PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
ken darile
 
Comments: 7
Article views: 1782
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all ken darile's badges.
 

Thrilling Joburg streets

07 January 2013, 12:55

I once read an article on a website stating that Johannesburg had made determined efforts to crack down on crime, creating a local police force, the Metro Police, and installing some 200 "crime watch" video cameras in the inner city giving room to very encouraging results; And a report from the respected independent "think tank", the Institute of Security Studies, showed that the risk of becoming a victim of violent crime in Johannesburg was now lower than in a traditional "holiday" venue like the Western Cape.

But the “doubting Thomas” in me wanted to see for himself, so I entrusted myself with the supposedly deadly mission to cruise the streets of Johannesburg CBD.

From the mother city I purchased one train ticket to the city of gold, and after two days long trip there I was in Johannesburg park station, which is undoubtedly Africa’s biggest town.

Johannesburg history extends back thousands of years to when it was inhabited by hunter-gatherer peoples.  The city was formally established in 1886 with the discovery of gold and the Witwatersrand reef. After the discovery of gold, started a mass migration of people from all over the world into the settlement to find gold, the population of the city exploded, and Johannesburg became the largest city in South Africa. This type of migration has never stopped, making Johannesburg a pure melting pot.

So there I was going, moving away from park station, walking down the streets of Johannesburg, Harrison Street, Bree Street, etc...  I was told that my expensive cell phone wouldn’t survive the trip, so I had to leave it home together with anything that had sentimental value for me! I was set to meet the now famous Johannesburg Tsotsi, a dodgy character that steals, lies and generally is not to be trusted; But instead I was agreeably surprised to see an imposing police presence, and that was at least enough to bring me back reassurances, and there I was walking even taller, greatly more conscious of the soon coming success of my mission, my so called bold escapade. Now that being robbed or shot dead was a fading idea in my head, premature conclusions started rushing in my mind.

Most of Johannesburg Streets were covered with refuses that probably had not been removed for ages; maybe those in charge of waste removal were striking again, in South Africa strikes start and stop before we even knew about them.

As I walked through, street after street, I also realized to my deepest astonishment that the eleven official languages were by far less spoken here; they’ve been overwhelmingly replaced by some other African dialects, Arabic, French, Portuguese or English spoken with a so strange accent that it shouldn’t be called English anymore. In fact streets were filled with small businesses owned mainly by foreign nationals coming from as far afield as Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, Senegal, Somalia, Pakistan, Lebanon, etc...

I couldn’t find even at least one white person walking on the street at all, nevertheless few of them could be seen driving away in their cars; people of different skin colour, dominated by black fellows, were busy rushing from side to side; but on the street of central Johannesburg the white fellow is the species in threat of extinction, some says that it’s due to the fact that they feel uncomfortable as a minority on streets which were once their exclusive preserve, whatever!

After the group areas Act was scrapped in the 1990’s thousands of people who had been forbidden to live in the inner city flowed into the city centre, the white then started running away to the northern suburbs and sandton together with their businesses turning their backs to a then deteriorating Johannesburg CBD, the CBD since fell under the grip of foreign immigrants who own small business, selling fruits, cheap clothes and some other articles. Since the end of apartheid, South African urban expansion has deeply benefited from this phenomenon where the rich white population is continuously building new areas in a bid to dwell as far as possible from the poor black population that can’t help it following bringing along a high level of crime, at least that was one of the explanations given to me by some anonymous people.    

I walked up and down all across the city of gold, ending my journey with a visit to the top of the Carlton centre, which used to be the largest building in Africa, to get a broad view of Johannesburg; and as I’m taking this long distance bus for my trip back to cape town, this one day journey into the heart of Gauteng taught me more than I expected, most importantly I wasn’t robbed nor shot at all, but I’m leaving this town with a changed view and to my eyes this city now looks like an African city more than just a south African one.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Ryan Blom
Bedford Centre Robbery

I would imagine Bedford Centre brings in tens of millions each month - why can they not afford proper security and measures to ensure the safety of their clients? Read more...

15 comments 1203 views
Submitted by
CraigJoseph
Shouldering the blame...

It is with great disgust that we have learnt about the actual financial cost of corruption over the last 20 years. Read more...

5 comments 297 views
A road by any other name...

After months of squabbling a section of road finally got itself a name, or renamed I guess. What was wrong with the old one, who knows? Read more...

2 comments 139 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Looking deeper

The next time you are having a bad day, when things are not going as you planned, take a moment to look around you, look at random people from all walks of life and social status and fantasise.  Read more...

1 comments 101 views
Submitted by
The Scribe
Dear Eskom

While we understand that there are problems with the supply of electricity, we, your PAYING PUBLIC, are really getting sick and tired of the on again off again state of our electricity supply. Read more...

13 comments 264 views
Submitted by
Craig Pedersen
What's a few billion between frie...

In the time it takes you to read this - around 10 RDP houses could have been built with the amount of money that the government has lost to corruption. Read more...

40 comments 2693 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.