Thursday, July 27, 2006

This is What Remains of the Wits Drill Hall….

When the Queen of England visited South Africa in 1947, the official reception for her was held at the Wits Drill Hall, 95 Anderson Street.
For decades, the Wits Drill Hall was a famous venue and even a tourist attraction in central Johannesburg.
Councillor Carol Milner, Ward 66, City of Joburg has sent me the following pictures and commentary: "95 Anderson Str, Joburg CBD has been like this for a at least a year. We have told the Council and told us that they will be using it for Emergency Services but it's still standing (or barely)."




73 comments:

Anonymous said...

I heart Jozi

If you hate it, leave.

I am sorry, but I am forced to respond when I read things like this.

Yes, things have changed. Cities change, and as much as you seem to be crying about the so-called 'death' of a city, you are crying for a lost piece of your life.

Jozi is far from dead. The Inner city is teaming with life. Just last night I was at a very posh fashion event in the middle of Joubert Park, the Joburg art gallery. It is thriving.

No, JHB doesn't look like it once does. And yes, I remember what it did look like. My parents used to take me to Hillbrow when i was a kid too, in the 70's, when it was a cosmopolitan centre.

The city has changed but there are dedicated people who are trying to regeneratwe the inner city by moving closer to it, not further away. We don't complain, we do something. I am sick to death of people complaining.

Joburg is an african city and our streets reflect that. In a positive and negative sense.

Money and talent is going into the inner city. Yes, these picctures are sad, but what about ther artworks that are jumping up all around these places? What about the buildings being reporposed, what about the spaces being taken over? And even more, what about the life, resilient and courageous, beutiful and artistic, thats going on in the streets?

And more so, the centre of town is no longer the centre of town. Sandton is our new CBD. Accept that, move on. If you dont like it, get out.

This city is magical and alive with not just possibility, but discovery.

Just walk Jeppe st or even so called 'murder mile' by Joubert park. Spend an hour in the muti markets. Meet joburgs mixed race, mixed nationality people. Then see how it has changed and lament no more.

Stop mourning the past and embrace the future.

Signed, a dedicated realistic Joburger

Anonymous said...

I thank you for your pictures and how you are honestly portraying how Johannesburg has deteriorated.

I do however feel sad that people spend so much time complaining about how things have changed instead of doing somthing to change it.

The company I work for buys buildings like these in the CBD / Hillbrow / Berea / etc. We fix them up and rent them out at a reasonable rate. They look great (inside & out) and the tenants pull together to keep their home and street tidy.

We are just one company... we can't buy all the buildings in the CBD to do this... if more people rose to the occasion and invest in fixing the problem, we might see a change?

Anonymous said...

Joburg is an african city and our streets reflect that.

Yes, the rubbish in the street, the public urination, the resistance of any attempt to renew it, violent crimes, and pointless destruction do indeed prove that Jo'burg is an african city.

I'm puzzled said...

To the 2nd anonymous poster,

Does your company invest in these crumbling buildings and revigorate them exclusively with the use of its own money and no subsidies at all ?

I have a hard time figuring out how can a business, even a well-run one, turn out a profit investing in such a junkyard filled out with junkies, murderers, drug dealers and beggars.

Anonymous said...

Yes people complain, I wonder how much complaining they will do if they look down the barrel of an AK. All you greedy individuals are interested is the " African way" and how you can cash on it and the money that tourism will lose, what the tourists safety and well being. What about the heritage from the past, do you have to destroy everything. I would like to do that, fixing up buildings but a) Not all of us have the funds to hire fancy security b) I am of the race that is not " new south african" ( minority group) and c) I have a right to complain when it comes to my well being whether is black or white. As long as I am around, I will complain and I won't " get out" because that is the plan of the ANC and their cronies is for us of lighter complexion to get out. Yes I am working on positive things, for the safety and security of all SA'ns, including minority groups whose rights have been swept under the carpet since the this new idiotic regime has been put in place. If you do not like reading the truth of what is being shown here then you leave.

Anonymous said...

To the "just leave" liberal argument,

Why should we leave? We're not the ones doing wrong. A HUGE injustice is being done here (the destruction of a 1st world civilization), and NO liberal is going to tell me to shut up about it. What's that oft' misused saying: "Evil flourishes if good men say/do nothing". This evil needs to be exposed for the whole world to see. During apartheid the whole world screamed bloody murder, now you don't hear a peep!

This double standard needs to stop now. If whites commit an injustice all hell breaks loose. If the "oppressed" commit an injustice its almost as if it is expected of them. In your multiracial stew pot, what makes us whites so special that we are to be held to a higher standard? Read my lips: I WILL NOT JUST LEAVE!

Anonymous said...

"Joburg is an african city and our streets reflect that. In a positive and negative sense."

So, you mean it's a hellhole? They would still be living in mud huts if the White man never arrived hunting large game with spears. They were/are thousands of years behind the rest of the world, how could we be so dumb as to expect to bring them uptodate overnight?

Chicago bungalowdweller said...

I am an American who has found this outstanding site by chance. I have no ethnic ties to SA and its people so I feel my comments are free from personal "bias". The utter destruction as depicted on these pages is truly horrific and I applaud the courage and patriotism of the creator of this site. I have sent this blog on to others and will continue to do so. The person who wrote who said that Joberg was an "African" city suggests that it is somehow a cultural expression to destroy and then live in the ruins. Excuse me, but that behavior is BARBARISM. These pix need to be seen by the world and I will do my best to spread this work. God Bless you all and keep you safe! You and other like-minded patriots are the REAL SA. With people like you, SA will Never die.

Anonymous said...

The real issue your pictures unveil is the harsh economic realities of the “New South Africa”. When a group of people strives to survive, they are less likely to tend and care for there surroundings. This is not a new condition in South Africa, these harsh economic conditions were present in the "Old South Africa", they were just masked by an apartheid government, and relegated to the townships, where no doubt few pictures were taken and posted on blog spots. As the "New south Africa" improves financially, so too will the pictures you take. Any effort, such as this one, that highlights the economic plight of a group of people is to be applauded. Hopefully with such efforts, and ones being undertaken by the “New South African” government, the future will improve for both the impoverished and the city.

Anonymous said...

When a group of people strives to survive, they are less likely to tend and care for there surroundings.

What nonsense ! Please explain why they have to piss wherever they feel like, why they have to throw kitchen appliances and rubbish out of the window when welcoming in the New Year onto the street below ?

Those buildings were in good condition before. Why do they insist on breaking every bloody window that they see, even 20 stories up ? They might not be able to afford to maintain it, but at least they could keep it clean.

Stop blaming it on Apartheid. Every other black african country looks like this.

Anonymous said...

TO JOBURGER
THE STEETS REFLECT THE WAY YOU LIVE. THE ANIMALS LIVING THERE HAVE NEVER HAD ANYTHING SO THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT JOHANNESBURG.THE INNER CITY IS STEAMING WITH RAPIST,MUGGERS, KILLERS, DRUGGIES, DRUG PUSHERS AND SO ON. MAYBE YOU LIKE IT, FEEL AT HOME THERE OR WHAT?

Anonymous said...

this is a small area of johannesburg that is being restored!!! every city in the world has an area like this... why doesn't chicago bungalowdweller go to a cbd and have a good look around. south africa is good deflection for everyone to use, so as not to look at their own areas! take off the blinkers!!!!

The Real Realist said...

Anonymous said...
this is a small area of johannesburg that is being restored!!! every city in the world has an area like this... why doesn't chicago bungalowdweller go to a cbd and have a good look around. south africa is good deflection for everyone to use, so as not to look at their own areas! take off the blinkers!!!!


1. This is NOT 'just a small area' - it is virtually the entire JHB CBD, and stretches from Jeppe in the east to Roodepoort in the west, from JHB south and creeping up towards Rosebank. Wait for the pics, they are coming...

2. Agreed that most American cities have similar areas ... but have a look at the racial demographics, and you will see similar patterns....

Anonymous said...

To the "harsh economic reality" liberal excuse:

I'm sorry, this argument just doesn't fly. As many bloggers have already pointed out, poverty is no excuse for living like animals.

Now I hear you say, "These people have been oppressed for many years. They had no sense of ownership, no sense of pride. What incentive was there for them to create something beautiful in a country that would not reward them for it?". Well along came the new South Africa, and rejoicing all around. A black man can now live anywhere he wants to. Understandably many flocked to Jo'burg in search of work. Eh, but what's this then, why is the once mighty Jo'burg going to the dogs now? Why are these citizens not creating (or at least maintaining) something beautiful? They have all the reasons in the world to do so! Why aren't they?

It is because it is the African way. I don't want to sound derogative or spiteful. It is simply the way things are. Now, you may draw your own conclusions as to why this is the African way. Liberals blame apartheid, segregation, slavery, and colonialism (the victim theory). I think its their culture, and efforts to try and change them are doomed to fail.

The only positive thing we can take from this disaster that has claimed Jo'burg is to learn from it. African culture cannot exist in a Western society. Western culture cannot exist in an African society. Unfortunately for South Africa, the two are mutually exclusive.

factualist said...

"And more so, the centre of town is no longer the centre of town. Sandton is our new CBD. Accept that, move on. If you dont like it, get out."

What a blind, ignorant fool.

Q What was wrong with the old CBD that drove the business community to relocate to Sandton?
A Absolutely nothing. in fact it was the best CBD on the African continent - until the masses moved in from the townships and turned it into a no-go area for civilised people.

Before the white man arrived in Africa, black Africans we are told, slashed and burned their way from north of the equator down to the south.

It looks like as if reverse migration is underway. Once downtown Jo'burg has been stripped of everything then it will be on to Sandton, Centurion, Polokwane, Tshwane and beyond. Maybe the world will sit up and take notice when they get to Paris and London.

Anonymous said...

Don't insult dogs!! They have more pride then these savages.We should take back the country, it belongs to the Whites,we built it up, in which other African country have Black people made a success of what they do?

Anonymous said...

The rotten element is already in Paris and London.

Look at the riots in Paris!

They are just outnumbered at the present moment. Just give it some time and the world will see...

Anonymous said...

"Don't insult dogs!! They have more pride then these savages.We should take back the country,"

ANY SUGGESTIONS MATE...could we reckon on the help from the American Marines, Delta Forces, SAS and any other special forces etc etc etc...although I must say these African guys like to say the only way is the way of the gun - His Majesty The Honourable MR. Robert Mugabe..news the world has forgotten..and remember Somalia...and Black Hawk Down..make sure of yer facts...overwhelming force..should be part of the planning..

Anonymous said...

Get a life, If you do not like living here then fuck off

Anonymous said...

I could'nt bring myself to read all the comments because all these uneducated opinions are frustrating. Of course people are buying up buildings in the CBD to develop for commercial and residential rentals. If you can find a building to buy in the CBD- grab it, because all the smart developers have already snatched most of them up. Have you heard of the Urban Developmet Zone? The Better Building Programme? City Improvement Districts, the Central Johannesburg Partnership and the Johaneesburg Development Agency? All innitiatives by government and the private sector to rejuivenate the CBD. Its a work in progress, the CBD is improving- your opinion is out of date.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, such big names for us "uneducated" people to grasp. Unfortunately this is Africa now, and actions speak louder than words. In Africa, the reality of what's happening on the ground and what government is talking about are two different worlds.

Some gullible private developers will come in with these beautiful ideas to redevelop the area. They'll start off good. After a month the place might actually start to look respectable. As time goes by however, corruption will start to take it's toll, money will be misappropriated, officials bribed, equipment stolen. The moment these private developers loose interest the place will start sliding again. Sorry to say, I've seen it all before.

The only way you're going to get this place up and running again is if you evict these non-paying Africans back to the squatter camps they came from, but ofcoarse, that is "unacceptable".

No Way said...

That's it. The private sector needs the help of Agency of This or the Agency of That in order to invest in this hell hole.

No building rejuvenation is possible without the help of this marxist government. The private sector would not invest in these "projects" alone. They need subsidies. Therefore, these so-called real estate "projects" are not profitable by themselves. The invisible hand alone doesn't want this crap. Economically and socially, investing good money in sucker "projects" is a losing proposition. It will always be.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ooh...
Maybe you should remove the white sheet that has covered your eyes and look past the crosses you are burning to see all the improvement in the CBD!

Anonymous said...

I agree! There is so much positive work going on in the CBD, its great! Braamfontein is beautiful. I know Hillbrow is right next door and its the complete opposite- but the good work thats been done in Braamfontein will spread into Hillbrow. It just takes time, and positive people who support the city! (Unemployment is the root of our city's evil. Scaring away tourists = unemployment. Therefore, this website is evil!)
Crime is out of control now, but if we want that to change we cant just talk about how bad it is. Get out there and do something positive.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this website loses credibility by being excessively negative. While I agree that the city has degraded I question, amongst others, the use of the drill hall photos. This building has been restored, even before the pictures on this site were posted! Its a pity as I think that this site could be good as it could raise awareness; however I feel it would be far more relevant and credible were it properly researched and fairly presented.
All viewers just remember that the this website is clearly biased to prove a (negative) point and is clearly not based on sound journalistic practices!

Anonymous said...

The following is from a website I found regarding development in the CBD, www.jda.co.za

When did you go to the drill hall?

"Architectural awards for
JDA projects


15 November 2005
THREE Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) developments have been rewarded at this year's Gauteng Institute for Architecture (Gifa) awards, which acknowledge outstanding architectural achievements in the region.

Gifa, formerly the Transvaal Institute of Architects established in 1900, holds an awards ceremony every two years.

Architects and a lay person are selected to visit and judge the selected sites.

The JDA development projects that won awards at this year’s ceremony on 3 November 2005 are:

the Drill Hall by Michael Hart Architects received a commendation;
the Women’s Gaol by Kate Otten Architects received a commendation; and
the Constitutional Court by OMM Design Workshop & Urban Solutions won a merit award.
The ceremony was sponsored by Corobrick, Phillips, Cobra Watertech, Marley Roofing."

No Way said...

Sorry, but I disagree. This blog is a masterpiece. It's very important for foreign people who wish to visit South Africa to be informed of what's going on. Because once they get in SA, their life is in danger. It's no joke. Large portions of the contry are unsafe. It's sad to see some greedy people complaining that this blog is bad for tourism. Tourists' life and well-being is more important than SA's tourism industry, folks.

But also, it's important to see what large portions of once great and proud cities now look like. Personnaly, I live in Canada and I know I won't be able to get that kind of information in our biased newspapers (sorry for this pleonasm). Now, after I have seen these pictures and paid a visit to sister blog "Why South Africa is Crap", I have no intention whatsoever of visiting South Africa someday. Thus, the Real Realist may have saved my life, who knows.

I also believe it's utterly important to get a better grasp of South African politics. Now, thanks to the Real Realist, I know that the so-called Rainbow Nation is a complete joke.

I'm thankful for the Real Realist who gives us this information for free. Well of course, not completely for free since, of course, he probably gets something in exchange, such as a psychological reward, because I suppose, and it's quite understandable, that this blog lets him unload a portion of the frustration he feels seeing large areas of this once great city being left out of civilization.

I wish he will keep up the impressive work he has done so far, in spite of all the criticism he's been subject to.

Anonymous said...

I've posted it elsewhere, but just in case..www.detroitblog.com

Apartheid ended what, 12 years ago? This much destruction in that short a time is expressive of a barbaric, unevolved culture.

To those of you who say, "Just wait around and the redevelopment will astound you!" Detroit has been effectively a black only city for around 25 years. A quarter of a century. By comparison the Rhodesians built a first world economy from nothing in 50? 75? years? In any case, that is what Detroit has been telling us for decades. "Just wait, you'll see!" Well, they can't even keep the aquarium open. Sure there are some token areas of renewal but overall the city is bankrupt, devastated by poor governance, rife with corruption and graft, violent, filthy, and still blaming whites, most of whom left the city 30 years ago.

50 years ago, one might have stood outside the Book-Cadillac Hotel and imagined that you were a member of the greatest civilization the world had ever produced. It is astonishing that so soon, standing in the same place one might wonder if civilization had ended. (Substitute your favorite grand building or monument in SA for "Book-Cadillac Hotel")

www.detroitblog.com is misspelled said...

I went to www.detroitblog.com but it didn't lead to a real blog. It merely says that this internet address is available, or something close to this.

To the reader who suggested this blog, please verify the spelling of the address and keep us posted.

Could it be www.detroitblog.org? said...

After a research, I found that the misspelling may have taken place in the suffix. I found a site full of pictures at the address www.detroitblog.org

So, the suffix would be .org and not .com

To the anonymous reader who recommended this site, please confirm if www.detroitblog.org is the correct address for the blog you were referring to.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, it IS dettroitblog.org
My mistake. And you will want to peruse the archives. Some of the posts are pretty general interest, but I would start in early 2004 and browse forward.

Again, Sorry.

Anonymous said...

"If you hate it, leave". What a stupid, dismissive comment - a flippant response which solves nothing. What else would you suggest? Wait for your child to be raped, murdered, tortured etc.? Clearly you don't have children or you don't care about their welfare if you choose to stay and risk the worst happening to them. Pray, my friend, that it doesn't happen to you while your head is buried in the sand.
"Teeming with life"? Well, I suppose bacteria is also classed as life ...

Anonymous said...

After reading the website, www.jda.co.za I have realized it is not what the ordinary hard working citizen who pays his taxes want, but rather what the owners of the website want for themselves. That is also a reflection of the current SA government regime who only interested in what they want for themselves... dictatorship. The Khmer Rouge killed two million Cambodians to make communism work... why not in SA.

Anonymous said...

As a South African now living in Auckland, NZ, I am saddened by the decay evidenced on this site.

I am also saddened that the people suffering most now - lower and middle income Blacks - also suffered most under the despicable Apartheid regime.

May God have mercy on what was a great country!

Anonymous said...

They havent figured it out yet but if the majority of the citizens of a country are happy, then that happines will beam out to the world and yes you will then get more tourists. More tourists, more business more business, more employment, more money to create more employment, more money and employment more happiness. Why are certain elements not happy with themselves??? Why the hate??Why is the government so hell bent on creating unhappiness and distruction??

Anonymous said...

I left SA many years ago, I never was and never will be a liberal, but I always believed everybody, no matter who, deserves a fair go. Poverty is no excuse for urinating and dropping smelly coils where you fancy or wrecking perfectly good buildings. Look north of S.A. where there were never any "apartheid" laws to blame and you will see the same filthy conditions. I rest my case.
Hendrik

Anonymous said...

"Stop mourning the past and embrace the future."

My dear, if this is your future, then I want no part of it. Please provide your real address so that we can all see if you stay in the inner city. If not, WHY NOT?

Yes, the city is teaming with life - all the Nigerians, Zims and who ever else from God know's where. All selling their goods and dealing in stolen property.

Oh, sorry, don't forget about the big crime syndicates creating a nice little area for themselves.

Oh, wake up and smell the shit!

Kiwi said...

As a New Zealander, I am proud that we played a major part in doing this to South Africa.

Now, thanks to the likes of HART and CARE, New Zealand is ahead of South Africa in the OECD.

Us kiwis, living a comfortable 12,000kms from SA, decided, "why should the majority of people in SA live in abject poverty when they all should live in abject povety?"

Now, thanks to us Kiwi's, SA is now just like the rest of Africa. A complete basket case.

Furthermore, we can beat you at rugby now!! What more could we want?

I hated HART during the thrilling 1981 tour. But now I see the true reasoning behind HART.

BTW, this is very tounge in cheek. I feel sorry for ALL the people in SA because now, thanks to the meddling of other nations, ALL of the people in SA suffer.

Kiwi 1 said...

As a New Zealander, I am proud that we played a major part in doing this to South Africa.

Now, thanks to the likes of HART and CARE, New Zealand is ahead of South Africa in the OECD.

Us kiwis, living a comfortable 12,000kms from SA, decided, "why should the majority of people in SA live in abject poverty when they all should live in abject povety?"

Now, thanks to us Kiwi's, SA is now just like the rest of Africa. A complete basket case.

Furthermore, we can beat you at rugby now!! What more could we want?

I hated HART during the thrilling 1981 tour. But now I see the true reasoning behind HART.

BTW, this is very tounge in cheek. I feel sorry for ALL the people in SA because now, thanks to the meddling of other nations, ALL of the people in SA suffer.

Anonymous said...

It's easy for people to say move on and forget about the past, it's a New South Africa etc. But, Johannesburg was known around the world as a wonderful city - the only major city in the world which was not built around a main river.

It had wonderful architecture and now there's nothing to show for it.

It is sad and Jo'burgers have a right to complain!

Anonymous said...

I live in Parktown - Johannesburg -not far from where many of the photos were taken. I remember arriving in Hillbrow in 1979 - a place where you could walk the streets at night, visit any of the cafe's and coffe shops - it was a vibrant place. At that time I worked in the centre of town and used to walk to and from work most days.
Now the whole area is a heaving pile of human waste, filth and destruction. Lawlessness is the name of the game, sidewalks are are the new retail sector and the "gold" which once ran in the streets has been replaced by raw sewerage.
What really amazes (amuses) me however is that Amos Masondo - the mayor of Joburg has been nominated in a competition to find the top mayor in the world. He is up against mayors from Toronto, Melbourne New York etc. I think it is time he rolled down the tinited windows of his car, took off his rose coloured specticales and had a reality check - his city is a disgrace. Manhole covers are missing in the roads, street lights do not work and garbage gets collected - well when it get collected.
I recently spent a number of weeks in Aus - now that is a truly awsome place and I am not ashamed to say that I would pack by bags tomorrow if my age was not against me.
A "typical african city" - God help us.

Get Real said...

To all the sanctimonious "acceptable" racists of the "new" but certainly not improved South Africa I ask what gives you the right to say if I don't like living here that I should just leave? Where should I go? I was born here and like it or not I am every bit as African as you.

The difference being I work, pay my taxes, take pride in my surroundings and have respect for ALL life. It is laughable the justifications which are given for genocide and atrocities such as rape and murder. Get real, there is no justification. Change the record, bleating on about colonialism and everything being the white mans fault is getting old. Stand up and be counted, accept responsibility for once.

South Africa is imploding and being robbed, raped and murdered just like its innocents. Don't tell me to get out because I have a white skin, just as I will never tell you that you can run a country. Prove me wrong, You never will!!

Anonymous said...

Simple fact of life.....wherever the Jigaboos rule you will find the same thing.

Where in the world is there a successful black goverment? No where is the answer....cause they all currupt thieving criminals.

Rainbow nation my freekin ass......

Don't worry guys.....aids is going to wipe em all out real soon....then we take back the country. The bonus is that apparently aids does not exist....

Anonymous said...

I read these comments from anonymous stating we must accept it as progress and it is an african city, I used to live in Hillbrow and until the early nineties and it was great.

Where is this person coming from calling it progress, Beirut or Brazil slumps or maybe Soeto slums?

Progress is to make things better and improve, not destroy it.

Maybe the writer likes the drug dealers, tsotsis ect.

The socalled fashion show was it for murderers?

Wake up and smell the decay.

Anonymous said...

You either love JHB or leave it........like I have, now living in Aus. Sad but true, when is the wheel ever going to turn? Maybe? Never?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said... The rotten element is already in Paris and London.
Look at the riots in Paris!

They are just outnumbered at the present moment. Just give it some time and the world will see...
//


Absolutely.

I am a Londoner, born and bred.

There are few indigenous brits left in my city now immigration has swamped this once beautiful, world-class town.

The images of your pages, of filth lined streets and buildings running into dereliction remind me of London ~ any given part in this town where immigrants settle in high numbers. Once the take-over begins, the indigenous Brits leave ~ if they are able and have any sense.

Once an area is taken over, crime skyrockets [violence, rape, robbery]. The grandeur of the underlying buildings in an area quickly falls into decay. The properties sit, neglected and rotting whether occupied or not.

Litter and discarded furniture line the streets. The filth and stench are everywhere in the ensuing squalor. Comparatively depreciating values ensue on property in the area. Anyone indigenous who did not leave when they could gets stuck with negative equity amid the worsening squalor, crime and general lack of civilisation.

And those who say it's about lack of *money* and *poverty*: NONSENSE. It costs nothing to dispose of trash properly for instance. Whilst here in the UK immgrants get extremely generous handouts ~ welfare, a house, education, healthcare ~ all free [hence being the #1 destination of choice for the savvy immigrant in search of a free ride].

They have it all and want for nothing here. But they refuse to put anything back in. They refuse to be part of society; to do their share, to clean up behind themselves, to maintain what they are given. They are simply here to asset-strip Britain.

Uncivilised. Greedy. Selfish. Grasping. They just TAKE and USE and DRAIN every resource, putting NOTHING back. The hordes coming in simply are not civilised. Civilisation means literally to be civil ~ to care for your society and to do your part to make it work. To take responsibility. To do your part in making life pleasant. They refuse. They rob, they fly-tip, they rape, they murder and they do not maintain what they are given but just run it into the ground til it is broken.

Civilisation is ending. London is dead, all of Britain will follow. It's a rapidly expanding global phenomenon and in a decade or two there will be nowhere left to run to. It gives me little comfort to know the so-called "civil-rights" [what a JOKE] liberals in their ivory towers will soon become the victims of their own success. The destruction of *white man* society was what they wanted with their extreme self-loathing; well they should have just put a gun to their own loathesome heads and done the rest of us a favour.

Keren said...

Hi

If your aim is to present the 'reality' of Johannesburg, than please do so with integrity. The photographs which you posted in 2006 - with the suggestion that they are 'current' - are an outdated misrepresentation of the site as it stands. Yes, the Dril Hall was for some years squatted, yes, in 2002 it was gutted by fire leaving little behind, but the 'real' reality is that it has been renovated. Someone mentioned that architect Michael Hart won an award for this renovation, which was completed in 2004. That means that you are posting pictures older than 2 years as the 'proof' to Johannesburg current sad state of affairs. If someone was to attempt to drive down Twist street, or Plein streets where the building stands (not Anderson) they would have difficulties finding the building represented in your pictures.

Yes, there are problems in Johannesburg, and yes, there is much to do, but it's quite a shame that you are choosing to ignore development and purposefully present a picture of the city which is false, backed by 'evidence' which is misleading. It calls into question all other information on your site.

The Real Realist said...

Keren said...
If your aim is to present the 'reality' of Johannesburg, than please do so with integrity. The photographs which you posted in 2006 - with the suggestion that they are 'current' - are an outdated misrepresentation of the site as it stands.


Bullshit. I took the pictues myself in 2006. Don't lie.

Yes, the Dril Hall was for some years squatted, yes, in 2002 it was gutted by fire leaving little behind, but the 'real' reality is that it has been renovated. Someone mentioned that architect Michael Hart won an award for this renovation, which was completed in 2004. That means that you are posting pictures older than 2 years as the 'proof' to Johannesburg current sad state of affairs.

Once again, you are talking out of your arse. Why don't you take a drive into central JHB, like I did, and go and see for yourself instead of talking such rubbish.

If someone was to attempt to drive down Twist street, or Plein streets where the building stands (not Anderson) they would have difficulties finding the building represented in your pictures.

No they wouldn't, anyone can do it right now.

Anonymous said...

I saw the pictures of Jhb last night for the first time and woke up with the same images in my mind. My partner and I left Jhb 5 years ago because of the way things were going and I am shocked yet not completely surprised at the way things have gone. Two things come to mind, what does not belong to you you will not look after as though it was, this is outright plunder. Secondly, it seems that if the whites cannot be wiped out, whatever represents or represented them is being willfully destroyed. the whole of Africa is covered in shacks and the whites are not exactly responsible for that, here they are held responsible and the punishment does not fit the crime. What amazes me the most is that instead of building peace and good neighborliness, the race card is still being played to justify the continued plunder and its working very well. When there are no whites left who will they turn on then? Each other of course, its already happening. "Mona" or jealous in English is one of the biggest viruses this country has to find a vaccine for. The ostentatious fashion show that is parliament is simply outrageous. How could they put on such a spectacle in the face of the so called "struggle" and all it promised to address? Mandela said in '94 that there would be no fat cats in an ANC government. Yeah right, it looks like a cat show up there. History repeats itself. Thats about all I am sure of. Bob Dylan said it, "Ring dem bells, for the chosen few, who will judge the many, when the game is through.." There is no such thing as democracy when there is an outright majority who equally hate and fear the minority.

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog. So sad that it is all basically true and getting worse all the time, not better.

As for the "if you don't like it, fuck off" lot, I thank God daily that as my partner had a British passport, I was able to do just that 4 years ago. We are now helping others who we care about in SA to do the same. The Greater London area has now in excess of 500,000 ex South Africans living there - how many more world wide?

These are the people who were the energy, brains and spirit that made SA an economic success. When they are all gone (or murdered like more than one of our friends)SA will fast mirror the rest of Africa.

My paartner and I are trying to help as many people we care about as possible to escape the dismal future that awaits the F-off brigade.

Bruce

Anonymous said...

I live in the heart of the most beatiful piece of world. Surrounded by game farms, sugar cane & pineapple fields, and yes, millions upon millions of people. I think there were 7 or 8 hijackings here in Jan, more every week. There was national coverage on the tourist hijackings. I came upon this site while investigating these crimes, as I know someone who has ended up with a camera. The camera has happy pictures of a large family enjoying themselves around a camp fire. It makes the blood in my veins run cold when I imagine how there holiday must have ended for there camera to end up in the bush with locals. Taking the camera to the police is not an option in case you're wondering. This is rural KZN.
I escaped from SA once before when I was too terrified to stay after the murder of a friend. But then I found myself living with a fear far greater than the fear I felt at home is SA, the fear for those I love. So, we came home. We had made it after more than 3 years away, now we stuggle on at home again. Life is just too short, home is where your family is.
PS. How has SA ended up with so many ignorant white city dwelling, head-in-the-sand, morons?
White African

Anonymous said...

" 'Joburg is an african city and our streets reflect that. In a positive and negative sense.'

So, you mean it's a hellhole? They would still be living in mud huts if the White man never arrived hunting large game with spears. They were/are thousands of years behind the rest of the world, how could we be so dumb as to expect to bring them uptodate overnight?"

Who do you think you are telling us that that we'd still be living in mud huts had the white man never come? Do you think you are the custodian of civilisation? You who used to burn people alive at the stake because they floated in water?
Boet, we did not ask for your civilisation --look at the zim ruins..look at mapungupwe, read up about the greate kingdoms of Ghana.
Frankly, I think Africa has been more civilised than any of your countries ever were. All white people did was wave a bible around and think it was civilisation. right.

Erik said...

So, you mean it's a hellhole? They would still be living in mud huts if the White man never arrived hunting large game with spears. They were/are thousands of years behind the rest of the world, how could we be so dumb as to expect to bring them uptodate overnight?"

It was a big mistake. There is nothing wrong with living in mud huts hunting with spears. WE consider it wrong that's a different thing. Colinization was a bad idea. The ruined buildings of Johannesburg are the harvest of apartheid.

Anonymous said...

What really pisses me off are these idiots who come up with this "if you don't like it then f*** off" attitude. Who can say honestly that this bloody mess is OK, its not and those who say otherwise need to sort themselves out.
What reason do the blacks have to simply destroy things, are they just so bloody thick that they have to live by choice in their own degradation, filth and devastation.
Its not a case of mourning the past, its a case of maintaining some standards.

Anonymous said...

interesting, when I was there this is what it looked like

koalorka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philip Chandler said...

"Yes, things have changed. Cities change, and as much as you seem to be crying about the so-called 'death' of a city, you are crying for a lost piece of your life."

************
Response:
************

I left South Africa in 1986, nine months after obtaining my B.Sc. degree from Wits, due to my belief that apartheid was an obscenity and that it was immoral for me to remain in the country. I last returned to South Africa four years ago -- and nearly wept when I saw what had happened to the campus of the University that I loved for four of the best years of my life.

The old building housing the Great Hall, with its once-beautiful pillars at the top of the stairs, had been reduced to a filthy, decaying structure. Graffiti had been sprayed everywhere -- the building housing the School of Psychology was littered with trash, and the stench of urine hit me as I entered this building from the lawn on which I used to sit with my friends. Paper and trash was strewn everywhere. The grass had not been mowed or maintained properly. The toilets were filthy. This beautiful campus had been reduced to an island of squalor. There was once a time when this campus was beautiful, safe, and orderly. It is now a dirty, unkempt shambles.

I have remained in touch with a lecturer of mathematics, who shall remain nameless. This person tells me how standards have fallen; how this person is called upon by the Engineering department to lower the standards, time after time. Wits was once one of the best Universities on the African continent, and was internationally accredited. Now, the immigration authorities in the US demand to know the year during which an applicant for a skilled work permit graduated from Wits, so as to determine whether the applicant's degree is worth a damn.

I visited Braamfontein and passed the building in which I had rented a flat after graduating. The streets of Braamfontein were filthy beyond belief; the pavement sidewalks were crumbling and decaying, and I felt unsafe on foot, despite the fact that I am 6'7" tall...

Hillbrow was squalid beyond belief. The streets were unpassable -- "vendors" cluttered the sidewalks with trashy "products," and landmark buildings had been desecrated with graffiti. It was obvious that nobody gave a damn about cleanliness, order, or maintaining a decent standard of social order...

You can tell me that I am whining, or that I am reflecting on personal loss -- but this does nothing to change the fact that Johannesburg -- and parts of Johannesburg such as Parktown, where I used to walk freely and without fear -- are decrepit, filthy, dangerous, and decaying. As an earlier commentator said, this is about standards, not personal discomfort or nostalgia. It is about the breakdown of any semblance of order and common decency.

It is about seeing a country go to hell, as standards deteriorate in the name of "political correctness" and "affirmative action."

Change was needed. The country had to undergo profound social nd political change. But any freedom that has been won has been won at the cost of basic quality of life for everybody. Dirt and decay are NOT prerequisites for freedom. Filth is NOT a necessary condition for equality to flourish. Decay is NOT a necessary result of majority rule.

Squalor is NOT something that can be excused.

PHILIP

Philip Chandler said...

After reading additional comments that have been posted here, I have the following observations:

1) Apartheid was a monstrosity. There is no denying that fact, no getting around it with excuses and "explanations" as to how it was necessary in order to maintain a First World nation on a Third World continent. It was an abomination -- period.

2) Blaming every problem in South Africa on apartheid -- talking about "the legacy of apartheid" or "the harvest of apartheid" does absolutely nothing to fix the problems that are destroying South Africa. Calling people "racists" if people point out the hard fact that Johannesburg specifically, and South Africa generally, is going downhill, does nothing to fix the problems. Referring to all white South Africans as "racists" does nothing to fix the problems. Telling anybody who complains that they are a "racist" does not solve the problems.

3) SOUTH AFRICA IS DETERIORATING -- the streets of Johannesburg are filthy, violent crime is so prevalent that tourists are being warned not to visit, people with money (who are mostly white) live behind 10 foot electrified fences topped with broken bottle glass and guarded by multiple alarm systems and attack dogs, South African Airways is going to hell in a handcart, the Universities are deteriorating and are no longer internationally accredited....

4) WORK THE PROBLEM, NOT THE PEOPLE -- instead of calling each other "racists" and comparing and beating up each others' civilizations and backgrounds, IDENTIFY THE PROBLEMS and SOLVE THEM!

5) Revenge for the past is not going to get anybody anywhere. If black South Africans want to drive economic and technical expertise out of the country, then keep on demonizing white South Africans. If all South Africans wish to retain skills and experience, then cut the bullshit and treat each other with respect. Nobody can go back to the past and undo it. We can, however, change the present and the future.

That is simply my personal opinion.

PHILIP

Anonymous said...

I can't help feeling that the fact that the Drill Hall is now a stunningly restored and redeveloped cultural space (see the picture at http://www.eternalnetwork.org/
kinbejozi/index.php?art=23) undermines the central thesis of your blog...

The Real Realist said...

Anonymous said...
I can't help feeling that the fact that the Drill Hall is now a stunningly restored and redeveloped cultural space


Yes, it has been rebuilt since the pictures were taken. But you miss the point: the Drill Hall was burnt down by squatters and then vandalized in the first place... and I don't give the new place a long lifespan, something which anyone who is familiar with the surrounding area, will most likely agree with...

Anonymous said...

I stayed at the Kontinental Hotel, near Joubert Park, for 2 months over 1975-6. I would drink there or to a nearby pub called the "Bender's Arms" (cool neon sign), unless I was invited to the private "Summit Club." That was prior to the Soweto Riots, but the high crime rate didn't touch the inner city. On average, there were 7 murders per day in the black areas. I liked to read the "Star." Once, when I bought the black paper, "The World," the white shopkeeper said: "You are from out of town." Apartheid was in season, but Diagonal Street gravitated into a mixed race area (saw police investigate a murder there). I ate mostly stews in the restaurants, and a "packet of chips" for a snack. Although I never liked "Whimpy Burgers" they set up at the top of Carlton Place, so it was worth it to go there for the view. At the time, it had the largest skating rink in Africa. Skating was unknown to the Blacks, so large groups of them would enjoy watching rink events as a spectacle (the rink was "Nie Blankes"). Hillbrow was lively and safe. Ironically, I was able to watch the instant when TV came to Jo'burg. As an experiment, they put 1 hour of English and 1 hour of Afrikaan programming, each day. I was watching when they went to regular service, at 5 hours a day. My favourite radio station was: "Radio 5." They ran the "American Top 40" show.

Was the military "Drill" centre near the Kontinental?; I remember seeing something like that from my hotel window. Weekly rate at the hotel in 1975: R49. Dirt cheap for me, and it had a swimming pool. Flew to London by "Icelandic Air." Cost almost nothing, and I could see Mount Kilimanjaro from the plane.

Anonymous said...

I gotta start by saying that...you clearly dont live here!

Have you been down to the drill hall? coz what you have is some old pictures.
You forget that our country went through a hard struggle that left scares in basically everthing, yes even buildings.

Dude you really gotta up grade your archives.
And its clear that you so many issues that you have to deal with, coz even you, yourself dont see things in an optimistic approach.

ITS CLEAR THAT YOU COULD LIVE IN THAT SCUM, COZ YOU SO TRAPPED IN THE DIRT...MOVE ON AND GO SEE NEW PLACES.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:44 PM:

Who are you, and to whom are you addressing your snide and inappropriate remarks? Are you a black racist? Are you not willing to live in mixed societies, and do you want to rage race war against white people? Escape from your mind prison, and use some free thought.

Anonymous said...

The updated pictures of Drill Hall completely undermine your argument, which is as far as I can ascertain that black people are uncivilised ... in my experience urban decay has nothing to do with race and everything to do with poverty. Now, if this were your argument, and you presented a more balanced picture of what is happening in South Africa, this site would be worth engaging in. But as it stands, this is nothing but racist, sensationalist, biased banter.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Drill Hall today to take photographs for a varsity assignment and it still looks exactly the same! Feb 2008

H@mmer said...

Just leave the poor k4s to do what they do best ....destroy..there is no nation run by k4 that is performing or growing... the whites leave SA the k4s totally destroy what is left then 40 million k4tjies go where the whities is !! Look at all these black nations in africa . London is black Paris is Black !! 10 year ago it was still white !!! Run away now to run away tommorow !!!

H@mmer said...

Just leave the poor k4s to do what they do best ....destroy..there is no nation run by k4 that is performing or growing... the whites leave SA the k4s totally destroy what is left then 40 million k4tjies go where the whities is !! Look at all these black nations in africa . London is black Paris is Black !! 10 year ago it was still white !!! Run away now to run away tommorow !!!

Anonymous said...

It would be even more spectacular if you could post a picture of the Drill Hall in its prime.

Sorrel Jakins
Provo, Utah, USA

cityhol said...

Johannesburg certainly reflect an African City - An African city is one classified as a city where the infrastructure has collapsed, no public health standards exist, lawlessness is abound and the people running the city is sitting in the pound seats wasting the taxpayers money and no srervice delivery is the order of the day. it is so disgusting it makes you sick.
This site and other like this reflects the appalling situation. no wonder we are facing more and more deseases rearing its ugly head. Keep up the good work of displaying to th cicilized world what happened to South Africa since the misrule of the ANC started.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your devastating photos. What an eye opener.

I left South Africa 12 years ago to escape the threat of violent crime and white racism and from time to time I do become very homesick. However, the Johannesburg I was raised in doesn't exist anymore.

The Doors nightclub was where I spent my Matric dance afterparty and every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night thereafter. To see it as it is now is heartbreaking. That was where I first felt free and grown-up. And I will always have those wonderful memories.

Thank God I now live in a country of real freedom from racism where my chances of being a victim of violent crime doesn't give me sleepless nights. I'm saddened by the racist comments that I have read and as a white South African it infuriates me that all this energy is being spent hating South Africans who aren't white.

Yes, it's awful that the buildings have been ruined but they are just buildings and repairing them will not repair the spirit of South Africa. Bricks are not what is important - people are. Please use your energy constructively or come and join me where the grass is greener.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how the Johannesburg CBD can move to the Sandton CBD? First of all Sandton and Johannesburg are different cities. What people are probably trying to say is there is no CBD in Johannesburg any longer. RIP. I assume everybody is hence commuting to Sandton to do business. This would also explain the constant traffic chaos. I remember quitting on driving to Sandton during business hours before I left the province.

Otti B said...

JHB Sucks!
I am qualified to speak up about it.
I was born here and have lived here for 48 years 18/01/1963 - 10/01/2011
The Mine waters are rising, houses that were solid years ago are developing foundational cracks.

My houses water supply was cut off 37 months ago, because I was unemployed, and unable to pay, yet could not get a job (Thanks to BEE and Reversed Apartheid) I was forced to sell my house to pay for the debts, My fault? Can't get a job (To old and white)

<a href="http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-07-21-johannesburg-on-acidic-water-time-bomb"

Well now I am leaving JHB, hope the whole God Forsake sh*t hole gets swallowed up by a giant sink hole

Otto W.F. Brinkmeier

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head. No respect for anything, especially if they did not have to pay for it! Break down and burn, the mantra of the new South Africa.