Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Tour Through Hillbrow Part 6

Above: the destroyed building on the corner of Claim and Pretoria Streets, Hillbrow. Peter Rose used to publish the Hillbrow Herald from this building...I wonder what happened to him?
Above: A closeup of the corner of Claim andPretoria Streets. There used to be a dance studio and a fancy fashion outfitters there... I recall it was too expensive for me (mid 1980s).
Above: Anyone remember buying records at the Hillbrow Record Centre, Pretoria Street, Hillbrow? Well you can't anymore. It's boarded and barred up, like many shops in the area.
Above: Anyone remember the Milky Lane milkshake shop above Hillbrow Record Centre? Well, it's also gone, long time....
Above: Street scene, Pretoria Road. Formerly one of the main shopping roads in Hillbrow. The mattresses and blankets are from locals who sleep in the streets.

141 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to walk around Hillbrow, Braamfontein and central Johannesburg at all hours of the day and night in the mid 70's. Was never hassled or mugged once. I would be particularly interested to see what has become of the YMCA in Rissik Street where I stayed as well as Fontana in Hillbrow where I used to savage the odd roast chicken after a night of heavy clubbing. Delicious!

Anonymous said...

Whoever you are, you obviously have a major problem, as all you do, say or see is negative. South Africa still has a lot to be positive about, many, many beautiful places and lots of very special people. who need people like you? This country certainly wont get anywhere with negativity like yours!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say bro, you have a minor problem – a small brain and a low IQ.
This has nothing to do with negativity, racism, religion, politics, perceptions or any of those words wicked politicians and narrow minded liberals love to use to portray their opponents in a bad light.
This has only to do with the plain, simple and straight forward reality of what is going on in one part of South Africa. These pictures only depict the tragic decay of Johannesburg.
If the mindless inhabitant of this once thriving city destroys their habitat, then it doesn’t mean that flowers in Namakwaland are not fine.

raf said...

nice photos i must say, those parts of jhb are certainly pretty dodgy.. on a positive note, you did make it out of the area with you camera and other valuables still in your possession, credit where credit is due i suppose...

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Highrise - Primrose Terrace in 80's. I thought I was made - we would walk to all the clubs, pubs, restaurants and end up at No 58 @ 3 - 4 o clock in the morning to listen to New talent playing piano, singing i.e Natalie de la Roche with Sam Marais - they named their group Coffee and Cream.Errol Arendse used to frequent the club and many more celebs.

Clubbing at the Goblet and late night roast Chicken and grocery shopping at Fontana was the In thing. I did international modelling at the time and it compared to some of the best places I've been to.

We certainly are Negative. Wake up and smell the shxt! Hillbrow, yeoville, Windsor, Turffontein, Doornfontein etc etc. Every place they get to they destroy!

Anonymous said...

I think it is important to bear in mind our own (white people's) culpability for the "mess". What you are witnessing is the legacy of apartheid and it is apartheid that is responsible for what one sees today in South Africa.

- We treated black people like animals, while we sat at our pools and our tea parties, making fun of them. The most important thing in our lives was to make sure we held our pinkie finger at the right angle while we drank our tea.

- Public education was free for whites, but not for blacks. Those blacks who could afford to stay in school were treated to a tertiary level education. We didn't want an educated black populace with the result that we now have an entire generation of uneducated, uneducatable and unemployable people.

- We took their good farmland and sent them to bantustands where the land was so arid that even weeds couldn't grow and where there was no work of any kind to sustain families. So the men migrated to the cities and the mines, not only splitting up families, but also making them more susceptible to contracting AIDS.

And now we complain about the "mess" and what has been done to our country?? We did it, each and every one of us, and those who came before us. We enjoyed the easy life and now we don't want to pay the price. What did we think that all those years of apartheid would produce? Nirvana?

P.S. You have the word -"inhabitated" under one of your photos. Do you mean "inhabited"?

The Real Realist said...

Anonymous said...
I think it is important to bear in mind our own (white people's) culpability for the "mess". What you are witnessing is the legacy of apartheid and it is apartheid that is responsible for what one sees today in South Africa.


Ah! Of course! How silly of me! It's crystal clear -- it's Whitey's fault!

It seems to me that every time any other race screws up, it is always the Whites' fault.

Sorry, I don't believe it.

The Pinkie Finger NOGAL!! said...

"- We treated black people like animals, while we sat at our pools and our tea parties, making fun of them. The most important thing in our lives was to make sure we held our pinkie finger at the right angle while we drank our tea."

What a blinkin joke!!!..this can only be from a HARDCORE LIBERAL!!..wasn't it the BRITISH/ENGLISH/LIBERAL WAY TO LIFT THE PINKIE FINGER????WHEN DRINK TEA....AFRIKANERS NEVER HAD TIME FOR THIS TYPE OF CULTURED NONSENSE MAN!

Anonymous said...

Allow me to respond:

-We treated them like animals
Yes, because just like today, back then they also behaved like animals. You might've been sitting on your stoep drinking tea, but the majority of white people worked their arses off (in higher level jobs) to build this country. Most manual labour were performed by blacks - in Europe they use machines.

-Public education
Initially whites and blacks had equal access to schools. However, when blacks burned down their own schools (by the hundreds) and refused to accept Afrikaans as a school subject (not instruction language, as new SA history handbooks claim), whites understandably refused to rebuild the schools for them. Unlike today, blacks received classes in their native tongue. If Afrikaners were only so lucky.

-We took their good farmland and sent them to arid areas
Hah! You call Transkei, Ciskey, Bop and Lesoto arid? Commercial farming in these areas never came to anything because blacks farmed these areas the traditional half arsed African way, just enough to feed themselves. But don't worry, you'll get a taste of their farming prowess in the near future, judging by the rapid pace commercial farmers are replaced by these clowns. Thousands of hugely successful farms have been reduced to patches of dirt, the rural equivalent of the death of Johannesburg.

Tell you what, you blame apartheid and I'll blame the African mentality. When the time comes, lets compare the country's GDP of the '70s to the year 2020 and see who was right, ok?

Anonymous said...

MANY of the black folk in JHB are not even South African. They are illegals from Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe etc... They were free from slavery way sooner than South Africans were, so what happened?

Anonymous said...

So what the F$&k has SLavery got to do with all this shit ??? this is the year 2006 isn't it ???..or are africa still living in the 1700s..??..and trying out the COMMUNIST AND LIBERAL SHIT???..CAN WE HAVE A MOMENT OF CLARITY HERE..REALIST PLEASE HELP OUT HERE MAN..yer better with this shit than me..

Anonymous said...

Yes, if we all think really "positive" thoughts, maybe all the trash will magically find its way to actual trash cans, and all the black gang-banging thugs will become peace-loving, God-fearing, gentlemen. Ahhhhh...it is nice to be ignorant and happy.

Mick said...

I lived and worked in Hillbrow 1976-1981. The outfitters on the corner of Claim and Pretoria Streets was called Immelman's. I had my wedding suit tailor-made there for R120 in 1984. I'm almost 50 now and reluctantly gave the suit to charity a few months ago - still in church-going condition! I left SA in 1997...Very sad!

Anonymous said...

Wow, just happened upon this site. It's been a long time since I heard such prejudice! I left SA in 1996 and have been living in London since then. I'm about to move to Kuwait indefinitely with my husband. We are quite keen to get to know the Muslim point of view from MUSLIMS instead of listening to the propaganda put forth by the west. But to hear the new "when-wes" moaning on about how destructive and awful the black nation is makes me cringe. You talk about blacks destroying the country! What do you think the right-wingers did to the country? Quite remarkable how the human race becomes so self-righteous. No wonder there's so much war on this planet.

Lesley said...

Why am I not surprised that the "When-wes" have taken up the familiar chant of "blame the blacks". And why am I not surprised that they refuse to view history as a contributory factor to the current state of the nation. Grow up people and realise that every action has consequences.

Anonymous said...

A good read, all your comments. I'm a white S.African presently living in Qatar and there is just as much prejudice, exploitation, racial and economic segregation going on here as there was back in the good old SA. There are as many disenfranchised people here as there are in any country where the rich and powerful rule the poor. Here, the lid is kept on things by unopposed,autocratic rule. I may not like all of it but I sure as hell dont have to fear getting my head blown off for a fiver.
Pretty Namaqualand daisies or not, I pity those who can not escape and marvel at the ignorance of those who refuse to wake up from living in la-la land.

Adrian said...

Why is everybody posting anonymously?

I for one defend this site- it is time to save South Africa from group of people who wish to enrich themselves and then blame the former oppressors and ALL white folk.

THIS HAS TO STOP.

The New South Africa is false and because it is politically incorrect to criticise black folk, you are branded racist for exposing them for the locusts that they are.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Sallyanne said...

Well, well - this site was sent to me via a friend and I am stunned. My daughter (20) visited her homeland in february of 2005 and loved it - wondered why we ever left. Having read the various comments I feel compelled to respond to one of them ...
1. "We treated black people like animals, while we sat at our pools and our tea parties, making fun of them. The most important thing in our lives was to make sure we held our pinkie finger at the right angle while we drank our tea." ... are you talking about yourself? I for one did not treat them like animals nor did anyone I ever associated with ... so who are you talking about?

2. "- Public education was free for whites, but not for blacks." boy oh boy are you wrong on that one. I was born, bred and educated in Natal and let me tell you, schooling was NOT free for my parents (and I am going back to the 1960's and 70's) and we went to government schools. They paid for our books and our uniforms and our transportation to school, as did I when my two girls went to school in the early 90's. Patricia worked with me three days a week - note I said worked WITH me and not FOR me - cleaning house etc for 9 years and when we finally left SA she was getting ready to move her children to the 'white' school UNTIL that is, she found out how much it cost me to put my two girls in government school per year - she then changed her mind as she paid almost nothing. She was stunned that we paid money at all as, like a lot of other people, she thought we got educated at no cost - and this after 9 years of knowing each other - p.s. Much earlier on in our working relationship I discovered that she also thought that we didn't pay any money to live in our house - I was glad that I was educated before I left, with the knowledge that we should have talked more in depth many many years ago but be that as it may, we didn't and we both ultimately learnt something more about the other.

And let's be honest here, we tell our kids time and time again, don't speed, don't take drugs, don't have unprotected sex ... some listen and others don't - it's not like they are not educated and don't know any better - they just refuse to listen!!!! So don't go blaming everyone else - let people take responsibility for their own actions.

Will said...

I was a Telkom cable jointer working in these places 4 years ago with many of my black colleague's most of them from Soweto.I now live in York UK.Most of the poeple that live in this place are not from Hillbrow or South African at all and dont know what apartheid was,because most of them lived in other parts of Africa.

regina said...

Please bring more articles and photos, for me this is really a trip down Memory Lane and back into my youth! I lived in a building called "Garden Mansions" opposite Joubert Park when I was a young immigrant girl from Germany. I would often walk up into Hillbrow, was a guest once at a Christmas party at the Hillbrow Tower, had coffee at Café Wien and Café Zürich and in winter went swimming in the indoor pool of the Summit Club. I have since lived in many international cities in various countries and have always been able to go back and visit - it is such a shame that I can never show my children the part of Johannesburg where I spent many happy months!!!!

Anonymous said...

Seems slightly different from this description taken from Planetware travel guide:

"Hillbrow is the district of Johannesburg with the highest population density. Particularly in recent years many blacks have moved into Hillbrow and the neighboring Berea district. Here, in contrast to other parts of the city, black and white people live quite happily side by side, giving the area a lively and multicultural atmosphere. Many shops stay open until late at night, and there is a wide choice of restaurants and bars. (It is not advisable to walk about here after dark.)Hillbrow is the district of Johannesburg with the highest population density. Particularly in recent years many blacks have moved into Hillbrow and the neighboring Berea district. Here, in contrast to other parts of the city, black and white people live quite happily side by side, giving the area a lively and multicultural atmosphere. Many shops stay open until late at night, and there is a wide choice of restaurants and bars. (It is not advisable to walk about here after dark.)"

I stayed in Hillbrow in the late 1960's and spent a lot of time at the Chelsea Hotel. Any pictures of it? Nice place then, but so was all of S.A. Easy to guess what happened, now ALL of Africa is fucked.

Anonymous said...

How sad that people have to live in those conditions...what have we created.

Anonymous said...

Listen to you people... My parents lived a great life in South Africa and they were not the people by the pool drinking. But more than once I heard my father say life was good...he got paid well..." for every ten he made a black man made one, yet the man worked ten times harder." Sorry... I am getting to a point! I don't blame the white (who was the minority...yet lived the life of a free man...oops!). We all benefited from this country, and when things when wrong...we all ran. We put our tails between our legs and left the country to people who were angry... with hardly an education. Lets see... anger + hardly any education = destruction, sadness. God help us.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the blacks touch is ruined, to blame the whites or apartheid is a non starter. It is the blacks that have made a total mess of SA. The Wit O is just a scapegoat for their greed, laziness and total bloody incompetence.

alan roberts said...

In the 70's I lived, worked and travelled in SA, Rhodesia, Swaziland and Kenya, all very safe and pleasant countries.
Not so today (2007).
Most of Africa has degenerated similarly to SA and you can't blame the whites for it all.

Anonymous said...

Now you whiteys live in misery where ever you are.i am a black african and if you feel the pain today you can not bring yourself the pain of segregation,you can say all the negative things about africa or south africa but they've had two black leaders held in high esteem internationally,world class events are taking place under black leadershipLET PEOPLE WITH HUMAN HEARTS TAKE THE COUNTRY TO NEW HEIGHTS,NO ONE ASKS WHITES TO LEAVE 'THE GUILTY WILL BE SEEN BY THEIR ACTIONS'PEACE OUT BOIKIES

benoni skinhead said...

The Hillbrow Record Centre was the only place were you could buy British Mod Music and SKA !!!
Remember the Tattoo Parler ??

ab said...

you mentioned Peter Rose of the Hillbrow Herald.
He wasnt an Australian by any chance! I knew a Peter Rose who was a graphic designer who moved to Hillbrow in 1972!

ROBIN. said...

I was brought up in a liberal white family.I even voted "yes"in the 1993 refferendum,because my father(who I have infinite respect for)told me that he felt pity for the oppressed people of the country."They cannot buy things that increase in value,(property),they are so impoverished they can't afford to buy diecent food"The NP. government has done them a terrible injustice,now we have the opportunity to liberate them(give us all our freedom)" from the clutches of the "GESTAPO" government.Well,I'll tell you what.I've never felt less free in my life.I do not have the freedom to life.(murder)I do not have the freedom to amenaties (power cuts)I do not hve the freedom to justice(corrupt system)I do not have freedom to security(burglaries,hi-jackings,smash & grabs,robbery in broad day-light,road safety because of "bought"licences)The list is inexhaustive.Try and phone any government department and see how far you get. It's ajoke.When you confront them,they say,"We were neverly properly educated because of apartheid"There is a huge line between education and COMMON SENSE.South Africa (geographically)is the most beutiful country in the world.I am leaving.Not because i want to.I HAVE TO.Two words:Jacob Zuma.I spoke to my father yesterday.He told me that if he knew then,what he knew now,he would never have voted"YES".Do not worry though,take a shower,eat some garlic and beet-root and all your worries will go away...

Attar66 said...

My family emigrated to South Africa in early 1982 and first stayed in the Chelsea Hotel, it was not a very pleasant introduction to a wonderful and beautiful country. I am saddened that it has become a casualty of the current situation in Hillbrow (although I take solace that the horrors of their "breakfast" will not be visited upon anyone else for the foreseeable future). I have fond memories of the Summit Club, the Ponte building and the Golden Spoon Cafe (still the best burger I have ever tasted, nostalgia is more powerful than monosodium glutamate ). I don't know what the answers are and have no political agenda, however there is something seriously wrong with the place that will take a generation at least to change. I hope that there is the will and circumstance to make Hillbrow a safe and liveable place one day. More energy should be devoted to improvement than criticism.

Anonymous said...

I live in Canada and they act the same here.

What's the reason? Apartheid? Slavery?

Lol, it's a joke.

Anonymous said...

I had a small flat on the 16th floor of High Hylton, Goldreich Street, in the mid sixties. Rent R55 per month, more than one third my salary. I walked to and from work in De Villiers Street near the station. I walked the streets of Hillbrow (even then reputed to be "dangerous")sometimes until the small hours. Never a problem. Most of us in Hillbrow struggled to make ends meet - but we did not foul up the streets. Some cultures, it seems, are destined to thrive, others will drown in their own filth and excuses. It's natural selection.

Ken said...

I spent many years on and off in Hillbrow and stayed in many of the buildings: Tygerberg,Ponte, Highpoint,Sunnycrest,Highrise etc;some of these in Berea. I remember The Clarendon, Club 505,The Flying Saucer, Dunk-a-donut and The Florian. Integration started here before it was official and there were no problems until the criminal element stepped in.
Once the drug dealers etc. from beyond our borders moved in the crime situation escalated to the extent that the whites were forced
to move out; it was not because they did not want to mix.

kevin jenkinson said...

I am an English guy who lived in South Africa for many years and lived in Hillbrow a long time.Great to hear all the old places like The Summit club,Hillbrow tower(was a club called cloud 9),Chelsea hotel was a favorite of mine.Anyone remember Michaels tavern and The German Club? Was back last year and took a look at Hillbrow.Also spent 6 months in the brow in 2003.It was a safe place but now so dangerous.I was in Fontana about 5 years ago and the black security guards in the shop said I had eaten a sandwich in the shop and had to pay R50 to get out.It wasnt true.Dont even think of walking past the Chelsea into Berea at night and Yeovil,Rockey street is pretty much no go.Dont get dropped off by a black cab in Joubert park,looks like something from a horror movie.All because we have a black corrupt government now who fill their own bank accounts(all mini Mugabes)and dont give a shit about the general population both black and white.jenkinson_360@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for all the whites posting here like this is their fault - IT IS NOT

Blacks are not meant to rule - they must be subjugated - "It is better to serve in Heaven then rule in Hell". Well, the lacks got what they wanted, the latter. Now only they have to live in the stink.

Anonymous said...

I'm sooooo shocked and sooooo sad, to see what I see about my country. I have left good old SA 15 yrs ago and have always missed it, not been able to go back yet not even for a visit, but as i see these clips i dont think i will handle it. i also used to live in Hillbrow and walk the streets, Fontana etc, once again i'm really sad that the k#$»frs can do this.

Anonymous said...

Used to live near Kempton PArk in the 80's and would DJ in various alternative clubs in Johannesburg. I can remember spending hours in Hillbrow Records as well as one of my friends getting busted for shop lifting there. Walking around Hillbrow at all hours of the morning on a sunday, never being hassled. Eating with my parents at the Italian resteraunt across the road from Hillbrow records..good memories. Moved to Europe in 1993 to go to university and have not returned to SA since. Pity things in Johannesburg have gone from bad to worst. As the old saying goes "You can take the black out of the bush but you cannot take the bush out of the black"

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know what happened to Hillbrow Look and Listern and the Carlon center ?

tom.paine said...

Anyone remember the Milky Lane milkshake shop above Hillbrow Record Centre? Well, it's also gone, long time....

regarding this comment, to the front on the right of the picture (the Milky Lane used to be behind it, there was a small restaurant which served pizzas; i ate their once, i think they made a mistake with the pizza and put salt instead of garlic on the pizza ...

Anonymous said...

I LIVED THERE FROM 63 TO 77. Went to the Milky Bar a lot and bought records from the shop. Can't believe the change. Out bloody rageous.

Anonymous said...

The top spending priority should be security, and least of all trying to host the worldcup. But then again maybe it will be a karmic twist of fate when the violence and crime overshadows a worldcup event and sheds some much needed international spot light on the current situation of the country.

chef d said...

karma nirvana at fouraways,
has white clients,
uses illegal zimbabweans as staff,

Anonymous said...

If you are annoyed that the Apartheid is used as an excuse, I got news for you, that ain't changing.

Blacks in America still blame slavery for a lot of their problems, and that ended in the 1800's.

Schools were desegregated in the 1960s, and yet African American youths manage to be dumber than their elders who were educated in segregated schools.

It looks to me like SA is slowly heading towards genocide of white people, and I would get out if I were white. If I were broke, and couldn't get citizenship anywhere, I would save every dime for a plane flight to the United States and try to live on the down low as an illegal immigrant. You would eventually figure stuff out. It might suck at first, but it beats getting raped and murdered in animalistic ways.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Berea during the early 70's and late 80's. I lived in a commune, as they were called in those days,called "The Odyssey" in Lily Avenue.Did all the clubs in Hillbrow and "Rumours" in Yeoville to see "Ella-Mental", Ronne Domp and his band plus Lolly Pietersen and his band (forgoten the names!). Still remember tottering home at 5 a.m. on a hot summer's morning. Those days have, sadly, gone forever.

Anonymous said...

I think I may now be referred to as an "old joller" now as I used to frequent the many bars, clubs and nightclubs in Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville. There has been many a time that I have gone "clubbing" until 4 - 5 p.m. (also visiting "Fontana" to line the stomach with one of their wonderful greasy cooked chickens). Also have fond memories of watching movies (sometimes 'till 3 in the morning)at Cafe Wien I think it was called. I remember the smoky, stuffy atmosphere. Not good in this politically correct day and age but what a gas!! Patty B

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing as you in the late 70s early 80s.Those were the days.I know things have changed..good and bad..but no one can remove my memories..good or bad..

JACQUELINE SPROSTON said...

I havent heard from my brother in 15yrs & after searching I received an upsetting email sayin they'd heard few yrs back that he was no longer with us, trouble in Hillbrow. I'd never heard of it til I searched the net, now after what I've seen I fear the worst. His name was Paul Francis Sproston born 28.01.70 I think in uk,last told me he had a black partner(not that it makes any difference to me) & 2 daughters one called Carmela I think.Can anyone help me find out whats become of him please.Names ,addresses inc addresses of local authorities eg:police records, register of deaths. Rgards very anxious sister

Leon said...

Does anyone recall the name of a Chinese restaurant in Hillbrow-in the mid 60's-I think it was next door to Radio Mannie.used to have lunch there when in medical School.

vicki said...

I worked at The Goblet Nightclub in Hillbrow about 22 years ago when I was in my twenties
What fun it was. Good people,good music...The club closed around 2am then we all went around the corner to the Parks Club and the for breakfast at Cafe Vienne or Cafe De Paris and then at about 6 am off to the Gym! What good times! Whatever happend to my friend Manny, whose brother Roy, died in a car crash. Does anyone remeber me? I now live in Australia and I am so happy I have those memories of Hillbrow because it sure looks like it is just one huge ghetto now.
Vicki

Anonymous said...

It is ridiculous to blame apartheid for the current state of Hillbrow. You can blame Verwoerd and his cronies for all sorts of immoral actions, but they are long gone and not responsible for what is happening in SA today.
The current government, police force, local authorities are responsible for managing their cities and towns. Hillbrow is in this state because no one gives a shit. Sandton is only a few km's from Hillbrow and is in a far better state than it was 20 years ago, when Hillbrow was booming.
The current government have shown that they can manage some places very well, but others are left to become problems. They are the only people responsible for what is happening in SA today.

It's not just white people that are leaving SA these days, plenty of black people are leaving too. South Africans that decide to leave shouldn't be blamed for "fleeing" the country. Life is short, and if people feel going somewhere else will give their kids a better chance of a happy, secure future, then who can blame them?

Anonymous said...

Mi Vami, the Porterhouse restaurants, Bimbo's, the Mini Cine, Fontana, Look & Listen, the Florian Cafe, The Crest Hotel, The Ambassador Hotel, The Chelsea, The Skyline, the Deutche Keller (where I saw my first naked lady...), Michael's tavern, Bella Napoli ah, all good student day memories.

Noz said...

My aunt use to work at Milky Lane we use to walk from Yeoville to Hillbrow with out even thinking about being robbed...but now I can never even try doing that.

Lech said...

I used to live in Hillbrow and Berea in the early 1980s. Sadly, I decided to emigrate to Australia, as I was witnessing the decline of RSA even in the early 1980s (silly attempts by Botha & Botha to please everyone, which had to end in a total chaos, that is describing well situation in today's RSA).
I am now back to Europe. My native Poland is now much icher and much safer than RSA. Maybe the whites should not colonize Africa, but the black rule is today a joke.
[i]lech.keller@gmail.com[/]

buzzardseyeview said...

I went to school in Johannesburg and between 1962 and 1980, I knew the areas you photographed really well. I am glad that apartheid is long gone but it is sad that this dynamic part of Johannesburg has declined so much.
When I returned in 1994 and 1995 I could not find any of my friends who were prepared to take me there!

Congratulations on an excellent documentary series.

Seeker of Truth said...

This is the result of treating non whites,as if they did not belong to the coutry South Africa,it all started way back in 1910 and continued till 1994,just think back to those years,when non whites were ruled by evil laws stating where they have to live and were dictated to by whites at work,signs everywhere reading Whites Only/Net Vir Blankes,those that implemented these rules and regulations,and legislated laws that isolated blacks and other minority ethnic groups,never even thought that one day,their heaven or paradise on earth will come to an end,a paradide built on the backs of cheap black labour.And now we all have to face the truth and the result of their evil policies,under a black ANC government that is taking South Africa down the road of no return,heading towards a third world country

Anonymous said...

My Dad use to tell us amazing stories of when he lived in Hilbrow in the late 1970's. There were great restaurants, diners that stayed open 24 hours a day and movie theatres which you could safely walk to - day or night. Now, one is too scared to even drive through the streets!

Anonymous said...

If whites are not happy about South Africa,please leave the country, we dont need you. go to UK,USA, Australia.Australians cant stand rode white South African anyway.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Century Plaza in the mid 70s and go to Hillbrow most evenings, used to be a English fish and chip place and very good steak house. Also a cinema club on Sundays as everything was closed also in those days no tv. Anyone know what happened to Century Plaza.

ex pat jh said...

how very very sad to see what has become of what used to be an amazing place - back in the 80s, night life in jhbg was excellent - crime free - a great place to begin your right of passage into adulthood - many fond memories of Thunderdome in Claim Street, Le Club, Fontana @ Highpoint - what a great place - how glad i am that i now live back in the UK and my 17 year old isn't exposed the the crime infested shit hole that was once a beautiful city - it amazes me that 16 years after the abolition of apartheid, that the state of the economy and general infrastructure of SA is worse than ever - ever wondered were we really that bad off with a white government???? you know the intelligent answer!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's all just so sad... I left home (JHB South) 3 weeks ago and have moved to Holland to study. Being a white male in the aeronautical field I have no future in SA, plain and simple. Everyone has their own opinion as to why and how but it's all irrelevant. The point is that there is a major problem in SA. There are simply too many cultural differences and lack of understanding (from both sides) to ever mend what has and is goin to happen. SA will become what it will. The african people will never appreciate the beauty and splendour of the country that is now 'theirs'. The saying is true "once africa is in your blood it never leaves". It brings tears to my eyes and hurts me terribly that I will never call SA home again...

Anonymous said...

It's all very; very sad... I left home (JHB South) 3 weeks ago (17/05/2010) and moved to Holland to study. As a white male in the aeronautical field I have no future in SA, plain and simple. Everyone has their own opinion as to why and how but it's all pretty irrelevant. The point is that there is a major problem in SA. There are simply too many cultural differences and lack of understanding (from both sides) to ever mend what has and will happen in SA. There is no magic solution... The african people will never appreciate the beauty and splendour of 'their' country. The saying is true "once africa is in your blood it never leaves". It hurts me terribly and brings tears to my eyes that I will never call SA home again... Malcom

carty said...

hi
Well i have noticed that there are no dates on the comments posted but at this stage it is 1 July 2010 and i must admit that the pictures that were posted back then haven't changed much over the years .

I currently stay in the east rand and i researched my town a few months ago and found that most of the places that use to be there no longer exist. As for Hillbrow and JHB i must say that i wouldn't dare go in there and say have a cup of coffee (if you can find a restaurant for that matter) but if you drive really quickly then ppl have a tendency to move their goats out the way.

The biggest issue i have with people that Blame it on apartheid is that I'm White and i was born a few years before the new South Africa came to power so how can apartheid be my Fault? I haven't gained anything from apartheid.I have an average job and i pay my taxes on time every year but because of our unemployment level i now have to pay more for electricity and water while my neighbor doesn't pay for his water and pays minimal for his electricity if he does .

The current picture in South Africa is one where the White guy sits at the bottom drives around in a car thats almost as old as his 2 kids combined and the Black guy drives around in a top of the range BMW because he has become a black partner in a business to keep the BEE Score proper (Black Economic Empowerment )in the company.

If I happen to lose my pitiful job and start looking for another one then i have to compete with AA(affirmative Action) basically if the black person has less experience and less tertiary education than i do then he gets picked above me .Some companies don't allow you to apply if you are White.

Now i"m not complaining about all of this ,it's just a question of how long can they ride the apartheid excuse .I think ultimately they want everybody to be on the same level and then start from scratch but i think they are going in the wrong direction.

Fine there might be allot of positive things in South Africa (HIV and what not)but remember sometime the negative side wins .

We still have the highest crime rate in the world ,but lets rather watch the world cup on our doorstep .Don't worry about the scwatters next door to the stadium they are nothing to be afraid of. Just give them all your valuables and make sure you get counselling after that.
I can't wait for the wheel to turn .

carty said...

hi
Well i have noticed that there are no dates on the comments posted but at this stage it is 1 July 2010 and i must admit that the pictures that were posted back then haven't changed much over the years .

I currently stay in the east rand and i researched my town a few months ago and found that most of the places that use to be there no longer exist. As for Hillbrow and JHB i must say that i wouldn't dare go in there and say have a cup of coffee (if you can find a restaurant for that matter) but if you drive really quickly then ppl have a tendency to move their goats out the way.

The biggest issue i have with people that Blame it on apartheid is that I'm White and i was born a few years before the new South Africa came to power so how can apartheid be my Fault? I haven't gained anything from apartheid.I have an average job and i pay my taxes on time every year but because of our unemployment level i now have to pay more for electricity and water while my neighbor doesn't pay for his water and pays minimal for his electricity if he does .

The current picture in South Africa is one where the White guy sits at the bottom drives around in a car thats almost as old as his 2 kids combined and the Black guy drives around in a top of the range BMW because he has become a black partner in a business to keep the BEE Score proper (Black Economic Empowerment )in the company.


Now i"m not complaining about all of this ,it's just a question of how long can they ride the apartheid excuse .I think ultimately they want everybody to be on the same level and then start from scratch but i think they are going in the wrong direction.

Fine there might be allot of positive things in South Africa (HIV and what not)but remember sometime the negative side wins .

We still have the highest crime rate in the world ,but lets rather watch the world cup on our doorstep .Don't worry about the scwatters next door to the stadium they are nothing to be afraid of. Just give them all your valuables and make sure you get counselling after that.
I can't wait for the wheel to turn .

Anonymous said...

The person who asked about FONTANA CHICKEN, well they are now a franchise and available over a good part of South Africa. All stemming from the original in Hillbrow. Just out of interest...

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of planet of the apes

Marinella Charlotte said...

It was in the very early 80 ties, when I use to buy my LP and Tapes with the strange guy in the recordshop. He was a funny man.
I will never ever forget him and the Cafe Zürich. It was utmost fun. I was there afterwards. There is nobody to blame I suppose, except maybe the history of the first rainbownation. What started with so much happiness, when Apartheid fell, comes out to be one of the stories, which was predicted in the early 80 -ties by all of this stupid, radical characters.That makes me really sad,but honestly Hillbrow is much better off then Salisbury or Bukavu. My love to the rainbownation, my love to ZA and to Hillbrow.
Your photos are extraordinary, thanks for this.

oppiweb said...

The englishspeakers o0f this world must be very impressed! I mean, as long as I know myself, it was the englishspeakers of this world who wanted these savages to rule - so why complain now? Be happy!

B said...

Im 21 now so I can't really remember what Joburg used to be like.. even so from the age of ten i was told it wasn't a good place to be..
We moved out of our neighborhood(Rosettenville) into a more rural area (Walkerville) when I was about 3 so cant remember much of how that used to be either but it was safe.. I wish there was something we could do. I love my country and it brings me almost to tears when I look at how in just 16 years my country has declined. With a new reversed apartheid I'm not sure what will become of that place. I have hope still but decided living in poverty and trying to make a difference won't really help anyone so I've moved from South Africa and am now in the Netherlands. At least all my hard earned work can pay for more then just my car here. I saw a program on t.v the other night about Lagos in Nigeria and well the similarities are astounding... Makes me so sad you know... I miss that South Africa so much..

Nastassja De Valence said...

I lived in Yeoville untill i was 12and i am seriously disgusted. wow...things have gotten so bad in a few years...one day when i have children i cant take them there and say...this was the park i use to play in as a little girl or this was the pre-school i went to. i mean wow...why do people take things for granted and destroy such beautiful places. I remember Shullas bakery had the best desserts, Milk and honey where i use to hang out with my mum ... and Springs in Rocky street. BaPita had the best cheese cake and well all that is all gone! So much Hiatory lost...I know Rocky's Tattoo parlour that was once in Rocky street is in Edenvale now.

Anonymous said...

the pictures do the talking, how positive can you be when were going backwards to the future

Anonymous said...

look what happens when you leave the blacks to their own devices lol all that ifastructure was built by the white man....look how savages live

Sam said...

Not the comments of a crank! Sadly this is my place of birth that looks like this. All my life I bragged about JHB wherever i travelled in the world. Sad sad sad unforgivable

Anonymous said...

I also recall many of the places described and for many years walked home from work in Doornfontein or after visiting friends in Plein Street. What depresses me, having travelled a great deal in Africa from Senegal to Egypt to Mozambique (both before and after independence) is how S.A. has descended from the squalor and violence of those countries, and how it has learnt nothing from the experience of every country but one in Africa, the exception being Botswana. The more Africa changes the more it stays the same. Do not stop exposing these realities of "liberation" which utterly negate the changes-for-the-good!

Anonymous said...

Amazing pix...hard to believe that Hillbrow has degenerated so much. Used to stay in Berea in the Mark Hotel in late 1985 and had a ball. Great nightspots and cheap beer!

Anonymous said...

How about the beautiful old stone building in marshall street just a block down from Standard Bank HQ. what should be a national monument is now a gloomy shell of it former self. Apart from being burnt out and inhabited by human filth we call 'squatters', the sash windows are broken and missing, the floor boards have been ripped out and used for firewood, and the entire inside gutted. This was a proud building in its day and must be over 100 years old! It is now a wreck thanks to the inept governmunt and the monkeys who (don't) run it. Surely this site could be reclaimed and used for some purpose (even a governmunt departmunt??
Meanwhile the ANC's latest slogan is: 'Together we can build better communities' - clearly something they should have done when they took power 16 useless years ago!

Andy said...

I lived at the Abel Park Hotel in Abel Rd, Berea in the late 1960's. It was owned by an old couple - Les was originally from London and his wife Mary was Irish. It was quite an attractive old 'colonial' style building with a varander running around part of the first floor. Some of the time I worked night shift and walked down to the main city centre to start work at midnight. The locals thought me mad, but I never had any problems. Many a boozy evening was spent in Hillbrow, just a couple of minutes walk away. Does anyone remember this hotel? Ah - happy days!

Alan Roberts said...

Great to hear the names of all the old clubs and bars, anoyone remember the Geordie Club (mid 70's), Schaparelli's which was in Town not Hillbrow, the Castle for the Sunday afternoon session, Marrakesh at the Summit Club?
Good to see High Hylton get a mention, 3 of us shared a beautiful big 1-bedroom flat there for a while 76-77, before that Pearlbrook which was owned by the Summit Club.
Happy days indeed, but those photos were taken in 2005,WTF does it look like in 2011.
Someone said it was safe in 2003, can't see that, I left finally in 1997 and it was a disaster long before that.

Anonymous said...

What a pity it used to be so nice and lovely and clean i am afraid its now like all african citys filthy dirty i wonder why well we all know why these people do not know the meaning of running a country and keeping it clean all they do is take take take brain dead the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in the YMCA Rissik st Joburg for a short time 1963, so long ago now,I had good friends there,how terrible it all looks now and I am sure my friends lives are not as good as they should be, out of house and home and no job,many would be retired now, back in1963 many were students fresh from Wits full of hope,youth,life and ambition, will go back there soon and to try and trace a few old friends but not to stay, SA is an unhappy land now,could some one do updates on photes and info, a lot of work I know.regards to all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the photos, I have been to various African countries and it looks exactly the same there as it looks today in JHB. Fires

Rusty said...

Why are the photos of the murders been removed and who removed it from the site, People should be able to see what they do to innocent people here in South Africa. Perhaps then they will change their minds about this place and believe what is going on here on a daily basis

jg said...

I lived in Hillbrow during the 70's also worked there at the Bella Napoli anyone remember that? Great times at Chelsea Hotel,Cafe Wien,& cinema on a Sunday night at the Summit Club,so very sad that it has all gone downhill & never likely to return.

Anonymous said...

10-07-2011 . Man-o-man . You should see Highrise , the big apartment block . Smashed windows from top to bottom and filthy. I think it has been hi-jacked. But hey ! not all is bad. On the corner of o'Relly and prospect you now have about 300 drug pushers all trying to push on the same corner. Hillbrow / little Nigeria is "siff " from top to bottom. They are trying to fix it up but its going to be a long road with all the decay. Many many flats have smashed windows with cardboard over them . The occasional flat has been burnt out ie Berea blvd . Death by being thrown off a building is also common as is AIDs , drug overdoses . You can get a "pomp' for R2 if you willing to risk the AIDS!!.Car mechanics work from flat basements and in piss reeking alleys while whores service clients in alley doorways . The cops are all on the take raiding buildings where there are bribes and cash to be had while adjacent squatter and drug filled abandoned tenements are ignored.Pull the people out and make them lie on the ground and walk on them as though they are trash. Physically walk on people believe it or not while some of the squad raids and steals all that is valuable.The Paki's and Nigies run the shops . Fontana is still there but not the same. The cosmopolitan heart of Hillbrow has been ripped out and replaced with a squatter shanty town culture of "its ok to shit on your own table and it on it too "

Anonymous said...

I drive through Hillbrow once every so often . Cafe Wien , the Florian , The village fleamarket , the shops we knew are all gone. You dare not get out of your car as you would get mugged very quickly. The Chelsea is now a cheap apartment block. The Checkers area is pavement to pavement with hawkers selling everything from live chickens to fruit and veg. And Checkers can do nothing about it. No more banks ( guess they were robbed too often ).All the quaint take-aways such as the Potatoe kitchen and Wurstbude are long gone and replaced with "Buy and braai's". Drug addicted children loiter on street corners waiting to hustle a penny before retiring to piles of bedbug ridden mattresses in doorways and under stairs at night. All the beautiful trees are slowly being cut down . The jacaranda's in Tudhope avenue get burnt at the base every winter until they eventually fall over. Anybody remember Cameolot. Literally rotting as the plaster falls off the building . Blue Haze is now abandoned and filled with squatters. THe Hawthorne was burnt to the ground.. Aintree flats is an eyesore with smashed windows and washing hanging on the balcony. I am sorry to have to tell all those who blame apartheid for the state of things , but it is 17 years on and Hillbrow is a slum of epic proportions . Time to stop blaming the white man and accept the situation and place the blame where it belongs . On the ANC .

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that any place on Earth that has a black majority population is riddled with violent crime, blight and destruction. Most African countries, Haiti, Detroit, MI USA etc. I am not trying to be racist, but it is true. I cannot think of one place on Earth with a black majority that is clean, safe and economically sound.

Bubbles said...

This is a step up if you are living in a grass shack with no running water. They aim to overtake any infrastructure that whites have built.

3Dom said...

The crime and disorder is a really simple thing actually. You're not talking about race. You're talking about cause and effect. I'm going to give you a few paints and brushes, I'll leave you to paint the picture.

Land on a piece of land. Steal it from it's inhabitants. Take 1000 years of technological differences and force it upon said inhabitants. Take the best resources and give them only bare essentials. Cast them out of your social sphere and deny them access to the resources of the country they kept so well before you arrived. Expect them to contribute to your new way of doing things, but deny them the opportunity to learn it. Imprison their leaders. Develop purpose built drugs to suppress them. They outnumber you 10 to 1. Expect no retribution. Expect it to have a calming and harmonious effect. Expect them to act like obedient pets.

What picture are you painting. Looks lekker ne?

Tiredofignorantyouth said...

I guess white South Africans and apartheid are the reason there is NO succesful black country in the world, they ALL fucked. And before you blame coloialsim and whites, go visit Papua New Guinea, I worked hter for many months!!!!

Anonymous said...

Physical anthropologists (at least the honest ones) tell us that the Negroid race is 400,000 years behind the Caucasoid race in mental development so it is certainly not surprising to see the distopian de-evolution as they revert to their primitive roots of tribal squalor and mud huts. I wish it were otherwise but it is not to be.

Anonymous said...

They can have it, they won’t be happy until all the whites have left and they are living in their mud huts again, you can take them out of the bush but you cant take the bush out of them, savages.

Gem Junior said...

Damn it's so sad that this is covered up by the MSM. This place looks like Detroit. All whites should leave now with their lives, forget about belongings. Wash up on many different shores (what's left of the white ones) so you can alert the world more to what the game is for white countries. ANYONE who has ANY excuse for this is psychotic - this is a world tradgedy. God help South Africa.

Anonymous said...

I remember running around in the streets of Jhb when I was younger. It looks like total shit and it is because of those who live in it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the time and effort of taking the photo's and posting the blogs! It's so sad to see how everything has decayed. I went to school in Braamfontein in '95, studied at a computer college in Braamfontein next to the Ballet Art and Drama school in 97, and consulted for a number of banks in Johannesburg during 2000 to 2005. I have fond memories of places like look n listen, Mama's on Rockey st, Bizarre extension, ESP, 4th World, Club IT, trips with my Dad to the Carlton ice rink, and the stunning view from the top of the Carlton centre. I made a decision to move to the US in 2005 and start a new life. I wish it was not necessary but I'm much happier now knowning my children have an opportunity for a future. I still worry about my friends and family that remain in the now corrupt country. I was back in 2010, during which time I was threatened by the police twice! Both times, I was going to be arrested if I did not pay a bribe! I wish the people would wake up and sort the country out.

Anonymous said...

PEOPLE WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE SOLUTION OF THIS...JOBURG IS NOT LIKE IS A WORLD CLASS AFRICAN CITY ANYMORE...GOVERNMENT MUST COME WITH A PLAN

JL said...

I immigrated to South Africa in 1985, and Johannesburg was amazing. What a great city. I studied at Wits (late 80s), and can remember the great jawls we had. Clubs like Bella Napoli, the Doors, The dome, Le Club etc.. A mate of mine used to reside in Braamfontein, and we used to walk to the Brow, and there were no issues. A few years back, my wife and I took a drive through Hillbrow, and what a mess. Vagrants everywhere. The old Doors night club (City South) was unrecognisable (no doors left, gutted building). These bastards have destroyed everything. Now living in Aus, and it is better to remember things the way they were.

Anonymous said...

I lived there between 1963 and 1977. Used to buy all my albums from the record shop in Hillbrow. And loved the Milky Lane's waffles. Oh how I miss all that sitting here in London in the rain!

Musa said...

I remember on 1997 i got beaten with tax drivers in Hillbrow for nothing , i got robbed in Durban with gun point seven times,now is this what south african deserve to live on streets like this?who's responsible for all of these? if is not we people call ourself brothers, i thought USA is the only country in the world got this brotherwood who's spoil them self, but no it's not, i moved to Washington Dc if feel better than and safe than homeland, sorry to say but we have to our nation is sinking, black people have to responsible

Anonymous said...

I find the photos shockingly and eerily reminiscent of Detroit, Michigan USA, where I grew up.What, in your readers view, is the antidote/solution?

Anonymous said...

BLAMING THE WHITES AGAIN! HOW SICK!!
That shows that whoever CAN NOT take the blame and they are looking for somebody to blame for their OWN incapability - what a SHAME! SHAME that a world needs those kind of people who can NOT stand up for THEMSELVES and ADMIT they CAN NOT do it - but instead, MESS UP and put the blame on others. They will ALWAYS blame someone else for messing up. SHAME

Anonymous said...

This happened in miniature to the city where I grew up in the 1960's, Plainfield, NJ. After the '67 black riots and armed insurrection on the west side, 25,000 whites fled an area that used to be a commercial hub for the state. Blacks back filled the empty, heavily discounted real estate (lovely Victorians similar to the Addam's family house and post WWII ranches and split levels). Essentially the city became an experiment in how long a wood frame house can last with zero maintenance. The result: not as long as you might think.

The major businesses and factories picked up and left by the mid 70's. Now from end to end the city is a ruin.

Anonymous said...

Who remembers the bar and disco/nightclub, called the Clarendon.
Where the Pfeiffer twins, Josephine and Gertrud were barmaids?

Anonymous said...

Woohoo.. intelligence reigns supreme.. but it is not here.. hello to the new Detroit! Except it is inhabited by zombies. Zombies used here to describe masses of people who cant seem to contribute to their environment.. no wait.. that is even worse than Detroit?!

Anonymous said...

I was in South Africa from 1987 to 1992. It was a great time for me and Hillbrow was a neat place to hang out. By day I'd visit Tony at S.A. Music. Always something going on with Tony. At night the small clubs, not too far away was Dillions. Thunder Dome wasn't my kind of dig but it was there all the same. The photos are heartbreaking. I don't know if I'll ever get to come back to South Africa but Hillbrow was a fun place when I was their. The whole country was magic as well as the people.

Anonymous said...

To answer your question, Anonymous @ 3.59am, the reason why blacks act "the same way" in Canada, is because they act like blacks everywhere else. Canada takes in 240,000 immigrants every year, not including foreign contract workers and family repatriation migrants (elderly parents, etc).

The Negro is the same wherever you go, and Canada thinks it being "inclusive" by importing more of them. Now we have Jamaican gangs in Toronto, Tamil gangs in Scarborough, Chinese gangs in Vancouver, Vietnamese gangs in Calgary, and Somalian gangs in Winnipeg.

Ain't multiculturalism grand?

Anonymous said...

I lived in Hillbrow back in the early 60's as a kid, i could walk around day or night and not be hassled by anyone.
Joubert Park was great at Christmas time with all the lights and the huge tree decorated.
Recently I went back to Johannesburg after 43 years to show my family the places i grew up in and cried to show them a hell hole. People living behind high fences and afriad to go out at night.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Hillbrow back in the early 60's as a kid, i could walk around day or night and not be hassled by anyone.
Joubert Park was great at Christmas time with all the lights and the huge tree decorated.
Recently I went back to Johannesburg after 43 years to show my family the places i grew up in and cried to show them a hell hole. People living behind high fences and afriad to go out at night.

Anonymous said...

Just makes you want to cry.....First world to a vile slum in less than a generation..GOD HELP US !!

KAMPALA said...

i lived in hillbrow it was magic the 70s and 80s after that it started to go down hill loved all the clubs ambi sat afternoon then the castle after that the marrakesh never had any problems fontanas for chicken and biltong loved it kenny hopkirk

Anonymous said...

Jewish property owners exploited the blacks who moved to Hillbrow - overcharging them under the guise of liberal thinking - notice how many have skipped town since 1994!!!!

Anonymous said...

About Pete Rose, if this obit is to be believed, he died of cancer in 1990 http://152.111.1.88/argief/berigte/beeld/1990/12/17/8/5.html

Zeke Marans said...

Infrastructure is temporary. Human lives go on, through the generations that follow us. The time for getting out of the RSA is now; Hillbrow's collapse is just the start of what is coming. Genocide Watch has placed the RSA at Level Six in the eight levels leading to genocide. Level Eight is genocide itself. Better to cry over lost lifestyles and fondly remembered restaurants from a safe vantage point. Your children (and any relatives you can pull out of South Africa) will thank you for it later. And learn a primary lesson from all of this: Liberalism/Leftism is the poison by which Western nations commit suicide.

Anonymous said...

It's so sad to see, I grew up in Yeoville and Hillbrow when I was a teenager, and it was so safe to walk around at night to all the night clubs. It was the best place to be at night and on the weekends. It makes me want to cry seeing this! Hopefully since these pictures were taken there has been some improvement in what it looks like!

Anonymous said...

I lived in Hillbrow in the 50's and 60's. Could walk into I town through Joubert Park. Walked all over Hillbrow went to the Chelsea, the Ambassador, Neros, the Montpanasse, the Florian. Attended Barnarto Park, spent a lt of time in Yeoville, Bellevue, Berea. Married an American and moved to the States in 67. Came back too SA in 89 for my mother's funeral. I could not believe it and I I don't believe it was that bad then, but the cosmopolitan place that I told everyone about was no longer a happy great place. I have never tried to take my family back they would think I had been telling them lies all these years about how great South Africa was, so I will just have to be content with my memories.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who went clubbing in the "Brow" in the late 80's early 90's will remember the Tropicana Fast food take-away's, very famous for their Shawarma's and Donna Kebab's, sure to help heal the head after too much partying.

these days fast food has a totally different meaning in that area, " if you aren't fast YOU ARE food"

Peace ..... Attila

Anonymous said...

Despite the attempts of the government , it is a worse mess than ever before . Dangerous to go into especially if you are white .Rapes , murders ,AIDS , filth dirt , stolen property , broken windows , abandoned buildings , open fires on pavements cooking "derms " and smileys , thousands of pavement stalls selling all from muti to live chickens , Drugs ,dagga . Few buidings are still whole unless fenced in

Anonymous said...



OK her is my 2C. I have lived all over the place in the last 10 years because Im the wrong colour in SA. Looking at why SA is the way it is?? I have been in Russia for the past 6 years its not colour of skin! its not past systems that were in place!
Its about what nations have given the world. or what they have achived. Eg France cheese good wine. Germany a hell of a lot. Africa??? Nelson??? Africa did not even have the wheel or a written language. You need that to be a civilization. Tim buck two does not count its Aribic It boils down to mentality and Im Afraid Black Africans are just too far behind and cant catch up. Its funny most of these liberals who comment I bet are not in SA any more. Would love to drop you in Hillbrow for two days and see how your views change towards what defines animals and people!!!

ian guest said...

this is called the African way.It happens all over Africa.

ian guest said...

what do you expect!every country the locals have taken over has ended in disaster.

Anonymous said...

...of course it is all the fault of Apartheid. Now if only we could come up with an excuse for the rest of Africa. Wait....

Anonymous said...

I would love to see images Hillbrow as it once was. I can see that this was once (many many years ago) a beautiful place to live.
the ymca building in rissik street has been bought and turned into student accomodation, quite good.

spicemanpete of Yeoville said...

I landed in the most feared place for any young Policeman, fresh out of Police College, December, 1971. First old/new years eve was held in Pretoria Street, between Banket Street and Catherine Avenue, with a few incidents from people not living in Hillbrow.
As a young policeman, I met many people from all walks of life, playing Chess in Joubert Park, then later in Hillbrow Galleries many coffee shops, later the Chess fraternity moved to Café Wien, cnr Kotze and Claim streets and some days at Café de Paris 1st floor Ingrams Corner, - worked at the Castle Inn and the Irish Club in Hillbrow Squash Courts, enjoyed mixing with the many Commonwealth Countries folks and the European Countries citizens who made South Africa their home. During my times at Artist in the Sun Exhibitions at Joubert Park, I met George and Jimmy, Jimmy owns a Tour Company to-day - Faces to Faces and his wife runs a popular guest house in DiepKloof in Soweto, I know Jimmy's wife from Sun City, so I have also stayed in Hillbrow in 2000+ era, yes it has gone down, only because of influx of people who have created cheap living conditions, overcrowding of flats to pay the high rentals, in my time there was a rent board, what happened to the rent board? Not safe to walk around anymore, but please "not because of apartheid" all people choose how they want to live and where - "not apartheid" lots of blacks lived in Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville. I would like to see the present residents bring Hillbrow back to what it really was ? I have been backwards and forth for 40 plus years now, Apartheid did not change Hillbrow - irresponsible people did? what a pity

Anees Rehman said...

The forum posting is a unique and interesting
African real estate

Anonymous said...

South Boy from Rosettenville, Use to be a proud South African who puffed my chest out when watching my beloved Bokka!!!
Now i'm a PROUD Australian living in peace and harmony with my 3 kids who have a bright future. Thank you ANC for showing me the light, not only you lot(ANC)have run a great nation into the ground. But you have lost hundreds of thousands of SKILLED South Africans to foreign lands due to you're poor running of a nation. YOU (ANC) make me sick!!! and I'll NEVER be back. In 20 / 30 / 40 years time I'll still be living in safety - can S.Africans say the same. NO!!! Who comes after the rapist ZUMA?

Tony Rose said...

My name is Tony Rose, My Father Peter Rose who owned The Hillbrow Herald sadly died on the 14th of December 1990.
He is greatly missed.

Molly McKnight said...

A good documentary about Joburg: "Hillbrow: Between Heaven and Hell." An elderly white woman remaining in Hillbrow experiences power outages, decaying infrastructure, insect infestations, crime, social alienation, broken elevators (requiring her to walk fifteen stories to her flat), etc. This is what the future holds, as South Africa's population explosion continues. Note her flashback to The Florian Cafe. Note in the photos shown that all of the cafe's help in the background, a crowd of waitresses and busboys...they're all white. Note a black interviewee, who recalls when Hillbrow was "all white," and the only blacks he ever spotted were older black women coming into the neighborhood to function as maids and nannies. You can blame segregation all you want; segregation kept things functional and allowed for survival. Once it was removed, the end approached quickly for Hillbrow and the Central Business District. Likewise, this will in time be true for the rest of the RSA. It can only be a matter of years before it will not be a place worthy of living in. Ending segregation and allowing a population explosion guaranteed the RSA's demise. Yes, I will dare to say these things. How green was our valley, while it lasted. And how very terrible is its destruction.

Anonymous said...

How absurd to blame Apartheid for the deteriorating conditions. It was only because of segregation that Joburg was an Eden for the period in which it flourished. A unique, First World, cosmopolitan place, now trashed forever. It's all going downward from here. Marcy Sutton, Yeoville resident, 1964 - 1988

Aquinas Music said...

I still stay I hillbrow,to be honest its true,90% of the place is dirty and filthy filled with Foreigners but there are still better places in Hillbrow like Barnato, Champaigne Castle heading to the fire station, I am very young,i never witnessed the fancy lifestyle Hillbrow once had, if there is anyone with pictures of the old hillbrow please email them to me aquinasmusic101@gmail.com your help will be greatly appreciated.

Herms said...

Well said!

Herms said...

Well said!

Herms said...

Absolutely true, well said. I lived in Philberta Court and Helderberg flats for my entire youth. Visited friends in Highrise very often. Played in the perk with eorking waterfall and marvelled at the green tank, remember? Ps did you stay on the 19th floor?

Herms said...

Absolutely spot on, but I can add in terms of the education for black people, Afrikaans wasnt necessary the instruction language, neither was English or one of the black languages, it was a bit of a mixture with tailor made classes. The CRUX however is that the text books for the schools ( that they got free) was not available in a native black language as no authors or translating was done yet. So by default their text books where either English od Afrikaans. No one stopped, and there was no law stopping a textbook being written or translated into a black language at the time.

Herms said...

Its the when-wes that kept the country successful by the way. lets not blame the blacks then you right, but look at Hillbrow today. No when-wes in sight and they didnt leave the place that way and they didn't destroy Hillbrow remotely. Who did then, who put Hillbrow in its current state, its occupants of course that are 99% black as it happens. But then again responsibility was never big with them. Anybody would be embarrassed to admit that their people trashed a perfectly good place. Why arent other places trashed so bad? Becauae it hasnt been in black control for that long and there are still some whites left. We are generalising here but thats just the plain observable realities.

Herms said...

Well said!

Clive Purt said...

Well ..... I guess it proves the the black man in South Africa is just not able to copy the success of his white friends when you see the decay of 20 years of " black" rule in Johanessbeg of any where in Africa.... Sad .. But true ... It is like going back to the " dark ages" ...??!!

I am on the one hand happy I left before I experienced the mess unfold... But sad that the South Africa I once knew is finished... gone and destroyed for ever...

I often wonder if some of blacks wish for the " old days " ... But they wanted change and now they have it ... Sad I truth they fucked it all up!!

Clive Purt said...

Well ..... I guess it proves the the black man in South Africa is just not able to copy the success of his white friends when you see the decay of 20 years of " black" rule in Johanessbeg of any where in Africa.... Sad .. But true ... It is like going back to the " dark ages" ...??!!

I am on the one hand happy I left before I experienced the mess unfold... But sad that the South Africa I once knew is finished... gone and destroyed for ever...

I often wonder if some of blacks wish for the " old days " ... But they wanted change and now they have it ... Sad I truth they fucked it all up!!

Anonymous said...

Used to hang out Cafe Wien and Bimbo's (shawarma) shop both in Hillbrow. (1977-79) 18yrs old. Moved to USA in '81. Went back last year and again a few months ago, sad to say no-one wants to take me to Hillbrow. Did drive through Yeoville on first visit, another old hangout. Did not feel safe and was glad to get out of Yeoville.

Anonymous said...

May I ask if anyone remembers The Frangwen Nursing Home in I believe it was Banket and Caroline Streets, across the road from the Flamingo Hotel 1957 - 1962. Does anyone have pics or information of it. I was born there and would love to know further about it.

John said...

I'M John and a Kiwi. I lived in Hillbrow from 73-79. Met lots of great ladies.
Lisette K, Lynne M, Jan B, Myra B, Rosalie R. Great Times at the Ambassador, remember the Greek guy who was always moving chairs. Loved listening to Erica Boersma, she could sing. Wonder what became of her?
The place looks like a shithole now.
Blacks reduce everything to their level.

John said...

I'm John and I'm a Kiwi. Used to live in Hillbrow from 73-79.
Remember the Greek at the Ambassador who was always moving the chairs!Loved to hear Erica Boersma sing. What happened to her?
Met some great ladies in Hillbrow. Lynne M, Myra B, Lisette K, Rosalie R.
The place looks like a shithole now.
Blacks reduce everything to their low levels.

Wendy Stratis said...

Does anyone remember the name of the club around the corner from Barbarella
... '76 ... u had to go downstairs, same owner as Barbarella, I think. Also, Cielo's was in Highpoint, correct?

Anonymous said...

Was the Goblet the club around the corner to Barbarella? You walked downstairs to it. The other club was Cielo's in Highpoint, right? Used to go to Cafe de Paris often.