Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Tour Through Hillbrow, Part 2

Above: The ruins of the Sands Hotel, O'Reilly Street, Hillbrow.
Above: The main entrance to the Sands Hotel, O'Reilly Street, Hilbrow -- or rather should I say the ruins of the Sands Hotel main entrance.

Above: The ruins of the Mark Hotel, O'Reilly Road, Hillbrow. Incredible to think I actually stayed there while on holiday in 1984.

Above: A closeup of the ruins of the Mark Hotel, O'Reilly Road, Hillbrow.
Above: The corner of Catherine and Esseln Streets, Hillbrow. Trash is just everywhere, and the whole place really does stink to high heaven.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been living outside of South Africa for 5 years and seeing what is happening in Joburg brings me close to tears

Anonymous said...

anonymous replies........

Tears is probably just an understatement. How terribly sad to see what has become of one of the most popular suburbs of Johannesburg. Not a Saturday night went by that we didn't enjoy the streets of Hillbrow - be it for ice-creams, dancing at the hotels or other....... WOW!!!

Anonymous said...

This is the results of liberals at work !

Anonymous said...

Liberals .... look at the 2 girls.
.... a perfect match for you!

Greg said...

Ah, The Sands... Even the drug dealers seem to have desserted this hell hole. Interesting if slightly depressing blog - think it might be enlightening to point out some of the redevelopment happening in the inner city. Newtown, for instance, is actually starting to look pretty. Anyway, if this endeavour helps speed up the rejuvenation process, all power to ya. Heard a rumour that some money was going to be pumped into Yeoville (Rockey St in particular), and hopefully soon it'll be the thriving artistic and cultural centre it once was. If I had some spare cash, I'd seriously consider buying a house there - they're dirt cheap at the moment and some are beautiful. How about a look at Louis Botha Ave? Also an area that's suffered but seems to be on its way back up (the Victory Theatre, for one, is being revamped).

How do you think the 2010 World Cup is going to impact these areas?

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Detroit, voted the most liberal city in America, and I couldn't tell if these pictures were of S.A. or from home. The ratio of black to white is about the same, and I watched that city destroy itself the same way this city has.

Anonymous said...

SO ? yer point is ????

Anonymous said...

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINING OF THE END......

Anonymous said...

Tears and more tears

Anonymous said...

Greg,

You are a fool if you think money will solve these problems. Whites like yourself have been trying for years to solve Africa's problems by throwing money at it. The more money you throw at it the WORSE it gets.

These areas will NEVER be the cultural centre it once was. What you're actually doing when pumping money into these areas is to extend the suffering of the poor savages. But hey, it's your money...

tracy smith said...

Sitting in England now and absolutely devestated! Hillbrow and Yeoville used to be the best places in the world to go and PARTY! Late Nite Als, Barbarellas,
Cafe de Paris ... to name but a few. What is happening just makes me cry - for Heaven's sake ... stop the desecration! Tracy

Anonymous said...

PLEASE!!!! you should all GET REAL!!! this is all over the world!!

Anonymous said...

WELL, IF ONLY THE RACIST GOVERNMENTS OF THE PAST HAD FORESIGHT AND TREATED ALL PEOPLE AS EQUALS, THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED. THE DAY HUMANITY LEARNS THIS LESSON THEN MAYBE THERE WOULD BE HOPE FOR A PEACEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL PLANET. THINK ABOUT IT!
(NOW A PROUD AUSTRALIAN, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD)N.O.

The Real Realist said...

Anonymous said...
WELL, IF ONLY THE RACIST GOVERNMENTS OF THE PAST HAD FORESIGHT AND TREATED ALL PEOPLE AS EQUALS, THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED. THE DAY HUMANITY LEARNS THIS LESSON THEN MAYBE THERE WOULD BE HOPE FOR A PEACEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL PLANET. THINK ABOUT IT!
(NOW A PROUD AUSTRALIAN, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD)N.O.


Oh I see, it's Whitey's fault that Hillbrow is a trashcan.

Sorry, how stupid of me not toe realise this from the beginning....

Anonymous said...

Who in the bloody hell would pump one penny into any of those hell holes??!! That would be a complete waste of money. What, build it up so that they can tear it apart, again?! I know many whites have long deep roots in SA, but why in the hell are you still there?? Get the freakin' heck out of there, unless the ANC asswipes will not let you leave. Are you stuck there, or what?

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me..I stayed at the Sands and the Mark in the early 1970s as well as the Mariston. I spent many lunches at a restaurant a few blocks away on Kotze or Pretoria Street...It was on the 2nd floor and had a narrow and long veranda that snaked around the corner for very pleasant
outdoor dining above the crowds and cars..Does anyone remember the name of that restaurant?? They served a wonderful tea and if I remeber correctly very plump and inexpensive samosas..

ADK
Morristown NJ

Anonymous said...

Hey. I notice a few trees are still standing.Not been used for firewood yet.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend in Australia who had her camera cut off her arm and her handbag stolen out of her friends flat - so they have it too

Anonymous said...

Neither money, changes of government, foreign aid or the football world cup in 2010 are going to turn S.Africa around. After all,it is on the tip of the continent of AFRICA; what else could anyone expect. African Renaissance? - HA! Dream on .....

seatrend said...

Unfortunetly the problems facing South Africa are a direct impact of the Apartheid era. Giving democracy to a country riddeled with economic problems from education, housing and unemployment, brings out the measure of survival. Most inhabitants of the slums of johannesburg do not have the fortune of having education and jobs. The blame has to focus on the Goverments inability to addreass these concerns. We argue the issues, but do not place protest against the corruption of goverment officials or the violence in our cities. Instead we point fingers and wonder why, or how can this happen, instead of meeting the challenges of opposition to the current system. From Apartheid to ANC goverment poverty has been in place in South Africa,the slums of townships are now in our beloved city, riddeled with the same economic, social problems of the past.

Anonymous said...

You talk about education!! Back in the 80's when the problems were just starting, the first thing the blacks would do was burn their schools!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi
I am refugee from the RSA, got a new RSA passport this year. I voted NO in the 1993. I new that the new RSA will look like on the pictures. In the 1975-1980 I used to stay in Hillbrow Berea, in Mark Hotel as a resident. Remember early 1980 flats were sold in High Rise for 25 000 rand, bachelor.
I think the rest of the RSA will go Hillbrow. In 2005 I was in JHB and feel lucky to be alive.
Keep going this direction, wish you luck.
From Warsaw

Anonymous said...

are these hotels still open?

Anonymous said...

I stayed at the Mark, which had just opened, when my son was born. It was a beautiful place. We also had an apartment in "Aintree" for a few months and we used the Sands Hotel when friends and relatives came to visit. So sad......

laager said...

What a load of mumbo jumbo blaming everything on aprtheid and a lack of education. How short memories are.

You do not have to go to school to learn good hygiene, cleanliness, how to be neat and tidy and rfespect for your own, other people's an public property. Your parents teach you that at home.

And remember the poor whites/Afrikaners after the Boer War. Did they go on a rampage of destruction or live in filthy hovels as a poor defeated people? No. They had their self respect and seta about uplifting themselves through hard work and education. All of SA owes theem a huge debt of gratitude.

Bootom line: stop looking for excuses and some external circumstance to blame for these failings.

If it is to be it is up to me.

Anonymous said...

Luckily there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel of destruction, it's got a red ribbon tied around it and that ribbon is also a racist.

Anonymous said...

Is this not a picture of the old "Flying Saucer" Cafe? You could buy great ice cream there in the '60's. If not, is it still there? I too felt like crying - we always used to go to Johannesburg in the school holidays on the train - could walk around Johannesburg no problem. What a shame - but you can take them out of the bush but you can't take the bush out of them.

Anonymous said...

The white governments of the world need to leave Africa
alone. They claim that white people are the cause of all their problems. We should not send in any aid of any kind and leave them to starve and suffer with AIDS. Before you know it the Black race would be no more in Africa.. I think they are a race who is on a course of distinction, but white people keep trying to save them. Hell, let them die..

benoni skinhead said...

Hillbrow was such a Beautiful place to live and visit !!
I lived in Ponty in the 90`s and i used to eat at the English fish and Chip shop on the main road !
I wonder is the night club BELLAS is still open ?????
The best Record Shops were in Hillbrow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What has happened , Does nobody care ???????????????????

Anonymous said...

im living in hillbrow now and you people dont have any idea whats going on there,if they can get rid of all the illegal immigrants then the crime rate will drop believe me

fi said...

Bella's!! It must still be there?!?! Had been open for forever when i was a regular in '90/'91!! Lived in Berea in '91. A year that i'll never forget! Think Hillbrow will have a special place in many peoples hearts.

fi said...

Bella's must still be open!!The place had been there forever! I lived in Hillbrow in '91. It'll always have a special place in a lot of peoples hearts.

Gracie said...

I returned to UK in 1991 and it's now 2008. I tillmiss it terribly and visiting this website made me so sad. I lived in Hillbrow/Berea/Yeoville for 17 years and loved the nightlife - Barbarellas,La Poupiie (worked there for a few years)even the Marakesh in the 70's. Also loved Rocky Street - Speakeasy and Rumours. Lived at Sands Hotel, Highrise flats and another block in Berea up from the Statesman - miss the life there terribly for what it was, what it's become is devastating to see

Anonymous said...

This is among the most depressing websites I've ever seen, and it's clear that the country is not in good hands. But is it really the fault of "liberals?" Is it just some problem with "the African (= black) mentality"? I have trouble imagining that things could be much different. For 15 (more?) generations 4/5 of the country was kept purposefully away from worthwhile education and opportunities to participate in giving a damn about the place. Everyone knew the end of Apartheid was coming ten years before it came, but no one prepared anyone for anything. Suddenly, one day, the gates are opened, and the country suddenly belongs to this mass of people with no experience running much of anything other than their little township fiefdoms. And suddenly they own it all! Rhodesia knew full well what lay in store for it, and people there had much better opportunities to participate in running the country. It was only when Mugabe went bats***t 5 years ago that the country was destroyed. Prior to that they were the envy of Africa, and lived far better on average than black South Africans, to the point that they were quite pleased to look at themselves in the mirror after looking at what S.A. had become. Of course, Mugabe ruined all that, but the point is that there was no way this was going to turn out differently. It's less a knock on whitey to say this than it is to simply recognize that there can hardly be any other expected outcome given how fast the country was placed in untrained, unskilled and uneducated hands, save for the few who were well prepared.

ianf said...

I arrived in hillbrow in 1984 and stayed for 4 years. Was there a bar called swingles in one of the hotels? And was there a hotel called the Protea Gardens in the same area? Can anyone help!

ianf said...

is there anybody out there who lived in Preston Place, Berea ing the 1980s?

ianf said...

i moved to hillbrow in 1984 and was there 4 years! Was there a bar called Swingles in the Mark or the Sands? Also was there a hotel called the Protea Gardens in that area?

Anonymous said...

oh my god i cannot believe i lived in the Sands in 1987 and had dinner every evening in the dining room with all these old jewish ladies who lived there on a perm basis. what happened to them? and the bar at the Mark was great fun most evenings. it makes me feel more than old to think that these places are finished.

Anonymous said...

To the poster above: You are correct in your analysis but for how long will the blacks keep on blaming the whites for everything, instead of for once trying to do something right by themselves? More than once white people have been down shit creek without a paddle, but strangely enough they always sort their shit out.

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that I spent three of my best years living at the Sands and the Mark Hotels in 1982 - 1984 whilst studing at the (then) new Wits Technikon campus. Hillbrow used to be THE place to be!

I had thought of paying a nostalgic visit when next in SA. Think I'll give it a miss now after having found this website - so sad!

fromthebrow said...

To ADK Morristown, the cafe on the 2nd floor , on the corner of kotze str and pretoria str was Cafe Wien, they served the best chicken soup.

Anonymous said...

The day that the western world stops pumping aid into this hopeless,pathetic piece of SHIT continent...is the day that africans will either learn how to survive on their own(haha,can't say that without laughing),which will NEVER happen or become EXTINCT!!!(thats wat WILL happen).Take this from me-an english white South African(my family only voted 4 the progressive federal party,NEVER the apatheid government).I blame both the apartheid-loving white AFRIKAANERS who fucked this place up from the start and the arrogent black man who is impossible to urbanise.I'm off to Vancouver in 2012.This place is falling apart(communist dictatorship in the making) and I've lost my patience with these FUCKING people,i tried hard to believe but I can't,not in this "African dream",it always will be a dream....

Anonymous said...

I lived in Johannesburg for ten years, eight of them at the "Statesman" in Joel Road during the 1970's. I used to think that Jo'burg was one of the world's great cities. How times change! I used to go back there most years on holiday from the UK, staying at the Statesman each time.
I last went there early in 1990 and was there when Mandela was released. I saw the black mob chanting through the streets of Hillbrow and realised that the writing was on the wall. Nothing lasts for ever. I just feel glad to have been there in the good times.

Anonymous said...

The end of the last decent society in Africa...

Anonymous said...

How was the Mark?

NADINE TROSKIE said...

hello there does anyone remember my mom Josie Troskie or josie pretorie or josie standard it would just be nice to know im nadine at 072 767 1461 you can watsup me, call me as well or just find me on google Nadine Troskie she worked at the elizabeth hotel and other hotels as a bar lady in hillbrow