die blankes hard gewerk het deur die jare.....word nou deur hulle gatte getrek...hoekom omdat alles in hulle gatte ingestop word. Hulle ken nie waardes nie, word barbaars gebore, en sal barbaars sterf. Jy kan die aap uit die bos haal, maar nie die bos uit die aap!
Mag God ons land en sy blankes genadig wees!

Bernard said...

This is a very entertaining site, It reminds me of why I came to the sunny skies and braai vleis lifestyle, sorry I mean "BBQ" lifestyle of Queensland, Australia!
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

How sad that such a beautiful country and pumping Metropolitan City has succumbed to this!!! I was shocked to see the photos. Everytime I get homesick I will be looking at these photos and remind myself how lucky we were to get out and enjoy New Zealand. YOur blog is AWESOME. thanks Louisa

Anonymous said...

I used to be the eternal optomist!! Always thinking that things will get better but lately my optomism has turned to disbelief!!!! We are such a heartless society and you can point fingers at lots of things - lack of education, poverty......but the truth is that people are just heartless. It is so easy just to drop your rubbish and walk on, to steal something, to kill someone - why? Cos you either never get caught and punished or if you do, you get a bed, food, clothes - you live a better life than before and within a few months you will be out walking the street checking out your next target!!!! My heart truelly breaks for the families of those murdered people and I hope you all look past your grief and fight to make SA the GREAT place it was and should be!!! Maybe we should appeal to companies to not give millions and billions of Rands to the 2010 world cup and rather put that money into fixing up our country, building better jails to house the criminals who should not be released and educate those who TRUELY want to be educated!!!! I know it would be easier to get on a plane and get out of here but then these 'PEOPLE' are winning!!!!!! Please dont give up - there are hundreds of people who wnat the best for SA - we just all need to work together!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!

Stroppy said...

Very very interesting site. I am from Australia, now live in Ireland.

I had no idea of the scale of the devolution of SA infrastructure and in fact how severe conditions are in JB. My god what a mess.

I have no doubt that aparthied was not the answer. But this as an alternative is rediculous.

Australia has its own problems with aboriginals, but they are the minority. The problems lie in that they have life expectancies about 20-25 years lower than all other sections of society. Unemployment around 50% or more; >40% than the rest of the population. You could just about count the number of aboriginals on one hand that make it through University every year. Alcoholism, drug abuse etc is rife - substantially more than other demigraphics.
What does the government do? Throw money at them. They get double the unemployment allowance, double the student allowance and are always on the priority list if they need a house.
I actually wouldn't mind if money was spent on trying to pull them out of the slums SOMEHOW.

I dont know what the answer is...... I just keep thinking if the minority in Australia was white and the aboriginals came into power..... Devestation wouldn't begin to describe it.

I guess the old question of whos fault is it then follows. White man for conquering or black man for never actually adjusting to something other than Hunter Gatherer?

But does it matter any way when there is no way to fix it?

Anonymous said...

I realise that there is little likelihood that this will get posted. However I should say that I am appalled by your site. I grew up in Cape Town for the mst part and moved to Johannesburg 5 years ago. Johannesburg has been a revelation to me as to what a contemporary african city can be - a wonderful, inspirational place with marvellous people - and the thought of moving back to the segregated, blinkered reality of Cape Town has never crossed my mind. I live immediately adjacent to the inner city and do a lot of work there. The views you put across about Joburg are destructive and uninformed. I find it hard to understand why you would invest all this energy in a project that is so profoundly negative.

Anonymous said...

you inform readers that you will not post messages that contain racial epithets: virtually every other message posted has a vitriolic and racist content. if i was black and i encountered this site it would confirm all of my suspicions about whites - that there racism is stronger than ever having gone underground, into a cowardly anonymous space. you should all be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Any pics of Hillbrow Tower? And I'd be interested to see what Ponte City looks like these days.

Anonymous said...

The rules laid down by the realist only states that he will not allow posts with racial ephitets, because it lowers the argument level. He said nothing about posts which may be interpreted as being racist.

In my opinion he did this to prevent people from shouting "racists!" on the first mention of race, and not engaging in a proper debate. In the NSA mention the words "black" and "fuckup" in one sentence and you are instantly a racist!

Anonymous said...

One does not have to go north of the border to see what is happening to the rest of Africa! It's moving South, so just stay in one place and you'll see it happen all around you. Third world people pretending to be first world to a nation of third world culture.

Anonymous said...

I have not been back to South Africa for 14 years, and your photo's show a sad demise. I guess I will give up on bringing my children back to see where I grew up, went to school and university, and then worked. It would be too sad, and no doubt too dangerous.
I have two rather unconnected questions that I would be very interested to have an answer/opinion on from the RealRealist.
1. Imagine that I am a wealthy tourist (do you still have them?) and I have taken that well publicised trip up from Cape Town on the Blue Train. I arrive at about mid morning at Johannesburg central station (a place of wonder and excitement when I was a boy). I step out of the luxury that has surrounded me for a day and night, take a ride up the escalator to the concourse. What would I see? When I get up to the street, I assume I see in real time what your photographs have shown me. Then what? I am standing with my bags, hailing a cab to go where? It seems as though every hotel that you have shown is closed or trashed. Does the scene that I have just described actually happen? Who rides the Blue Train, and to where?

2. Your site tells me that the New South Africa suffers 21,000 murders annually, and that nobody seems to care. During my daily commute to my place of business (Sydney, Australia)I hear that Kofi Anan is getting quite excited about 750 deaths in Lebanon. However, I have not heard one peep from him about your statistics (which I have no reason to disbelieve) or indeed the 1 million deaths just up the road in the Congo - not to mention the goings on that have turned Rhodesia from a breadbasket to a Zimbabwean basket case. I would have thought that a Man of Africa would have used his tenure in the Halls of Power to rid Africa of tribalism, corruption and nihilistic leadership.
If that is expecting too much, I fail to see how his Black Brothers who hold the reins of power in South Africa are likely to be any more enlightened, or be practitioners of good governance. Maybe, having been away for so long has made me cynical. Do you have a counterpoint?

Anonymous said...

On the advice of one of the posts I viewed the above site. Now I am confused. Two directly opposing views equally supported by images of JHB.

Looking at the site it is truly inviting - spin perhaps?

The Real Realist said...

Anonymous said... 1. Imagine that I am a wealthy tourist (do you still have them?) and I have taken that well publicised trip up from Cape Town on the Blue Train. I arrive at about mid morning at Johannesburg central station (a place of wonder and excitement when I was a boy). I step out of the luxury that has surrounded me for a day and night, take a ride up the escalator to the concourse. What would I see? When I get up to the street, I assume I see in real time what your photographs have shown me. Then what? I am standing with my bags, hailing a cab to go where? It seems as though every hotel that you have shown is closed or trashed. Does the scene that I have just described actually happen? Who rides the Blue Train, and to where?

An interesting comment, which shows how much things have changed.

Firstly, you might be aware that AA drivers smashed the Blue Train in October 2005
and that while the wreckage was stationary, New South Africans looted and stripped it of all its fittings

Apparently the have repaired it, and it is running again.

But here is the crunch: as you will see from their official web site

the Blue Train does not stop in Johannesburg any more.

Nope, the route runs from Cape Town to Pretoria, and then north.

I don't think it is even ncessary to explain why it doesn't stop in Johannesburg any more, do you?

2. Your site tells me that the New South Africa suffers 21,000 murders annually, and that nobody seems to care. During my daily commute to my place of business (Sydney, Australia)I hear that Kofi Anan is getting quite excited about 750 deaths in Lebanon. However, I have not heard one peep from him about your statistics (which I have no reason to disbelieve) or indeed the 1 million deaths just up the road in the Congo - not to mention the goings on that have turned Rhodesia from a breadbasket to a Zimbabwean basket case. I would have thought that a Man of Africa would have used his tenure in the Halls of Power to rid Africa of tribalism, corruption and nihilistic leadership.
If that is expecting too much, I fail to see how his Black Brothers who hold the reins of power in South Africa are likely to be any more enlightened, or be practitioners of good governance. Maybe, having been away for so long has made me cynical. Do you have a counterpoint?

No, you are right. It seems that as long as Blacks are doing the murdering, slaughtering etc, then everyone pretends to ignore it; but don't let Europeans or Israel bomb a few non-Whites, then Kofi Anan is up in arms. It's called double standards.

Anonymous said...

"you inform readers that you will not post messages that contain racial epithets: virtually every other message posted has a vitriolic and racist content. if i was black and i encountered this site it would confirm all of my suspicions about whites - that there racism is stronger than ever having gone underground, into a cowardly anonymous space. you should all be ashamed. "


Anonymous said...

I visited SA first in 1991, stayed at the Ridge Protea Hotel on Abel Rd. Despite being warned otherwise, I found Hillbrow (albeit scruffy) reasonably safe and lively - and visited many drinking dens/hotel bars in the locality. My next pass through Hillbrow was 1993 - when (while passing through) a whim took me up to see what was what ... it was then dangerous, difty & full of street kids. Whereas I have been back to SA many times since - and always love it - downtown JNB & Hillbrow have been out of bounds!!! What became of the Ridge Hotel, The Gardens Hotel (O'Reilly Rd), The Crest & Ambassador hotels ... any chance of pix of them now. Also - the Springbok Hotel in downtown ... and the underground shopping mall in the CBD (name escapes me). Its a terrible shame how Hillbrow has turned out .... but the writing has been on the wall for a long time now. Yeoville's destruction is more recent and more sad.

Anonymous said...

I left SA 3 years ago for Australia.
Like other South Africans I am homesick every day, but when I look at my children being not afraid to go out, and my wife walking the dog without looking over her shoulder, I feel I made the right decision.
I wish things were different or that SA will improve one day but I know that this is only a dream.

Anonymous said...

I said when were in Africa over Easter that were it not for us going to the USA I would return to South Africa.

The development and growth the country is seeing, the new housing developments, all fresh and shiny looked absolutely amazing. I can hear my friends saying "But it only looks that way, be thankful you've left here". At our Fire Dept "Old Boys" get together a former colleague had remarked that I wasn't seeing the "true picture".

Well guess what? Turns out I was a tourist, vacationing in a country destined to descend into darkness the same way as the rest of Africa. If I am somehow mistaken and grossly over exaggerating fact, please show me the exception to the rule in Africa??

Beneath the glssy veneer of the "Rainbow Nation" where all of the supporters of the former nationalist and white government are now harder to find than a Woolly Mammoth, I now realise that the demise indeed began before I left for the UK 9 years ago. The whites that are "happy" and live in a self induced "halcyon days" delusion of being in a country where all is rosy and cheerful earning thousands if not millions of a currency where there are still strict foreign exchange regulations imposed and will in all likelihood never leave with what it's worth, are "too good" to dirty their hands and will ultimately pay the price for their own stupidity.

Am I quoting from the book of imaginations? Is this the ranting of a madman, just exasperated that I'm not back in "good old" SA enjoying the land of milk and honey "Rainbow Nation" in the sun?


However, I have visited every country north of SA, and south of the equator. And here's the cold fact: I did not find a single one prospering under "African government" and the demise was swift when white power was dismantled by Africa itself.

But friends, don't believe my rather strong oration in black and white text, these colour pictures speak louder than words.

This is present day, and Black Economic Empowerment is still coming?

For those "die hard" South Africans still there enjoying the "fruits of your labour" because you're too comfortable driving European luxury cars and living in large houses cleaned and maintained by inexpensive black labour, my message is this - ENJOY IT, the ride ends soon!

Oh and btw, history DOES show that gun control precedes genocide!

Perhaps Uhuru or Operation Vula IS more than just a rumour.

Good Luck and Goodbye South Africa!

Oh and to the "do gooder" liberals and human rights defenders - get reals, this is as real as it gets!

Anonymous said...

Great site! Unfortunately I cannot comment as I never grew up in Johannesburg... Does anyone have a similar site (or is there one in the pipeline) for Cape Town?

To FIFO and the rest of the people who still think SA is a great place to stay, good luck! I have done the FO and moved to Australia, best money I have ever spent!

Anonymous said...

Wow - how things have changed. I left SA in 1990 first went back to Igoli (the city of gold) AKA Johannesburg in 95. (One year after the elections and the swearing in of a new government).Even then, the first thing you noticed was the grubbiness of the place with rubbish left lying around, fences trampled down (e.g Empire Road Park Town). It was as if no-one cared. That was just symptomatic of more serious underlying issues that faced the New South Africa. The crime was horrendous. (I had on a few occassions the need to visist Hillbrow) To minimize risk I made certain to pre-arrange access to secure parking in any buliding that I was visiting. It was not a good idea to park in the street. The afternoon I left, a woman was shot by amature car hi-jackers when the driver failed to get out of the car quickly enough. The hi-jackers left the car and fled on foot. Back again in 2000 and I saw a lot more of the same. The pictures posted on this Blog are shocking and it left me saddened as I saw this once great city just left to die. It is as if no one cares. Hats off to all those who are trying to "do something" about ressurecting this once great city. I hate to sound like a pessimist, but this can only happen if the govenment of the day has the guts to sort out the crime problem. Get rid of all the fire arms. Get rid of all the corrupt and inept officials. Get rid of all the illegal immigrants. GET A NEW GOVERNMENT. The folly of the ANC policy to have "freedom before education" has now come home to roost, this is especially evident in the City of Gold. Two good reads regarding South Africa and Africa in particular are: My traitors Heart by Andre Malan and actually not a read but a documentary - Africa Adieu. This was documentary shot by two french journalists who travelled down from North Africa through Sudan and on to Uganda and Kenya.The senseless wanton destruction of life and property is a stark reminder that "all that one learn from history is that one never learns". I tried searching for it on the web but have not been able to find a copy anywhere. For some reason it has dissapeared.The most shocking thing about Johannesburg is the very short time frame in which this City has been allowed to decay. Forget about Chicago and other citys that have their slums and have past their heyday, Johannesburhg is(was)just a baby.

Head v Heart said...

I have lived in Zimbabwe (twice), I have travelled widely and am still here in RSA - I feel this qualifies me to have an opinion. The facts are simple, in South Africa there is so much to be grateful for and thankful for and there are hundreds of things my family and I love doing that we would be unable to really do elsewhere. We have big families here and lots of friends and our businesses do well.

In my professional life I am paid to advise people and companies on how to avoid risk and how to manage problems. How I form my view is usually by looking at the 'symptoms' of a given situation that are usually very subtle i.e. look for warning signs or indications that there is 'trouble ahead' or a 'fire below'. This I do with my intellect, not my heart. I have a problem though. I apply the skills that I use every day and I see warning signs in our beautiful land. I know of the corruption, the violence, greed, ignorance, disease and wastefulness that does not shrink but grows. I see the death on the roads and listen to the talk at dinner about crime, stonings on the N2, corrupt cops, racism (aka BEE)and incompetence and my head tells me that there are MASSIVE PROBLEMS.

The problem is, I just can't convince my heart to agree - at this time I am unable to walk away so easily as others have done and whilst those in Queensland and Chicago have a right to an opinion, you abdicated the right to be taken seriously the moment you emigrated. For the patriots that stay, there are massive problems but do we quit at the 1st sign of danger, does your doctor pronounce you dead the moment you get sick or the moment you die? Our land is sick but there is great hope and great potential - I will always make sure that my wife and sons can go somewhere safe should the need arise but until then, my intellect says that there is trouble but my heart says that we can fix it, until then, all I can say is "wish you were here" - because deep down I know you do too.

Those with real heart will always triumph and I know I will. BTW - great, professional blog

Anonymous said...

whereas its sad to see how the old city and suburbs have gone to ruin, how about some pictures of the new Joburg (sandton and the area between joburg and pretoria) where there was once veld!!!!!! or the area called marble arch. I guess its the same as comparing Fordsburg and Mayfair in their heyday and then looking at how they too deteriorated back in the seventies and eighties.

Dont get me wrong - we all thought that the Carlton and Hillbrow were "the places" but surely they have been replaced by new "in places"

Anonymous said...

I grew up and lived in the old prosperous SA, it is becoming a dangerous ....hole day by day. At almost 50 & I am now starting to see the light and want to move my family to UK, AUS, NZ in fact anywhere out of here! I recently traveled on business to Kenya and Uganda, and couldn't figure out why it all looked so familiar, now I know! Might be too late though.

Konrad Kruger said...

All this talking on these websites does not do much towards our survival and independence as White Africans.
Big Talk No Action is worth nothing.
Our blood continues to be spilt, our honour continues to diminish yet we still have a chance.
There is a theory that states when a man has sufficient money he will not be inclined to risk a war, regardless of his kin, it would be best if the blacks took the farms and expelled white commercial leadership at a faster rate. Then White Africans would be motivated to MOBILIZE and defend what took more than 350 years to accomplish.

Afrikaner nationalism was skilfully mobilised by leaders in the theological, political, cultural, economic, agricultural and industrial sectors as well as in government service. A strategy of massive economic development was introduced to make South Africa less dependent on Britain and to create thousands of job opportunities. It was at that time when Britain offered autonomy to the contiguous colonies, namely Lesotho, situated in the heart of South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana. They gratefully accepted the offer and all three were newly independent by the time Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd came to power.

He realized that the political situation that evolved over the previous century under British rule in South Africa had become untenable. This led Dr. Verwoerd to extend the same offer of autonomy to South Africa's own black tribes, who in most cases were economically and numerically more viable than the three fledgling ex-protectorates Britain gave independence to. Botswana for instance had a population of only 292,755 according to the 1948 census. "…There is little opportunity for wage earning within the protectorate and most of the people live the life of peasant farmers." (P 354 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1963)

The story of Lesotho is not much different, even though the population at the time was double that of Botswana. At any one time about a quarter of Lesotho's population would be finding employment in adjacent white South Africa in the mines or on commercial farms. Lesotho's annual budget in 1960 was only ?2 million, much less than the annual budget of a medium sized South African municipality like Germiston. Land in the protectorates was communal property and administered in trust by the local chiefs, similar to all Britain's other colonies in Africa at the time. The same land ownership philosophy applied to the black homelands in South Africa.

Dr. Verwoerd's policy of 'separate development' was implemented and is regrettably commonly confused with Gen. Smuts' apartheid. Separate Development sought to pre-empt the need for large scale migration of people to the towns and cities, by developing the economies of the homelands instead.

Verwoerd argued that a policy of economic decentralization would make for a peaceful multicultural society, with each community exercising its right of political self-determination, the political catch phrase after World War 2. Industrialists were encouraged with all sorts of tax incentives and labour benefits to establish industries on the homeland borders, resulting in a symbionic relationship between labour and capital within a common economic system. During the sixty's and seventy's, the country experienced an unprecedented economic growth. Unemployment was at its lowest in history. Each homeland had its own Development Corporation. Large communal estates were established, which provided jobs for thousands of peasant workers and which injected millions of dollars into the communal coffers. Tea estates, coffee plantations, citrus and dissiduous fruit estates with their own canning and processing faclities earned valuable foreign exchange for homelands and the region as a whole. Universities and Technikons were established for each language group, decentralised in line with the overall policy and turning out thousands or literate black professionals.

New capital cities were built, each with its own parliament and administration complexes. South Africa' taxpayers gladly paid for "...these excesses of apartheid..." as they are being called nowadays. Mother tongue education was the philosophy for primary, as well as high schools where practicable. Ironically, these intitutions became the training ground for South Africa's black rulers of the New South Africa.

The problem of international recognition for these black homelands cut much deeper than economic or political issues only. The matter of the indivisibility of sovereignty of nation states seemed to have prevented the international community from accepting Verwoerd's policy of separate development. While Britain could give independence to protectorates and colonies with historically defined borders, the same principle could not apply to a country trying to carve itself up for the same political ends. The international community determined that South Africa should remain a unitary state and retain its colonial borders as defined in the 1880's. The policy was therefore inherently flawed from an international law point of view. The same principle that provides for self-determination to nation states, also witholds that right from nations within multicultural states on the basis of the integrity of national borders.

Seen also against the Cold War that existed during the seventy's and eighty's, Africa's role in that conflict, as well as the United States' problems with its own emancipated black community, it is easy to understand why the policy of separate development, which maliciously was intertwined with racial segregation at socal level, could not be supported by the international community. In short, it was never understood that social apartheid was a distorted product of the country's colonial history, whereas separate development is the application of the modern concept of self-determination for ethnic groups to preserve their identities and to foster peaceful co-existence with others without competing for the same resources.

There is no comparison between the economic development of the South African black homelands and the development of the independent neighbouring black states outside our borders. Tragically, those 'apartheid' training grounds that served today's black leaders so well, have become relics of an apartheid past. The development corporations have been disbanded. The estates have been allowed to go to ruin. Millions of jobless and roofless people are flocking to the cities and towns and live in abject poverty conditions in tin shacks, posing serious health and security problems in breeding grounds for crime.

The Real Realist said...

Konrad Kruger said... by the time Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd came to

Sorry, can't agree with your general thesis that Verwoerd and Apartheid had all the answers.

I agree 100% with this essay on the topic (link below) which quite clearly spells out that Verwoerd was an arsehole and Apartheid was a crock of shit: please take the time to read it, it may shake your delusion:

Konrad Kruger said...

If the "creator" of this blog stoops down to the level of using vulgar language to argue a point and on top of it all offends the Great Forefathers of our Nation (Afrikaners & White Africans) who protected and ensured they fed his ancestors and himself. Then don't complain about the situation you are in. You definately deserve it. I will keep enjoying the Great American Dream in the Good Old White U. S. A. where I have been living since the New South Africa began to stink of traitors like yourself.

(I Dare You to Post This One)

God Bless Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd!

The Real Realist said...

Hey Konrad, Verwoerd was an arsehole.

Why don't you read that article and try to understand that Apartheid guaranteed the collapse of White South Africa, instead of preserving it.

Zrazys said...

Seems as if South Africa was an extreme version of what has happened in many Industrial Capitalist countries. A large part of the population was seen as a laboring class, to labor in the mines, factories. They became dependent on the government and, government protected businesses and, never caught the entrenpreneur bug. If Capitalism is to work, one needs lot's of Capitalist/lot's of ownership. Simply starting a small food stand is one way to go about building business skills and, entrepreneurship. South Africa would benefit greatly from such a system, but I wonder if the Socialist Government would let that happen? Like those in the Capitalist world, they want centralized control and, having a large class of small capitalists means an independent population with a strong sense of self and, community reliance. That's not good for those seeking compliant workers, or a compliant proletariat.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Joel Road,Berea and I remember all the sites of Berea/Yeoville that you show. How sad and pathetic to see how such a marvelous country has been ruined!

But the sites are not different from other countries in Africa; South Africa has gone through the Africanization process and is now just another African Country.

It must be so good for Liberals and present leaders to have Apartheid to blame! Whatever happens blame it on Apartheid!

In the USA they never show anything like this. Must not show anything that is negative on the blacks. They are even trying to re-write history to show how everything bad that has happened to Africa is the fault of the Whites. Talk about disinformation and bias!

Thank you for your article, but it made me very sad.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for showing these images of a once great city. I was part of the initial staff who opened the Carlton Hotel all those years ago, when there was a tourist boom - our tourism department has a difficult enough job in the world market as it is to "sell" South Africa as a destination, how much harder must it be now when an icon of hospitality has had to be closed because of violence against the country's visitors.

It is a really sad day when this once great city has become more and more like the rest of Africa in a relitavely short space of time - there is absolutely no excuse for the vandalism and filth.

Keep up your work on the exposure of the true reality of South African life.


Anonymous said...

S.A. is referred to the "America of Africa" what a load of rubbish, we are far from that and will never pick ourselves up again because we have too many illegal aliens in this country getting free housing, water, electricity ect all for the their votes to a specific party. I feel for all the white and african black people who are now out voted by these invading b*stards!

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Jo'burg for most of my life, so I have had the depressing experience of watching the city miserably decaying year after year.

From a vibrant city with quality of life, it has become a criminal's haven filled with despair. The wealthy live in huge houses in secure estates, behind electric fenced and have to pay exorbitant fees to private security companies as the underpaid, demotivated and often corrupt police force cannot provide adequate protection.

The poor often have to support themselves on a monthly salary of R700-00 (ie. around 70 USD).

You cannot go anywhere without being accosted for money from someone or other. You go to a shopping mall, you will inevitable be approached by a parking attendant who greets you only in the hope of making you feel guilty that he's watching your car and expects a tip for his efforts.If it's not them, it's the endless army of beggars and pedlars standing at almost every traffic light, waiting for you to stop so that they can descend on you in a veritable wave.

Hijackings, murders, rapes and other serious crimes have become so commonplace that seldom makes news anymore. People have become suspicious of each other to the point of being needlessly aggressive to each other.

Are you white ? Male ? In your 30's? Good luck trying to find a decent job worthy of your qualifications. More often than not you will be stuck in a job with a person of colour that has leapfrogged you to a higher position no matter that you have worked harder and are more competent at your job. Say a hearty "hello" to affirmative action !

In Johannesburg, there is no viable public transport for whites. There is a minibus taxi system for blacks, though, who overcharge passengers. The drivers of these taxis are a law unto themselves, are often heavily armed and drive extremely dangerously, often having no driver's licence. Buses ? Few and far between and in many areas of Jo'burg, they are non-existant. Trains ? Again, not available in many areas and if you do have the chance to take one, you take your life in you own hands. It's common for people to be killed by being thrown from moving trains by armed thugs who rob you of your valuables or just do this for entertainment value.

Without hitting on our high taxes, high property costs compared to local salaries, low pensions and high cost of living, this is an honest description of life in South Africa. Thankfully, I'm in the process of emigrating.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know from you what point you think your blog serves? I think it's sad that the only view you have on South Africa is a negative one. Perhaps you should consider what you can do to improve the country instead of mobilising people against it. South Africa is by no means without its problems, and there certainly are some major ones, but every city in the world goes through a process of degradation and renewal - New York didn’t manage a monumental revival by talking itself down. How about telling people about the massive strides towards refurbishing the inner city? Or the fact that we built the world's first truly representative constitutional court that is a beacon for world democracy. I can think of many more positive examples, as I'm sure you can think of negative ones, but no country ever prospered by building on the negative.

I think your so called blog is bordering on propaganda although I'm not sure what purpose your agenda serves and the fact that you call yourself a publisher is a joke. If people like you only devoted your energy to doing something positive instead of complaining like an entitled juvenile, the country would be far better off.

The only positive thing I have to say about your site is that it makes people aware of the problem. Now stop whining and do something about it.

Anonymous said...

To all the "super positive" people out there. If you have such an issue with jozi and South Africa why not pack your bags, a negative outlook surely creates more negativity. When was the last time that any of these so called South Africans spent some time on the streets of Johannesburg, or even just drove in this wonderful city. Granted there has been decay, but look at the improvement of an area like Newtown, which was the focus of decay when they were all having the time of their lives in Hillbrow and Yeoville.
Sad, sad folk.

Anonymous said...

People, people, we found THE PERFECT solution to problems with the Taliban and their merry band of murderers. Load up the squatters in Joburg and everywhere else and transport them to Afghanistan and Iraq and I can promise you that in less than 3 months the Taliban will be waving white flags to surrender. They have a way of destroying things like I have not seen anywhere else in the world. Sorry but just a horrid fact of life. And can they not get a new crying tune other than"its apartheid fault"? How about"it's my corrupt ganster goverment who does not give a damn about me".

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics, they are very interesting (if somewhat shocking)and I can recognise quite a few of those places as I lived in Hillbrow for 6 years during the late 80's. You should do a trip around the "Old South" and see what that looks like.
A few things do leave me wondering though. Looking at all the litter and rubble laying around I was left wondering, who is actually responsible for cleaning the streets and pavements? what has happened to the street sweepers and maintenance crews? a lot of blame I am afraid should be levelled at the JHB munciplaity (or whatever they call themselves nowadays) for not doing their job! It does seem that the general rule amongst the people living in these areas is "everywhere is a dustbin", and if it never gets cleaned up then why should they give a hoot anyway?
I did a similar retro look at parts of Mayfair and Fordsburg a few months back and it was very interesting too, because a smiliar deterioration has occured, but in parts of that area it has actually been reversed. I also believe that the area around the Gandhi Square where the banks are is spotless, but again its a private initiative amongst the companies in the area.
Another issue I would like to raise is that even in the period when I lived in Hillbrow, many of the owners of those blocks of flats put the bare minimum into maintenance but spent their lives shoving up the rents, causing a constant flow of tentants who left because of the conditions of the buildings. Those same buildings must be absolute hellholes now.

Regarding those who say that the whites should leave and we are stupid to stay... consider this. many of us cannot leave, we are either too old, have the wrong passports, have no families to sponsor us outside the country and just dont have the funds to go. I would love to go but alas am stuck here. However, it does not mean that we must give up hope that sanity will prevail here and that things will turn around, and that eventually this country will drag itself out of the mess and start providing a home for all of us.

Trevor said...

To Sylvia

You have no idea how hard it is to leave your country and settle overseas, it takes far more guts than staying behind in the chaos you accept as South Africa. Its not South Africa anymore.

As to your comment about not wanting us back, go to hell!

Anonymous said...

I disagree completely. ever since aparthied was abolished (i am not blaming it here) there have been an influx of people wanting to live where they could not. as soon as the black, coloureds, indians moved into white areas, they started moving out, meaning property prices dropped. this continued until you see the result (your pictures). these wealthy people have moved to sandton, midrand, randburg which is really beautiful. what im saying is that ye joburg has gone down, but thats only because money has remained with the whites, who STILL up to thi day refuse to give in to the country. So what we in effect have is whites refusing to give power and uplift the previously disadvantaged and blacks who can not get a chance unless government intervenes. im sorry to see the state of these places, but until the country works together as a whole this will continue, and we may even end up like India (only the extremely wealthy, or extremely poor) there will be no middle class....

Richard Fish said...


Very good job of a very sad situtaion.

Could you please update with more photos and news or let usknow if you have links to similar blogs etc?? Much MUCH appreciated.

Stay safe and thank you.


pantry4pete said...

You have made me SO happy with my decision to apply for a British passport and get out of South Africa!!!!Just seeing the difference in the city centre is enough to covince me that South Africa is absolutely RUINED and I doubt if it will ever be restored to its former glory. Thank God our memories of the city centre cannot be erased

pantry4pete said...

Thank god I applied for and got a British passport and got out 2 years ago!!! it's nothing short of devastating to see the destruction that has taken place! The filth is unbelieveable and it fills me with despair. Will it ever be restord to its former glory or is there worse to come still??Thank you for this fabulous site!!!!

Anonymous said...

I recently relocated to Turin Italy with my family, it's been hard to accept leaving South Africa, i lived in JHB for 35 years and then moved to Scottburgh South Coast for 4 years. Since moving here i have been trying to justify the move, i look at my two girls ages 8 and 13 an wonder what future they would have back home. The way of life here is a lot different but the quality of life and the future my children will have is better, looking your blog has sealed this event for me. It just breaks my heart that such a great country and place is being destroyed in such a way. The worst part is that what the Italian public is shown on TV is just wrong. Good Luck !

Smartalec said...

Re: Sylvia said...
Yes, I do regret HAVING to leave the fantastic weather BUT!
A close friend of the family was tied up with electrical cord and robbed of anything of value. He was 87, not able to put up much of a fight but before they left they slit his throat!
Not even a year later 5 black gentlemen broke into my premises and took a shot at me. In the ensueing gun fight 1 was shot dead by myself, 1 was wounded by his accomplaces and 3 escaped.
I have 2 sons and would not forgive myself if anything were to happen to them had I not taken the steps I have.
As for "Please do not come back, we don't need you." What makes you think you can appoint yourself as spokesperson for all South Africans?
Do you know how many businesses have closed down with accompaning job losses and that expertise lost?
Please keep your eyes tightly closed, keep that vision you have that all is well, after all dreams are such good friends.
Hopefully you won't see it comming and it will all be over before you are aware anything is wrong. I sincerely wish you well but time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Very intersting site. The interesting thing about Joburgh, is how much its decline is similar to that of many North East American cities that were also built on segregating races.

It should also be noted that much of central Joburgh's ills are due to the rich people who decided to abandon the CBD for Standton. If those people stayed in the CBD, Joburgh would still have a great and vibrant core.

Ashley said...

I found the site very interesting and very sad to see.
I used to live in the Belmont hotel with it welsh dragon painted on the front as my dad managed it in the 80s and was horrified when I took a trip down memory lane a few years back and took a drive through hillbrow. I'd be interested in seeing pictures of the old Belmont hotel next to what it looks like now. And even a picture of the Cardiff Hotel where I spent alot of time too.

Anonymous said...

O.K. Folks,
I`ve lived in South- Africa, Lesotho and Nigeria. Same shit everywhere
So let´s just face the facts:

You can get the black man out of the jungle, but you`ll NEVER get the jungle out of the black man !!!


Anonymous said...

yep beasts of the field is right.

Anonymous said...

I did the civil construction works in Johannesburg on a number of projects. Harrow Road from the Yeoville end through a cutting down over Saratoga Avenue to Doornfontein. I also built Oxford Road from The Jewish Orphanage to the road towards the Wilds. I did the excavation for the Carlton Centre and continue in construction management on a global basis on World Bank funded projects. Those early jobs including portions of the M1 motorway were constructed only a few years ago in terms of construction lifespans.

Anonymous said...

I feel so sad to see what has happened to your once beautiful country. It looks just like any of the negroe ghettos that can be seen around just about every large American city. Many of our large cities Memphis, Detroit etc have been abandoned by most whites.

xlbrl said...

I'm new to your site, and just finished reading of your challenges moderating. Would it be just as simple to direct the offenders posts to a losers pile where the curious could visit to sample the rejects? I'd find a minute there illuminating, and those put in the trashpile might be chagrined. Just a thought.
Love the pictures. I'm reading 1984 now, after avoiding it for decades. Must be a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

I am so sad to see your once beautiful city transformed into a pig stye. I live in Birmingham, Alabama and it looks the same.

ab said...

Well look whats happening now, I've lived in Yeoville Frances street and Hillbrow Goldreich street from 1966-73 and went to King Edwards school. had good and bad times, generally having an english background and not being billingual (my fault) made it difficult to being patriotic, I've also lived in other African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and born in Malawi so Ive lived in Colonial times and also in countries after independance.

I felt South Africa made the mistake of setting up Apathied and the way I saw it was the divide between black and white deep down was extreme. so with a forced change of government - suddenly the Land of gold is open season to opportunity . Like many other African states that have been detribalised and having no moral values to go by - its a case of the lowest common denominator to achieve and survive ie crime,slums, witchcraft,stupidity and a chip on the shoulder. I am generalising but that seems to be the order of the day.and the damage is done. you see a civilised 20th century country with a system that could match any other country in the world become torn within and that cannot be reversed.

You will see Western powers collect brownie points for pouring billions into Africa but handing the money over tho the politians in control, International musicians come over and plead with the rest of the world that its their responsibility, and UN trying to resolve Health (aids) problems! Sadly there are Black Africans with backbone but not enough!

To change back the clock the politians have to realise the importance of western investment and skills and to allow the locals to relearn - that can only happen when the country is safe! inotherwords recolonise!and then shared government.

Lastly your photographs were brilliant in showing by example the state SA is in today, I wish the world would wake up and see the trouble SA is in and react in a responsible way to dealing with it, lets stop apologising for the past and share the future

ab said...

I lived in Frances Street IN Yeoville FROM 1966 - 69 first going to Yeoville school and being repeatedly beaten by Mrs Robinson the class teacher, moving on to Houghten Primary, a bit of a trek to get to but enjoyable especially the hill (Munro Drive) and finally going to King Edwards school - marking the stipes on my tie every time I got caned - memerable times! Going to the Piccadily cinema on the Saturday mornings and maybe a jaunt at the wilds on Sunday!

I cant believe the turnaround of the area from those photographs. I had thought of returning to see the old place but now wouldnt dream of it - just the memories!

ab said...

Hey and Hillbrow, Wow the centre of the universe in JHB in the 70s I was living in Goldreich street massive tower block from 1971-73 17 -19 years old hitting the bars and restaurants in Twist street and then moving on down town to some clubs and ending up in the invisable church on the way back to grab a cup of coffee and have a religious argument!!
My growing up years, a bit of a violent place Jhb always did have a malavolent feel, crime was pretty high but contained whereas now well
its beyond control and the decor shows it!

Anonymous said...

Any photos of Lorenzo Court on King George Street would greatly be appreciated. I lived there in 1977 for nine years, opposite Joubert Park. Very sad to see this park desicrated. I also remember as a child the pink fences and fairy lights at Christmas time. Has the complete park been destroyed, or are there some remains, ie the museum, hot house, theatre. My mother has recently passed away and old 1970's photos would be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

would also love to see photos of roseneath school and zoo lake.


Warren said...


SA Expats

I know you don't want websites advertised..I'm a South African student living in the UK, doing a study into the experiences of SA Expats.
There's a survey at the link:
Its got no ads or agendas to it; its just a survey for my study. If you'll allow it on your blog that'll be great and much appreciated! thanks, Warren G

Diane said...

It's easy to loose faith as the crime rate and unemployment rise almost hand in hand.Affirmative action is here to stay making it impossible to employ anyone on individual merit alone. Is there a way out? What can turn things around?(It will be like turning a ship around slow and difficult.) Things will never be the same but how can each of us be a part of the solution and not the problem? I do not have all the answers but together I believe in our small ways each can make a difference. Zero tolerance on crime and police brutality and restoring pride and hope into our hearts may be a start. It's very easy to focus on whats wrong but much tougher to find the positive.

john o said...

Thanks for an excellent insight into human nature via the (albeit dirty) window of life(and decay)in Joeys.
I used to manage Ba-Pita for years and lived in Berea and Pope and isipingo street Yeoville.
Unfortunately the "white" version of living/reality is not quite the same/within the range of the average african for a variety of reasons ie the ravages of drugs,lack of education,africas uncompetitiveness with the rest of the world etc etc which spirals up and down with an ebb and flow that has been,since time began.The outcome..whether decay,demise or ultimate rejuvenation and celebration and survival only the milk of human kindness,charity and the help and responsibility of every person towards his fellow man-will stand a chance.
Yes the decay is a reality.
Yes everything decays.
Yes everything is born and everything dies!
Lets hope "OUR AFRICA"(and the earth) can be reborn(into a growing paragon of love and health) through the hard work and consciousness of us all!!!.

Anonymous said...

South Africa Sucks website has been wiped out as of today, April 10, 2008. I am very p*ssed off about this. Does anybody know what happened. I have e-mailed the Uhuru Guru (one of the main contributors) to ask him but he doesn't know me so he may not respond.

Does anyone know if WSAS was hosted in South Africa? If so, could this be the dirty work of the ANC?

I am reposting this in several comment sections here to make sure it's seen by somebody. This is very distressing. WSAS was a first rate blog exposing the crime, corruption and daily insanity of ANC controlled SA. They were on a roll and just posted their 300th article. This is terrible. Here's what happens when you click on the address;Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at southafricasucks.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

Anonymous said...

Is the whole city like this????

Its like a post - apocalypse (or is that mid ) film set...unreal...

I send my commiserations to South Africa and those who built it

COSTAS said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for displaying these very sad and very depressing photos. Much as I hate to see this everyone should - of course those who really should see will not bother, (enough said.
Take care on the tree lined streets and in the sparkling buildings of the New Africa!
I am from Zim but lived a fun time in Hillbrow in one of the now squalid gehttos.
My son had a better chance in the US although I am beginning to wonder now!
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

The question here is not racism. Everyone talks about racism. In Angola and Mozambique there was no apartheid. When Portugal gave the independence to this colonies the same happen, you can see the same pictures in Maputo and Luanda. This only tells me that where blacks put their hands it turns on a pile of shit.

ScorpionKnight said...

Hi! It's great to read all the comments of the people that lived in Johannesburg and Hillbrow back in the day. One of the persons that left a comment,Ashley. If u read this or if there is anyway that i can get hold of u please let me know. My name is Robert Fink. Grandson of Desiree Simpson who was the co owner with Mr. White. One other person that i can remember was a gentleman called Wolf. The Real Realist if there is anyway that i can get hold of this Ashley please contact me on my email at RobertBFink@gmail.com. I will truly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I think these pics were taken in 2006? It's now 2013 - I wonder if anything has changed - for the better, that is?

murtaz jadoon said...

It let's me wish I could fly...,