Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Tour Through Hillbrow, Part 4

Above: Burnt out and gutted apartments, Catherine Street, Hillbrow.
Above: Corner Soper and Catherine Roads, Hillbrow. Fairly typical street scene.
Above: A gutted and bricked up building, corner Claim and Kotze Streets, Hillbrow.
Above: Gutted building and ruined furniture store, corner Edith Cavell and Kotze Streets, Hillbrow. No more Big Deals, in fact no deals at all.
Above: A closeup of the bricked up Big Deals....

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

These pictures are today's pictures
of remnants of apartheid system
Blacks could not use the hotels
if by law or lack of money in the days of apartheid.They could not live in the residential areas.
The Carlton Hotel and the other residential hotels as well as the expensive apartment buildings that were in the apartheid era mean nothing to New South Africa.
These sites are just reminders of Apartheid.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you are one of the few honest ones. Let's slash'nburn everything assosiated with apartheid and get it over with!

Speak the truth, and I can work with you!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, because "evil whitey" kept them out, they are incapable of maintaining even the most basic hygenic living conditions. Get your head out of your arse...they are INCAPABLE of living anywhere near the standards of whites, unless whites take care of (i.e., build and maintain) everything for them, like in the USA.

Anonymous said...

These sites are indeed not reminders of "Apartheid", but rather a stark reminder of the true character of our NSA brothers and sisters...

If these are just "reminders of Apartheid", why don't our NSA brothers and sisters just stop eating right now to show us that they won't touch the err, "fruits" of "Apartheid", which is still being produced by "Apartheid" farmers? Oh, but I forgot, the fate of these buildings are already befalling the farmers - they too are being invaded, and slowly, surely, hideously killed at a rate almost 2 a day...

Bodie said...

Folks, you WILL get those that that will try and blame the previous dispensation for all the social ills that are so pervasive in South Afrikan society today.

They are those that will rather see a country destroyed than face up to the facts:
Blacks are incapable of running a country without having the stabilising effect of a white infrastructure.

It has been proven again and again throughout Afrika .. once the colonists left and the locals (blacks) were left to run the show .. the cracks turned into canyons ... Afrika, the Dark Continent .. is just that ...tribal law rules... it is no place for civilization at all ... the only hope is that at some point we can re-colonise and then follow the Australian model.

Anonymous said...

"These pictures are today's pictures
of remnants of apartheid system
Blacks could not use the hotels
if by law or lack of money in the days of apartheid.They could not live in the residential areas.
The Carlton Hotel and the other residential hotels as well as the expensive apartment buildings that were in the apartheid era mean nothing to New South Africa.
These sites are just reminders of Apartheid."

Is this not just typical, it’s all the "apartheids" fault that these things have happened, really? Who has been living in these areas the past 10 years since the Black Government has taken over? I for one don’t see or have I heard of any “apartheid” members living around there.

Apartheid was bad and I’m glad it’s not around anymore, but the pure fact of the matter is that these "people" live in these places and should take it as their responsibility to maintain a healthy prosperous environment. The fact that they don’t just shows you what a drain on a country these people actually are and if nothing is done, we might as well become Zimbabwe’s second state.

Apartheid my ***, what’s next? You going to claim it’s your ancestral land even though you have no proof nor do you have a cotton picking clue where you actually come from.

torch.slavemaster@gmail.com said...

I stumbled across the site by accident, and frankly would not have given it a look based purely on the URL. At first, I read this as a huge destructive and bitter rant about "the good old days" and how wonderful things were then... I expected a bigoted and biased rant againsed black people in general.

Having browsed through some of the galleries, I am aware of so many mixed emotions. Hillbrow. I lived there once, I knew those buildings, I stayed in some of them. It was alive and vibrant, it was my home. Looking through the pictures I am horrified at the decline.

If were to believe it because it was a reminder of the racist regime and should be destroyed then logically we have to burn everything, soweto included. That kind of logic is assinine. The wanton destruction only began after apartheid was dismantled.

This is at best a well documented account of urban decay in action, it's the death of a once beatiful city. I now understand the helpless rage, the horror and the deep sense of loss you must feel. This may be progress eventually, one day it will have to be reconstructed I suppose, but to watch one of the greatest cities on the continent die a slow and lingering death cna only make one bitter.

My golden youth lies in those ruins.

Anonymous said...

I've left SA 15yrs ago, and seem to be one of the lucky one's! The photos on your BLOG un-believable. I grew up in a block of flats "Panarama Heights", if you have the occassion to take a photo please do, because I doubt that I will take a flight to SA to see how my childhood souvernirs are completely distroyed.
I am so disapointed in the state that Hillbrow is in, I always did and still believe in equal rights for all nations and people. I am so disapointed that my rainbow compariotes do not keep the standards of my childhood days. Nothing to do with apartheid (which I am happy does not exist anymore in SA)!!! only self repect!!!!!!!

Regards

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across this site while at work - I left SA in 1982 - but spent a lot of time in Jo'burg - and I cant believe it a totally deserted city - the pictures dont remind me of Jo'burg but I know it is Jo'burg - especially Hillbrow and the cafes and the shops - am shocked gone with the wind ..... its very hard to write a feeling

Anonymous said...

i lived in hillbrow until my mom died and went back a few times as my aunt worked in the harrison reef hotel, and looking through your pictures brings me to tears. i had some really good times there and new years eve was a blast.

if you are able to take some more pictures and you come across a building called twickenham hall it is in able road, berea please post it as this is where i lived. i havent been there for 16 years and would love to see it now. you have done some fantastic work with these pictures and i hope you carry on as there is alot of people who have no idea what is going on there. just another city brought to its knees

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest here. Hillbrow has become a shithole. If you had to... would you live here? The question, of course is why. Why has it changed so radicaly over so few years?

That's quite a hard question. But just to point out a few facts... in the late 80's the place was quite nice. There were restaurants, comfortable flats, shops and nightclubs. Sure... there was crime too, but basically it was a fun place.

I don't have all the answers, and I'm not sure anyone has. But let's not blame this failure on apartheid. The new government (ANC) inherited an area that was prosperous, doing well, and with a bit of thought, could have gone on to better things. At the very least, they could have maintained the status quo. Of course... help your own people... redress the balance... help people of all colours to have homes, work and happiness.

But what's been pumped into Hillbrow then.... well it's obvious... absolutely nothing. The rich, middle class and even a lot of the poor have left. There's no economy, there's no plan, and the fact that it's fallen so suddenly speaks volumes.

There's absolutely no excuse... lose the apartheid excuse... that's now well out-of-date! Take responsiblity -this is your Hillbrow... this is your country... it's up to you. Whatever happens, is your responsibility.


Rob.

Anonymous said...

Well, I live in Jhb. Love the place - I choose to live here. and yet, when i see these photos, it's like the veil being lifted from my eyes.

We do, out of necessity, block out the horrors of this city. We don't want to see the beggars, the crumbling infrastructure, the chaos.

Thsese photos sadden me immensely. Nothing is being done to rectify the situation. Yet, R20bn+ can be spent on the Gautrain.

I struggle to remain positive in the face of such overwhelming evidence.

Apartheid or no apartheid - Hillbrow and surrounds are an evil, godforsaken, lawless, filthy sh!thole. The current government (local and provincial) doesn't give a damn - or they'd do something, surely?

Anonymous said...

I'm an American who spent time in SA in 1976. The USA abandoned SA. If blacks outnumbered whites in the US, we would have MEGA-aparheid. The whites will survive a difficult stage in their lives having to leave a homeland. The SBG's will remain in the filth they bring on themselves. This ENTIRE planet (I spent time in the middle/far east as well) has the same opinion of the black race. Show me where on this planet it's inaccurate.

God Bless the former SA.

Dave van Staden said...

Anonymous said...

These pictures are today's pictures
of remnants of apartheid system
Blacks could not use the hotels
if by law or lack of money in the days of apartheid.They could not live in the residential areas.
The Carlton Hotel and the other residential hotels as well as the expensive apartment buildings that were in the apartheid era mean nothing to New South Africa.
These sites are just reminders of Apartheid.


You speak such absolute tripe!

Hillbrow was the most cosmopolitan, liberal and fashionable suburb to stay in in the seventies and eighties. Many mixed race and mixed citizenry stayed there -- even during the seventies!

You are either an ignorant fool, or this is the worst form of trollery I have ever seen. This is further reinforced by your anonymity.

Anonymous said...

sad pictures,bad conditions of the buildings.......obviously something wrong is happening,10 0r 20 years from now wild life shall be roaming the streets of JHBG once again.

Anonymous said...

It is truly sad to see Jo'burg like this. Whether or not it was a symbol of apartheid, the fact remains it was handed over to the new regime, and look how it has been handled. Is the New South Africa meant to be a series of uncivilised slums for the masses, yet still an elite group of black leaders will live in wealth? Is that all that different from apartheid? Will South Africa go the way of all other African nations whereby the national economy becomes a bank account for the nations' leaders? Something needs to be done to restore Jo'burg and to make sure it is not yet another lost nation to the corruption and decay of Africa.

Anonymous said...

Wait till all the Zimmies is in SA, by the rate they are flocking in the hole SA will look like this.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see what the art deco building in the JHB CBD now look like.

Anonymous said...

I used to live near hillbrow and it was stunning there. It was safe and clean. They truly do have a knack to muck things up nicely.

Anonymous said...

who realy cares for hillbrow, it sucks just like SA does. Cockroach invested hell whole.....

Anonymous said...

I landed in SA in 1982 and stayed in Hillbrow for 2 years - I loved it. Have often visited SA since leaving and returning to England, I still have family there. The decline of Hillbrow is heartbreaking. A once cosmopolitan haven for every nationality, race and creed under the sun, Hillbrow was a force to be reckoned with but now, oh how sad to see the once, bustling streets, bars, cafes and shops just a skeleton of their former selves. Who to blame, well, I do have my opinions, best kept to myself however, the new South Africa! Black leaders crudely draining the country to satisfy their insatiable greed. Take a look at your neighbour Zimbabwe -lessons to be learned before it's too late to save you.

Anonymous said...

"The Carlton Hotel and the other residential hotels as well as the expensive apartment buildings that were in the apartheid era mean nothing to New South Africa.
These sites are just reminders of Apartheid."

ok, so you didn't get to share it then, so let's stuff it up now. No wonder it wasn't shared.

Anonymous said...

You have posted a devastating image above, the building with the BIG DEALS on the ground floors was my home for a long time in the early 70's, it was actually on the corner of Kotze and Klein St's.
It was named the "Swartberg" later changed to the "Hadrians", the ground floors were occupied by the Trust Bank. I last visited it in 1992 and was shocked by the decay then, I have viewed it several times when visiting your site, before I even recognised ir, God help us!

Anonymous said...

Having left 8 years ago I can only say I pity those whites still living in SA. The standards have dropped to a level we used to see only up north, those buildings have stood for a long time and under a white government were maintained to a high standard or were knocked down to make way for the new. Now the whole place looks like a ghetto, I should know as I grew up and lived there all my life. I "got out" after being hijacked one too many times, tired of the high, high, high and yes once more high crime and corruption. When the Police give the option of a High Fine or lower on the spot cash fine you know it is time to go. It is really sad to see the destruction of your home, all those memories trashed. I want to cry when I thing of my flat in Hillbrow and what it must look like now. You can't blame apartheid, the ANC has been in power while this has all happened and apart from drawing huge salaries, buying expensive cars, taking expensive holidays, moving their money offshore they have done little or nothing to stop the decay. I would go so far as to say the average person (black or white) is way worse off now than ever before. My workers (who all lost their jobs when I left) who were still alive (many have been killed in violent crimes) when I returned on holiday several years ago begged me to come back. They were mostly black!!!

Anonymous said...

I stayed in Hillbrow in 1988. It was a vibrant functioning society.
Again the present situation reinforces all the "black steriotypes" we are warned against.
Before that I was in Sierra Leone where the the blacks had destroyed everything they inherited on gaining independence. There's a message here:they are programed to eat and procreate and inbetween they destroy.

sonja mcleod said...

I left 12 years ago....truely shocked out of my socks!!!!!
If this is the new South AFRICA - I am glad that I left with my 3 children, never to return again.
Sonja Mcleod from Australia

marius said...

It is sad to see how many people out there have a complete distorted image of apartheid. The fact that people think that apartheid still has a negative effect on these people eg housing, health, protection etc. Fact of the matter is the following: when apartheid was in action so to speak, yes, it was wrong, and the core of it will always be wrong, but what was givin to them, was givin in a usefull, fully fuctioning condition. I will admit, same cases this does not apply, what did they do, they burnt it down. Today they have everything at their fingertips, and still, what do they do, they burn it down, break things apart, destroy or break down our infra structure. Why? Because they say that they were done wrong back in the day..... They idiots that is actually doing this, hasnt been around when apartheid was here, but that is what it will be blamed on. I think for the folk thats abroad, stop reading international best seller books about South Africa and the apartheid, because all that you are getting is a distorted picture of what is, and what was going on.

theshinyone said...

Yeoville has been a part of my life since early childhood as we used to visit family there and later as a young adult I lived in Hilbrow and Yeoville between 1988 and 1997, and owned a flat in Cavendish street at the top of the hill.I got out just in time!My heart is torn by these pictures of destruction and precious memories of my carefree wonderful life are all that are left! Yeoville was truly an international suburb with many nations and religions all living peacefully side by side.Here it was safe to have cross racial relationships without fear of persecution or violent attacks.Living in Yeoville was indeed one of the best times of my life, I attended the Shul, taught in the nursery school, waitressed at a few of the restaurants,met many friends of all nationalities & races and fondly remember the parties and events of those years.It is so very sad to see it looking like that. Does the nation not care how the world views it? Does nobody want something better for themselves? Something cleaner and more respectable? Isn't it each individuals responsibility to do their share and contribute to cleaning it up, rebuilding and upgrading it. It is such a shame that our dear Yeoville will never be the same!

Anonymous said...

i have just seen the pictures on
this web site,and it truly brought a tear to my eye.i couldnt believe
it.i lived in SA and a lot of the suburbs,when i first moved over there i was 13, and left when i was 20,we had some awsome times at the clubs,small street mall was another fave,this was in the mid to late 80s mind you,Who ever lives there is responsible,simple as.GET IT SORTED,soon as.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what many have said on here about how vibrant and cosmopolitan Hillbrow was. This place gave me my first experience as a white girl living with and around other races in apartheid 80s SA. Remember the "grey areas"? EVERYONE lived here. It was the feeling of the possible, the hope for change that made this place so exciting. Does anyone remember the Zionists who used to dance in spinning circles in a ground floor flat with wrap around windows? Everyone on the street would stand and watch them through the windows - it was mesmerizing, awesome, something i have never experienced since.

One thing I was wondering looking at these pics is what kind of f&*#'d up life are people experiencing that still live here? Not one food store in sight. Imagine the effect this environment has on you? It becomes self perpetuating eventually. There is no cultural fabric to help pull it together - the culture was shredded by generations of hardscrabble existence...

Anonymous said...

I visited Johannesburg only recently, having worked there between the years 1971 to 1975, I was excited about returning and re-acquainting myself with areas such as Hillbrow, Yeoville and Berea - so many great memories of these places and that of Jo'burg as a whole. Ye Gods!!! Just what the hell happened during the intervening years? This once fantastic city has now become the backside of humanity - another pitiful example of black Africa trying to pick up where the white man left off - everything has turned to garbage - never again for me, I actually paid $226.00 for a flight-change out of the place - this hasty departure securing my liberty four days earlier than I originally intended - money well spent. what price the Rainbow Nation? High, very, very high indeed!