Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Tour Through Hillbrow Part 7

Above: Burnt out Apartment block, Goldriech Street, Hillbrow

Above: Apartments, cnr. Claim and Van der Merwe streets, Hillbrow.
Above: Goldreich Street Apartments, Hillbrow
Above: A car wash anyone? Just mind the rubbish. Lower Claim Street, Hillbrow.

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

I cry for my country...........

Anonymous said...

i am glad to have escaped this mess. such a pity. miss my family and loved ones 1:55 am

Anonymous said...

i am fortunate to have escaped. so terribly sad to have to leave such a promising country for all and to leave family and loved ones behind... so good to be in a real safe world though

Anonymous said...

Well pictures speak a thousand words, and these can definately can't be denied!! So sorry what the country is becoming. Wish all our friends and family could leave, very glad to be on the other side of the Atlantic.
Gary,
Dallas TX

Steve said...

Some great investment opportunities

Anonymous said...

Have just trawled through these pics and am devastated. I used to live at The Sands and The Mark hotels, wined and dined at "Mama's", rocked on Rokeby and remember some very happy times there in the "70's. The "beloved" country has become benighted.

Michelle said...

So very sad. As a Pome I lived on the crn Claim and something in the mid 1980's. I loved SA and would have stayed there permanently if it wasn't for the politics and violence. I am now blissfully settled in New Zealand.

Debbie said...

This is so sad, I am glad to have been part of Rocky Str/Berea while it was a vibey,safe place to jol. We had many great evenings there ( and early mornings!)Listening to some of the best home grown music and eating the best Bar Pita Falafel. Jowies will you ever be the same again?

Anonymous said...

Having now been out of SA (beautiful CT) for a decade, my heart still aches to see these images. How prophetic those words: "cry, the beloved country".
Cheryl

gargoyle13 said...

The glass is half full people!!not sure with what ...but its half full!)
Its not all doom and gloom.

I work in Hillbrow (shock/horror!) in Kotze street adjacent to the lovely orignal Wits medical school and the old SAIMR. Im proud to say I work in a beautiful old building built about 80 years ago and still standing with NO broken windows and many original features intact.
The old Hillbrow hospital Non-European section is tucked away like a lost jewel behind us, with the original Hindu (1920's)ward slumbering with its secrets and beautiful old garden with a huge old tree in need of some TLC.

Maybe the JDA will manage to inject more life into the old buildings....inject a new soul and revitalise the area to a new era of people, with a diverse and different culture and mindset.

One can only hope for the best!
Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I remember Hillbrow and Jo-burg as a youngster, me and my boet would be over exited when we knew we were going visit our uncle in Hillbrow for the weekend, walking through streets of a big city was a very big thing for a 9 year old laaitie from the "dorp".

12 years later we are lured there only by the hunger for still the best swarma's in Jo-burg at bar pitas and it shattered my childhood memories of this place.Today even the swarmas has dissapeared.

You okes who try and see the positive side of this must be on drugs or like most of you live in your fortresses in protected suburbia, there is nothing positive about the situation here, we are the last standing "order" in Africa and everyone wants a piece, and everyone will have their piece until there is nothing left of this beautifull place, just like the rest of Africa.

my heart bleeds for my country that has given me so much whereas the people in power just take bigger and bigger bites every day...for themselves

Bill said...

Bill NZ
I would love to see some pictures of the SAIMR building - deisgned by Sir Herbert Baker and built in the late 1800 I think. Worked there for 9 great years.

gargoyle13 said...

Hey Bill NZ,

[not sure if nice pics are allowed on the site...might alter the ambience of the BLOG]

The SAIMR is doing really well. They now call themselves National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS).

They have oodles of money, large budgets, is newly painted and the interior is still gorgeous. NHLS have taken over the old SAIMR, old Medical School and NIOH and are in talks of redeveloping all the buildings in their area to form one big super duper laboratory empire. The whole area I think is going to be called hospital/science precint or something!!

Anonymous said...

I left SA 14 years ago and how I've pinned thinking back to those years and how much fun myself and my friends had 'partying' at Bella's and the Dome in Hillbrow. Looking at your photo's makes me so sad! Its not about who wrong or whose right! Its about common decency and RESPECT of which I see very little evidence from the new residents!

Anonymous said...

Looking at these pics is truly heart wrenching, lived in the area in the late 80's. Life was really good then.... Been out the country for 5 years now and cannot believe what has become of our once beautiful country.

Anonymous said...

I can understand homeless people moving into unoccupied areas in the city center and business flocking out into the less "dangerous" areas...with more economic atraction......

What I cannot understand is why trash the place?
Why burn down a free apartment, why break all the windows?
Likely because the place was not really abandoned before being occupied and the legal owner was finally forced out and gave up trying to collect any rental at all.
I really think the governments new squatter laws play a big role here in sanctifying the lawless occupation of buildings and then forcing the legal (hijacked) owner to maintain said property for illegal occupants.
This same has happened to a friend of mine who owns a modest house in the Southern Suburbs of Johannesburg.
He went away for a weekend and when he returned 48hrs later he had Non-paying tenants (read: squatters) in his house.
The police told him they were within their rights to remain in his house.
The bank forces him to keep paying the mortgage, the law forces him to keep paying the water and utilities for the next 2 years.
He now sleeps on the a friends couch in the house next door.
How ironic is that?
Sadly they also "squatted: his personal effects, furniture, clothes and even his drivers license and ID documents.
The real kick in the face is after 2 years IF he wants to recoccupy his OWN house he will first also have to pay for the relocation of said tenants to a new apartment/house and install rent there on their behalf for the next 2 years!!!
I suppose in 2 years time the place will be trashed to such an extent that he will ikely NEVER want to occupy it again at all and will just cut his losses and walk away and then......just another unmaintained slum/ruin moving like cancer inevitably into a neighborhood near you soon......................

A sad portent of things to come.
The ANC's way of circumventing the need to provide all the housing promised in 1994 election campaign is to just make alternate housing available "legally" to keep the masses at bay.

Great way to lead a fledgling democracy at the tip of Africa into the economic new world of capitalism OR maybe that is just their interpretation of entrepreneurial spirit?????
What you dont have you just go out and get.........even if someone else worked to own it.
Please dont even think the poor friend in question is s spoilt white kid. His dad (a non English speaking Immigrant) was killed in a mine before he was even old enough to attend school and he was raised by an aging grandmother. He attended a school for learning disabled kids and works in a blue collar job earning an honest living with his hands in a trade.
He was just as disadvantaged as many other South Africans but overcome these hurdles to pay a deposit and earn a mortgage.
Maybe he should just have squatted one for himself, that would have been easier.
Makes you wonder what the real motive is behind all the "wealth and land redistribution" laws?

Anonymous said...

I lived in Hillbrow from 1977 to 1985 with a two year break to complete my "millitere verpligting" as a "Bokvantrist" - Incidentally, I was a bit of a conciencious objector and earned the nickname of "Fokken Komminis" and rechristened Viktor Michaelowich Bolenko by many of my mates.

I lived in Pretoria Gate, 1 Pretoria Street, Hillbrow. My flat overlooked the Hillbrow Prison.

Despite this, the ambiance was great. Meals at Mi Vami, Late Night Al's, Roast Chicken from Highpoint after an all nighter at Barbarella's or the Goblet. Drinks at Deaf Pete's Deep or heaven forbid, the Skyline (No I'm not gay). Chegg Burgers at the Ploughman's Loft, after a night at the Chealsea.... the list of memories is endless!

During these years, I honestly never witnessed any open hostility, drug deals, prostitutes or any such thing, even though Hillbrow held the reputation of being the bed of evil and den of iniquity. Maybe my life was a little sheltered, though I doubt it.

The photo's posted in this blog evoke such feelings of nostalgia for what once was, I can only shake my head wonder at the insanity that persists and hang onto the hope that things will improve. Will it ever?????

In '85 I moved to Cape Town and in '96 moved, heeded the call of Uluru and moved to Australia.

Yes, we also have crime and violence here, but, the difference is when a junky holds up a service station with a bloodfilled syringe, it ends up as a national headline and as a result, sounds a lot worse than it is.

Interestingly, there was a hijacking in Innaloo some months ago, it turns out the perpetrators were.... yep, Black Africans from Jo'burg! :-O

NO, I do not miss SA and NO, I have no intention of EVER returning. The only reason I would return is for humanitarian/compassionate reasons. I do miss the country as far as scenery is concerned and the activities we participated in. Perth has no distinguishable landmarks, but as far as the way of life is concerned, I wouldn't live elsewhere, for my family's sake, 3 boys, wrong sex, wrong colour!

What's my point, oh yeah. If you do by any chance have any photographs of the address above, I would love to see them.

Anonymous said...

I remember Pretoria Gate, there were two great places there, a restaurant called "Nobleman" and a Pizzeria named "La Piemontesina", it had a wood burning oven, was decorated with fleuro sprayed cardboard egg cartons and made great pizza in the early 70's.
Last time that I visited Hillbrow was in 1992 about the time of the referendum, it was the then shock of my life as it was on the downward path, then came the reality of these images which take it some way past ghetto status. As we all know, Hillbrow was a very special place in that era, I moved to New Zealand in the late 80's, I had mixed feelings then, but not now. Lived in Claridge, Swartberg, Huguenot, Mariston and Hofmanns New Yorker. Some other entertainment places were SKyline (downstairs) Athens by Night, Deutsche Bier Keller, Lili Marlene, Fontana, Bella Napoli, The Castle Inn, Bar B Que Steakhouse (under the Castle), Donor Kebeb, Fish Hoek, Lucky Lukes Steakhouse, The Ambassador sound shell bar, Michaels Tavern (Amby) the Pancake Bars, Milky lane and Chelsea (I saw "Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat" there), "Alt Heidelberg" and "Continental" restaurants, Cafe Wein and many others.
It beggars belief that it all could have ended up like it has!.

Anonymous said...

well, I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I would fall on a blog which has a photo of the building were I was born " parkview ".
The bloggers who do not know the old hillbrow cannot understand, I left SA 14 yrs ago and have always wondered if I had made the right choice. I have my answer!!!

Anonymous said...

Four years ago i was a Telkom cable jointer in johannesburg and this used to be part of my patch.I worked in the streets with lots of my black colleage's wich mostly hailed from Soweto.Just like to say that the person going on about apartheid needs his head read.There are very few i would say almost no South African citizens living in JHB or Hillbrow anymore they dont even know what apartheid was.Ps i now live in the lovely city of York in the UK.

Anonymous said...

I LIVED AND WORKED IN SOUTH AFRICA FROM 1971 T0 1974 AND A YEAR OF THIS TIME WAS SPENT IN J'BURG. I LIVED IN HILLBROW AND WORKED IN THE TELEPHONE EXCHANGE IN JEPPE STREET. MY MEMORIES ARE ALL GOOD, I USED TO GO TO THE AMBASSADOR HOTEL OF A FRIDAY NIGHT AND MEET UP WITH FELLOW SCOUSERS AND HAVE A GOOD NIGHT OF DRINK AND LIVE MUSIC. THE BAND WAS FRONTED BY A GIRL SINGER BY THE NAME OF BARBARA RAE (RAY). iT IS SO SAD TO SEE THE DEMISE OF THE HILLBROW AREA WHICH I REMEMBER AS BEING SO VIBRENTE AND BOHEMIAN. ROY MONTROSE

Anonymous said...

they will destroy themselves let em get on with it!

Anonymous said...

I used to live in S.A.up to 1993.What a heartbreaking picture of new S.A.

Anonymous said...

i cant belive my eyes im 23 and i miss south africa so much,seing the places i grew up in become worse by the day makes me hurt.right this moment i feel like some one shoved a knife through my heart!i always wish inside of me for things tobecome better in s.a but its too late

Anonymous said...

So this is what happens when you allow people not to pay the RENT...


SOoooo Saaad.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad. I used to go to the discos at Highpoint, Fontana for chicken, the CNA and the cafes for cappucino and cake. Much younger then, I aspired to an apartment in Ponte, and spent many happy hours in Rocky Street.

Also had happy days working in downtown Joeys, shopping in Eloff Street, wandering around Edgars during lunchtime, rye sandwich at the Pumpernickel in Carlton Centre, sigh!

Wish I had more photos of how it used to be .....

Anonymous said...

guys this place used to be the best place in the world im going to school now at a late age because when i was given a chance to go to school i jumped the fences to see that place which has now changed to be like a place where pigs live. i ve left it im now in the uk but my mind is regreating me for leaving school and going there. later on i found that life wasnt what i expected there but in life you are given 1 chance

Las Vegas said...

I too cry for my Country. Unfortunately it is not going to get any better. Leave .. if you can. For those that can't .. stick together and try to protect each other from the savages.

Anonymous said...

Run if you want guys, but where do you run to?? Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA and god help us; even my Britain are going the same route thanks to the 'cultural enrichment' of the same idiot Marxists who wrecked your country. I don't expect there's much sympathy for Britain among the white South Africans considering how our idiot Government helped flush the old (good) South Africa down the toilet.

tom.paine said...

just read Debbie's comment about the Bar Pita ... i used to go there too sometimes. my friends' kids prefered Milk & Honey of course ... waffles with icecream and a selection of multi-colored sauces on top...

Anonymous said...

Looks like Detroit around 1985. There is much more decline in your future I am afraid. We should have picked our own cotton.

adi said...

hahaha, dearest author of this blog you say you're a "scribbler", obviously also forgot that you're a bitter arsehole. Can see that by the way you criticise others.

I've been all over Europe and the west, you can keep that trash.
Thanks for the pics, I'm moving back to South Africa - the land of opportunity, still the most beautiful country in the world with the friendliest people and the best tasting food!! Boerewors and biltong here we come!!

Can't wait to get home and kiss some darkies again, and earn some Rands, buy some well priced exclusive property and hire a maid and a garden boy!!

If you want trash go to America, UK or Europe. Americans are no brainers, UK the kids are stupid and arrogant as sh** and think that the world owes them a living, Europe is just one cesspool of Godless hopelessness, I can see where that's going?

Adi

lorenzo said...

what a shame

Kitzchenbouye said...

A very good site, with some good comments, but unfortunately some very sad & distressing pictures, of a 'suburb' down on its luck? I'm sure many reasons for Hillbrow's decline into chaos can be found. Always a bit seedy & over-crowded, sure - but the Hillbrow I was born into (Arthur Mantions, Caroline Street) in the late fifties, is long gone. I grew up in Edenvale, and returned to 'the Brow' (some folk I knew even referred to Hillbrow, as the 'Bronx?!') in the early eighties, after my N.S. Moved into Noverna Court, Paul Nel Street, paying the princely some of R160 a month for a neat batchelor flat. In '85 I moved into my girl friend's flat, Pretoria Gate, Pretoria Street. We lived on the 12the floor, north facing side. That view of the Northern suburbs etc, was worth a million Dollars, by day or night. I can certainly remember late night meals at Mike's Kitchen, shopping for books & records, drinks with friends at many a hotel pub, and of course the midnight celebrations at High Point, on New Years/Old Years eve. I remember Kotze Street & Edith Cavell Streets, seemed to have a reputation for drugs (mainly dagga) Joubert Park was a walk on the wild side, which is where the rot began I think, in the early eighties? Street kids sucking on glue bottles & sleeping in cardboard boxes etc. I think many famous/infamous inner cities World wide, have gone through Jo'burg's & Hillbrow's growing pains, with slums, crime & over crowding the order of the day. I suppose being a middle class South Africa, white boy - now living in Edinburgh, with my German wife, gives me the freedom to look back on my life growing, up in 'white' South Africa, through rose tinted specs?! My memories are mostly good ones, even though life was sometimes tough & uncertain, for those of us, benefiting from Apartheid. Those heady days of the elections in April '94 & Rugby World Cup glory in '95 all seem to be hazey impossible dreams now? To think South Africa, will soon have a President, in the form of Jacob Zuma, beggars belief?! 2 court cases for fraud & 1 for rape? Makes the politicians in the UK/Scotland look very tame by comparison. As useless as they also are. Well hopefully 'the Bokke' will give Scotland a good thumping, when the play at Murrayfield 15.11.08? But I also have to cheer for the boys in blue as well. PS If anyone reading this post, remembers Bourkesluck Dog Training Centre, Jan 1982 - June 1982, Security wing, I'd be very interested, to chat about those 'good ole dayze' Vasbyt Julle / Check joues!

Anonymous said...

Such a terrible shame. I spent 6 months with 3 friends living at Fontana Inn in 1975 and spent a lot of time in Hillbrow. What a shame to see a place in such squalor. Such a rich city now seems like a slum. Thank goodness I returned to my wonderful country Australia - I pray we never end up like that.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Berea & Hillbrow 1968-71 and also visited the Ambassador Club 2 or 3 nights a week for great entertainment & camaraderie. Does the club still stand or has it been demolished?

Anonymous said...

Such a shame, my folks used to live in Hillbrow, but that was back in the 60s when we still had LAW AND ORDER in the country, and also some pride in our surroundings - something which these new residents seem to lack. What a hell-hole it is now, thats what happens when you just HAND OVER THE COUNTRY.
These pics are an EYE-OPENER.

Anonymous said...

What a shame...thats what happens when you just hand over the contry.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Jo'burg in the 70s so many times I got into arguments with "progressives" and their desire to get rid of Apartheid. I predicted what you now see in the pictures. I was right -- they were wrong. What I don't understand is how liberals and progressives are so blind to the obvious and how they could not see that black govt always goes the same way. SA is just a larger, later version of Zimbabwe (also used to be a beautiful country) and will go down the hole as well. Today's Hillbrow, Berea and the rest are just harbingers of SA's future. Funny that I sat at the pleasant tables of the Mark/Sands Hotels dining rooms arguing against a black takeover. I wonder what my opponents would say to these pictures now. LEN BOLTON

Anonymous said...

the real south africa is emerging, hopefully when it settles as the third world country that it is, without the facade of a white minority power elite enjoying the comforts derived from the oppressed majority hidden away in out of sight in ghetto townships.... hopefully like the phoenix will be reborn into even a greater country than it was where all irrespective of race creed or colour can enjoy what is one of the most picturesque countries in the world, with a rhythm and soul unlike so many western nations.

Bee said...

Hi
Great to show all these pictures, well done for exposing what is happening to our beloved country.
Makes me think of these biblical passages.

Jeremiah 1:7
Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

and

Eze 14:15
If I cause noisome( causing or able to cause nausea; "a nauseating smell") beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:

and where are the daughters of Zion?
Isaiah 18

18:1
Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:

For those that have ears let them hear!


Noisome dictionary definition http://dictionary.die.net/noisome

Anonymous said...

It looks like most of the smart and able whites left SA. The whites that are left have no rights or protection of law. And under black rule the country is in a free fall of decay and decline. The question is how far will it go? If the rest of Africa is a model it does not look good. Things will get much worse and stay that way.

Anonymous said...

"without the facade of a white minority power elite enjoying the comforts derived from the oppressed majority hidden away in out of sight in ghetto townships"

Correction Mr. Anonymous (post above Bee)

As far as my historical knowledge stretches, the "colonialists" that came to Africa, were, and is (at least in my opinion) 2000 years ahead cultural, technological, social and financial... I have never heard of the existence of any hospitals, universities, etc. etc. that were independently-“infused” by native-Africans prior to colonialism... Who is therefore stealing from whom? (African philosophy is so contradicting – It can only persuade a person without logic reason.)

And to this one... "hopefully like the phoenix will be reborn into even a greater country than it was where all irrespective of race creed or colour can enjoy what is one of the most picturesque countries in the world..."

Dream on boet, I have never seen or heard of any African country that had the ""cultural"" and mental capacity to build themselves up after de-colonization (Even after inheriting a country with a developed infrastructure – BBEE, and AA will of course set the wrongs right)... Maybe I'm wrong, may be they will do it, and you are right. (Unless of course it takes 2000+ years. - They'll probably blame us for that as well.) It's just normal evolution...
Evolution = Common Sense

…Get rid of the reverse-racist laws and may be then there will be some “colonialists” left to teach / impart knowledge onto “Africans;” the things their forefathers discovered.

African culture = Give me, give now! I don’t wan to build up progressively and slowly, I no patience, no care for offspring, I want it mee-self , I want it now. Give me what he has. It’s my country. I anywell not know my children, very many woman and children out there. I want it now.

Do the math!

Groete / Greetings
Non-white ELITE _ 30-year-old proud white male (and Afrikaans)
(Almost done with my Post-Grad. then I’m gone…)

Anonymous said...

I left SA five years ago. There is no hope for the place, leave while you still can.

Anonymous said...

I remember going into Johannesburg with my gran - shopping at John Orrs, lunch at the canteen in Greatermans. It was a different world. I used to work in the building next to the arch of impalas/springboks - used to sit in that little park and have lunch because it was so pretty.

Hannah said...

I am a Jewish American with friends who escaped South Africa years ago.

They are Jews from the old SA, and they told me that the night before they escaped, an elderly Jewish white lady was raped and murdered in a car garage area near them.

The woman's body was cut into little pieces (!) and the police had to collect all the pieces from under cars.

Look at Rhodesia, the RSA, Detroit in the USA, in fact ANY country or city where blacks have taken over. ALL of it turns to filth.

Studying all of this has convinced me that they simply CANNOT accomplish anything without the white man to do it for them or help them. Its all PROOF!

Anonymous said...

Too sad to look at the pictures... God save SA! :( :( :(

Patty Boyd said...

I used to live in Berea around 1970/80's. Hillbrow/Berea/Yeoville was the place to "joll". I lived in a commune called "The Odyssey" commune type house in Lily Avenue, anybody out there remember or has lived there? Would love to hear from you. Worked at a place called Samancor in Marshall Street from 1973 to 1990 when I returned to Uk. Every night was "boogy night" in Hillbrow in those days. Relatively safe but had a reputation in those days. These days well, say no more!!!
Had a gas though in my years there. Fond memories which will last forever. Patty B

Anonymous said...

I lived in Berea in a commune called "The Odyssey" in Lily Avenue. Anybody out there ever heard of or even lived there between 1970 up to the end of 1980? Could love to hear from you if poss. Hillbrow was the place to be for the nightlife. O.K. it was pretty violent in those days but I if you kept your wits about you, you were O.K. I worked at a place called Samancor in Marshall Street for all those years. I used to walk to work in the morning from Berea to Marshall Street with no problem at all. When I came back to the U.K. in the early 90s it took me years to settle down to the British way of life once again. Missed the "wide open spaces" and, of course, the Jhb nightlife. Deeply saddened by these photos as I used to frequent a lot of the "night life" and clubs, also shops in Jhb and Hillbrow. Anybody out there remeber Greatermans in Jhb? Remember "Ella Mental" with Heather Mac? Cafe Wien was my second home.
Perhaps I'll receive a reply from another "Old joller" like myself. Patty B

Anonymous said...

How starkly these images re-enforce my bedrock belief that African culture is incompatible with creating and sustaining working, civilized societies in the Western tradition. As a well-traveled American, I can attest that every single political entity in the USA dominated and run by "African-Americans" are, like Johannesburg, shitholes where crime and economic deterioration are the norm.

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks
thanks for the pictures, they brought memories as well as sadness. Lived in Berea/Hillbrow from 1974 to 77 and then left for Australia, saw the writing on the wall after living 3 years in Rhodesia. Funny to see so many blach South Africans over here because they no longer like SA today. Food for thought indeed!!

Anonymous said...

A person told me a long time ago concerning racist. He say about Afro-American in American,"We(white people) never say you can't go to the library, we just never taught you to read."
Whites in South Africa in the 1600s, started a live style and they were the ones to run it, than left it and never share it with other people. And how you can see what that type of attitude can cause. This is done all over the world, with racist,than people blame the other side for the problem. Remember you never taught them to read, but you builded a library and how say it not our problem.

Gatvol said...

Certainly a mess, but did anyone in their wildest dreams expect anything different. I mean the country was given away faster than ordering at Nandos.
Wait till the "folks" realize that the Wagon Lager at Blood River is made of Brass. They will scrap that place on a good weekend.
As long as the taxpayer foots the bill things will go down slower, once they cannot pay anymore, then it will be just another Zim.
Quite Frankly, "You aint seen Nothing yet."

Anonymous said...

I see you mentioned Peter Rose, I knew Peter well back in the day, realy nice bloke before the booze got too much of a hold on him, became known as "Peter the fag" because he was always bumming cigarettes of the lads in Michaels Tavern, last saw him in about 1984-85.
I used to live in Berea, at the Camelot, drove past there a couple of years back, sad, very sad.
Am now living in Cape Town, not far from Cape Point, cant retreat any further than this as the chaos line draws ever closer, fortunately the dark plague has not yet over run the Cape but the warning signs are there on the outskirts of Michels Plain, Zuma's shock troops are massing, god help us all if they win the Cape

Anonymous said...

You could not pay me to go back !!
Thats freedom and a civilized democracy... SUPER crime, illegals, decay, destruction - wow apartheid did not look so bad - it does not seem like things have impoved in 15 years.. only got worse!!

Gustav said...

It must sound like a broken 7-single, but this just breaks my heart. There are no words to describe how this makes one feel.

Before leaving SA, I visitied Moz and drove through Maputho en route to Vilanculos. I could not believe the decay. Now the same cancer is in SA with the same effect!

Short sighted people just ruining everything with a consuming way of life. Everything is consumed and little is created.

Anonymous said...

I can identify with all photos on this blog.I am a retired 30 yr veteran policeman from Chicago and experienced all this 1st hand, saw old established neighborhoods that had ethnic peoples living in them for years Polish,Irish, Swedes, Germans etc etc go from being show places of order and cleanliness to filthy crime ridden slums overnite, business that were there were forced to flee due to murder of owners, theft, arson. intimidation. yet the liberals staed ALAWAYS that it was the scourge of racism and predujdice ad naseum. these people who inhabitated these areas then went on to destry the homes and stores which once were establisehed businese etc and are now toire down or burned out, this is the legacy of the black man destroy and move on. also i have noticed the jealousy of these people towards their own if they are suvvessfull in some venue of business or education. i have had calls to black schools were a beaten student was accussed of acting white if he showed promise or was just A SMART KID.these people are unbeleivable. and they are African to the core, i have spoke to a few lay religious men who went to Africa with stars in eyes to preach to locals and came back with stories of murderous rampaGE ON A DAILY basis where they thought they had befriended a local only to be robbed by same individual, subject stated they are born thieves. the same thing is happening here in states but Europe with its libearal agenda and open policy emmigration laws will find out, Sweden is getting payback along with Ireland with a crime rate unheard of in these countries, keep telling the truth in your blog , the libearals hate it, best wishes.

Etienne Marcel said...

I grew up in Jo'burg.
Back in those days you could walk around the place at midnight without the fear of being mugged/raped etc.
I am absolutely shocked to see this photos.
Knew it was bad but didn't think this bad.
Shame on the present government not to keep everyday things in a running state.

Anonymous said...

We were privileged to live there for seven years and left in 1990 to return home to UK. We loved every minute there and we were able to walk around in the Hillbrow area at weekends with our children and really enjoy the ambiance and good will of the people. It looks as if it would not be a good idea to do that any more. What a terrible, terrible shame! We went back to CT in January 2008 and whilst on the surface things looked okay the cracks were starting to show and tensions running high between the races there. I think we probably left at the right time having seen the beauty of the place before the politics changed the country for the worse.

DeeceJ said...

I lived in Dudley Hights, Hosptital Hill back in the 70's when I first arrived in Jo'burg from the UK.

It then had a large number of UK imigrant nurses living there, on six month contracts with a local clinic.

It was a great place to live for a batchelor in his twenties, with parties almost every night

I'm sure that with some effort and investment it could again become a cool place to live once again

Anonymous said...

I was a plain clothes cop (Intelligence) in the early’80’s working in Hillbrow.
I remember the Zurich Cafe in Hillbrow, and the Austrian/German schnitzel take away directly opposite… you guys remember the Zurich – open 24/7, the good coffee and cake?

I left SA in the early 90’s, and on my many trips since from Europe to Zambia and Gabon I would often shake my head at the amount of traffic lights that were not working in these countries. The comparison was: we can keep them running pretty well in SA, nothing complicated about a traffic light, is there – why the hell can’t these guys keep them running?

Back in SA last year (for a brief sad few days – oh yes, sad they were) I shook my head at the amount of traffic lights not working – and remembered how I used to think about this in the past when travelling to other parts of Africa.

Oh yes – now it all started to make sense!

Baobab said...

What a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

So the question in my mind is "Is black culture capable of creating and sustaining a civlized, prosperous society?" These photos, along with current photos of other SA cities I've seen, speak volumes for a negative answer.

Hans van der Aa said...

I was a foreigner (from Holland) when I lived in Hillbrow and Berea in the early 80 's. It was an exciting place to be. The Castle Inn, the Mad bar and ofcourse the Chelsea Hotel with the live music in the weekends. I never forget the celebration of new years eve.
It makes me sad looking to the pictures of Hillbrow today.

Manilla's Blog said...

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek !!!!!!!!!

Yes, its the screamer again, as I've posted other comments on other of your blogs. I also lived in Pretoria Street, Hillbrow on the border with Braamfontein. (Pity I can't see what Burton Court looks like ... I suppose in the same state as the others ...) Not the Checkers (was it Pick 'n Pay) end. I know Nedbank Plaza as I used to pick up some magazines from the CNA store on the mezzanine level. I also remember the Ambassador Hotel ... All these memories from before 1990 when I left ...

I'm still crying at the sight of all these pictures ...

Mie1 said...

I remember staying at the : "St Kilda" hotel/Mansions (spelling??)in Hillbrow in the early sixties. Does anybody remember soething like that???

Anonymous said...

Now I know why I left South Africa(CT) at the age of 40 in January this year for New Zealand!

My kids have a future in New Zealand!

Anonymous said...

Our motto as blacks is "WE WILL DESTROY"

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!!! I sit here with tears in my eyes as i type this. I grew up in Joel Street Berea, the Heidelberg 20 story building to be precise. I was trying to look up Bellas on google to see if it still existed and came across your blog. I am speechless and frankly just plain saaaaad right now.

I cant believe such an awesome city has turned out like this! I went to KES primary and senior highschool and enjoyed the best of my teenage years in JHB. Left in 1992.

Memories of how it was is all we have now guys..The old JHB we all knew is truly DEAD. Places i remember are; Bella's, the Italian club, the White Horse Inn, Caesers Palace, Masquerades. Drags at the Doll House and Barons on Sundays. :) Wurstbuda and Mykonos Kebabs near Bellas. The three sisters and Zurich cafe to mention just a few.. ahh the memories....

Andrew

George said...

Do you have "Before" photos, to do a comparison, maybe with some kind of date or year? I think most people will not realize what happened if haven't live or still live in South Africa.

Anonymous said...

I was struck by a statement of yours and often asked what has happened to all the white liberals (rich white students,political activists, musicians artists, etc.) who kept on pleading the ANC and Communist cause during the apartheid era. Where are they now? Those who made so much noise at home and abroad are very quiet nowadays.Your comment said it all "they have now voted with their feet".
My grandparents were caretakers of a block of flats near Joubert Park in the 1970's and I recall visiting them as a 5 year -old. Being taken to Joubert park at night to see the fairytale characters and getting a bunny-eared balloon filled with helium and getting candyfloss (spook-asem) or toffee-apples.
They have all passed away a long time ago now, and I reckon they would be spinning in their graves if they saw what has become of it all.
I also recall visiting my uncle in Rhodesia in around 1978, being pulled off my bed in the early morning hours by my cousin as the terrorists(a.k.a Freedom Fighters) where shooting at civilian homes. My uncle and his family ended up losing everything once again (the time before was in Zambia). They settled in South Africa and always yearned for the "good old days" they had.
Meanwhile South Africans lived in a bubble.Having a false sense of security - never thinking that the black-tide would hit us. It did and you better believe that SA HAS,IS,and WILL end up like the rest of Africa - raped, pillaged and destroyed (call it pessimistic but I call it realistic - look around you).
I left SA and lived a while in the UK, Canada and finally settled here in New Zealand.
I recently came across a controversial documentary DVD called Africa Addio and the situation is the same now nearly 40 years after it was made. The natives don't have the initiative to better themselves. Look at the Escom power supply problems among others. Rather than think ahead and better themselves they would simply use an infastructure that is already established and run it into the ground . They are swiftly destroying South Africa and are now following the whites South Africans overseas.They wanted us out of Africa but now that virtually nothing is left they follow us like hyena after a lion's kill. You should see how they live even when they are abroad (witnessed 1st-hand in UK and New Zealand).

Ask them what is happening in the new South Africa and question the typical corruption and all they need to do is say "Aah, we suffered under apartheid". This smokescreen works everytime as it taps into the guilt trip that has been placed on us and distracts from what is really taking place now - rape, looting, pillaging and the rapid change from a jewel in Africa to just another african slum. Bitter? - you bet!! I understand why apartheid was a necessary evil.Without it we would have been dragged down sooner. I daily mourn the once prosperous and safe country of my birth and forebears. It has died and now the vultures are feasting on its' carcass.
Something to think about - :
If the Zulus in Natal were so hard done by why did the then colonial government have the need to bring in indentured labour from India for the sugar-cane industry? Even so,this minority group of Indians were brought in as a form of slavery, they somehow managed to become very successful - building their own university,becoming successful businessmen and women and top professionals even during an apartheid or segregated government.

I still watch in disbelief the way Mandela is portrayed as a saint in the world media. Having endured so-called hard labour on Robben Island (always shown as a top tourist spot - a "mecca" or birth-place for democracy). How is it that a terrorist like this managed to get obtain a law degree through correspondence if he was working so damn hard outside and mistreated by his slave-drivers ?

Mahatma Ghandi should rather be given the true recognition he was due - a true hero !

Anonymous said...

Grew up in Jo burg.
No hope for Jo burg anymore.
Living in Bloem now.
Wish i had the money to immigrate somewhere else but Britain.
These Black bastards ^^%% up the country & whenever you point them on their wrongs you are a racist.
Sick of them & boy do i hate them like they do us.

Anonymous said...

To the South Africans who have escaped the shithole know as South Africa,warn your white freinds in whatever country you settle in the dangers of giving power to Negros.It must be apparent to all who have seen or been to SA that Negros are incapable of governing a modern ,western nation and can only rule at a primative tribal level

Anonymous said...

eish!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find a friend they use to have the yugoslavian club in Hillbrow Mamma Mira. His name was Marko. If anyone can help. His sister's name was Mira. email nydiap@herefordgroup.co.za

Anonymous said...

Savages playing at politics.

Anonymous said...

hillbrow is now a home for prostitutes&drug dealers its full of
nigerians and zimbabwens.hawkers are also starting to creep in to sandton.south africa is doomed

Stephen Carter said...

And a thousand chronicles like this will never convince the Left that Western imperialism was not the worst obscenity in history. The Left never learns, no matter how much evidence is place before them. Much the same happened to Detroit, governed for 4 decades by Marxist black nationalists. Blacks and Islamic Arabs are made for each other.

Da silva said...

Reading all the comments, it's sad that everyone is blaming the next. As a property developer in the inner city we are making it our mission to fix up our neighborhood! At the end of the day it's easy to point fingers , but it comes down to the correct management of these buildings, making sure the vagrants are removed from hijacked buildings fixing them up making them livable again, I grew up in Mitchell street berea, no matter how the city has been ruined , I'm proud to say this was part of my roots.

Anonymous said...

Lord of the flys,so sad!get out while you can!

Anonymous said...


1979. A nighttrip from Nuanetsi/
Rhodesia to Alt Heidelberg/Hill
brow. Rhodesian Army Landrover
and in RSF Camoflage. A couple
of drinks and back to RSR

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Maputo.
Now I see Detroit has competition.
I used to live and in Hillbrow.
Yeah, go blame Jan...

shane monaghan said...

I lived in Hillbrow from 1978 to 1970, Lake Success, crn of Edith Cavell & Pietersen st. what GREAT PLACE IT WAS THEN, GREAT NIGHT LIFE. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BIG PROMISES OF THE Afrikaans PEOPLE, THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO FIGHT TO THE DEATH, THEY GAVE UP WITHOUT A SHOT BEING FIRED . Their BOER ANCESTORS would be so ashamed. Remember Blood river and Majuba and the suffering of the Boer women and children in English concentration camps. So sorry but glad I left when I did. I will never forget and always love S. Africa.