Joburg loses 'world class' claim

2013-07-10 14:11

Johannesburg - The city of Johannesburg has been ordered to stop running part of its "world class African city", campaign by the advertising authority, which ruled it was "misleading”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint by resident Steven Haywood, who argued the city's long-running marketing campaign "contain blatant untruths”.

Johannesburg, population 4.5 million, is sub-Saharan Africa's richest city and the region's economic hub.

While many parts of the city are leafy, urbane and well-to-do, its inner-city and poor townships are plagued by unemployment, crime, poor housing and limited public utilities.

Haywood took issue with one particular radio advert that implored listeners to imagine themselves living in a recession-busting environmentally friendly "world class African city”.

"Imagine a city where you can rest assured, knowing that it is financially stable; that there is on-going electrification of homes."

"A city that is saving the environment through different energy-efficient interventions. A city that continues to create new jobs despite the economic downturn. Can you imagine living in such a city? You do."


Haywood argued that the advert was misleading, since the city's finances had received three consecutive qualified audits and was struggling to repair roads, while garbage often lies uncollected.

The advertising authority on Monday agreed and ruled that the commercial should be withdrawn immediately "in its current form”.

It said it had "no option but to find that the commercial appears to be communicating a misleading message."

Fred Mokoko, a spokesperson for the mayor of Johannesburg, told AFP on Wednesday they would appeal the ruling.

"Our lawyers are busy preparing the appeal documents, we are appealing... we were never offered a chance to state our case," said Mokoko.

He said the "world class" statement was the city's 2040 growth vision, coined in 2005, and can be seen on billboards and glossy in-flight magazines.

This year, Johannesburg unveiled a $10bn 10-year infrastructure development plan, which includes housing and roads improvement.

  • carm2207 - 2013-07-10 14:18

    Misleading is an understatement ! Johannesburg is anything but 'world class'!

      Eterni80 - 2013-07-10 14:21

      what does number 1 have to say about this ??

      Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 14:28

      Number 1 doesnt really give a Number 2

      Hector Smythe - 2013-07-10 14:29

      Showing our true colours, the world knows exactly what the new South Africa is like - too many foreign tourists already raped, robbed and murdered here. Its fine, play the race card or blame Apartheid for this.

      Kortbroek Du Plessis - 2013-07-10 14:46

      Booi there are some business tourists in Johannesburg, granted. You wanna look at a tourist haven go to Cape Town, the most visited tourist destination in Africa. So by your measure Cape Town is the best city in Africa. Oops it's run by the DA hehehehe.

      Joe Marshe - 2013-07-10 14:48

      It could be world class but thanks to the ANC,it's not.

      Revelgen - 2013-07-10 14:49

      Sheesh, do people like Kagiso hate the truth or what? Lie and deny, it's the ANC way. Time for change.

      Hector Smythe - 2013-07-10 15:01

      DA-ran Cape town voted best tourist destination in the world (twice I think) - and best in Africa consecutively. Hate makes you blind, time to admin you failed.

      Cindy Naude - 2013-07-10 15:02

      @ Alan Gernet, Good one! thanks for the giggle!

      Richard Scully - 2013-07-10 15:10

      Yes Kagiso, you probably would choose Joburg because you are part of the ANC and Joburg is the city of thieves

      Priyal Pillay - 2013-07-10 15:32

      Im with u Booi...All SA cities have something uniquely awesome about use measuring inches

      Richard Scully - 2013-07-10 15:50

      Yes Priyal I Joburg you can get mugged and shot by a serving ruling party minister quicker than anywhere else in the is unique...maybe that's why Kagiso likes it

      Thandi Cele - 2013-07-10 15:52

      Not surprising - the city is a sh*thole.

      George Wood - 2013-07-10 15:58

      Kagiso, you smoking the Dagga again Comrade? So tourists spend more in Joburg than they do in CT? I don't think so, have you seen the price of a coffee at the V and A ???

      Sht Stirrer - 2013-07-10 16:30

      Kagiso, keep on fooling yourself. Jo'burg is the second most visited city in Africa for one reason and one reason only: It is the point of entry into South Africa for most international flights. So if they are counting people going through immigration to arrive at their figures, they should subtract one for each person boarding a flight to Cape Town or departing for the Kruger National Park immediately after clearing immigration. NOBODY stays in Jo'burg any longer than is necessary, it is also not a tourist destination.

      Lynn O'Shea Comley-White - 2013-07-10 17:04

      I've always thought the phrase "world class African city" is an oxymoron - that is, a contradiction in terms. How can 'world class' and 'African' be said in the same breath?

      Robert Sidney - 2013-07-11 09:33

      'While many parts of the city are leafy, urbane and well-to-do, its inner-city and poor townships are plagued by unemployment, crime, poor housing and limited public utilities' - isn't this Cape Town that they are descrbing? Of course it is - I live in Cape Town

      Mannaan Gaffoor - 2013-07-11 11:09

      Alicia its true that place is like the toilet of our country!!! Come to Ventersdorp if you want to see a real world class city!!

      Hawkeye Pierce - 2013-07-11 15:28

      @Kagiso; check your stats. Joburg is the destination city like Dakar; its the place where people land to go somewhere else. Dakar is the fastest growing "destination" city in Africa. Why? Because SAA and all the other carriers from the US stop in Dakar on their way to SA. It used to be that they flew straight in to Joburg. Does this mean that all of a sudden Dakar is a tourist hotspot? No. It's simply the place where people go to get to where they are going. Statistics can be misleading and paint an incomplete picture.

      Anele Bungane - 2014-02-07 16:50

      The ASA has no sense of humor, this was meant to be a joke.

  • Adrian Maytom - 2013-07-10 14:18

    Give that man a Bells

      Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 14:35

      Hell's Bells. What next?

      Donovan Mackenzie - 2013-07-10 15:09

      T.I.A ...

      Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 15:38


      Eisenherz Eisenherz - 2013-07-10 17:07

      by now this has become a real tiresome expression - stop using it

      Zumba - 2013-07-11 08:18

      Revealed this year, just in time for the elections only to be forgotten about shortly after the elections.

      Thabang Bonang - 2013-07-11 08:52

      @Eisenherz Eisenherz- I agree. It should be "Give that man an Air Base landing"

  • Stephen Michael - 2013-07-10 14:19

    You can't polish a turd

      Carling Blacklabel - 2013-07-10 15:04

      then how does showerhead keep the polished finish on his head?

      Theo Konings - 2013-07-10 15:32

      @Currie. Very very good. A Bells on me.

      Thandi Cele - 2013-07-10 17:13

      You can dress up a turd in a suit. - but it is still a turd.

  • Mokaubere Ditabeng - 2013-07-10 14:22

    Good for you Mr Haywood. Imagine listening to such an ad on radio while driving through Bree Street in Johannesburg. Puke!

      Omnivore - 2013-07-10 14:32

      LOL - spot on

      Carolyn Nash - 2013-07-10 15:41

      Agreed! Some parts of JHB are a mess!

  • Stuart Wilson - 2013-07-10 14:23

    Would you like to live in a "world class African city" or a "world class city in Africa" ?

      procold2 - 2013-07-10 16:17

      true words stuart, need a lot of work to get there but yes i would

  • Sue Maguire - 2013-07-10 14:24

    U can polish a turd, but it's still going a to a turd.

  • Mpumelelo TF - 2013-07-10 14:24

    So wish I was as bored as one Steven Haywood. Haak Stevooooovo yaik!

      WernerPretorius39 - 2013-07-10 15:33

      Bored? Or not Blinded by your ANC government???? You're bored enough to comment negatively on an article which has received overwhelming positive feedback... So you're not too bored to Troll... Wake up poephol!

  • Cecil Wright - 2013-07-10 14:25

    The only way that Johannesburg can be a " World Class City" is if the rest of the worlds cities are also SLUMS

  • paul.kershaw.18 - 2013-07-10 14:26

    ALWAYS have to 'appeal' don't they? head in the clouds.

      OzzyInSA - 2013-07-10 14:41

      Yep. And who pays for it? The taxpayers.

  • Dumi Sibam - 2013-07-10 14:29

    this is one bored bloke

      Lulu Rudo Shezi - 2013-07-10 15:29

      with no life clearly

      Wayne Anthony Faulds - 2013-07-10 16:11

      NO, he is one concerned citizen who is doing something about the blatant lies and misinformation that is constantly being fed to you and i!

      Martha Sequeira - 2013-07-10 16:58

      Sooo, @Dumi you seem to like all the lies being fed you. Rather open your eyes for your kids sake!

  • Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 14:30

    How about an African Class World City then?

      Siraaj Mohamed - 2013-07-10 14:44

      lol...good one!

  • Erna Westdyk - 2013-07-10 14:30

    Well done Sam Haywood - always thought the advert was way over the top. And they want to appeal because the city may be 'world class' in 2040?! At the rate it's deteriorating it will only be worse in 2040.

      Marc Celliers - 2013-07-10 14:58

      With the way things are falling apart the real question should be, will there still be a JHB city in 2040..

      Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 15:45

      will there still be a World in 2040?

  • Olga Mabaso - 2013-07-10 14:31

    2040? Start sweeping then !

      Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 15:46

      where? at Brooma Lake?

  • Tiyani - 2013-07-10 14:32

    Let the truth be told

  • Jt Goba - 2013-07-10 14:32

    lol Mr Fredd Mokoko mybe you wont even see 2040 JHB becomin “world class african citi”. So scrap that word.

  • Moi - 2013-07-10 14:35

    "Can you imagine living in such a city? You do." "He said the "world class" statement was the city's 2040 growth vision, coined in 2005, and can be seen on billboards and glossy in-flight magazines." Then you should really look at firing your current advertising agency. If it's about a possible future scenario, it should be "you can" or "you will". In it's current format, it's very definitely misleading.

  • Terry Andrews - 2013-07-10 14:36

    Haywood all I can say is thank you. World class!!?? that's funny.

  • Abdul-Ba'ith Sayegh - 2013-07-10 14:37


  • OzzyInSA - 2013-07-10 14:40

    The term "world class" and the word "African" should never be used in the same sentence.

      Martha Sequeira - 2013-07-10 17:05

      @lulu, do yourself a favour and buy yourself a ticket to Paris or London or even Rome - then come back and take up this argument again.

  • Kwena Molekoa - 2013-07-10 14:40

    I've just arrived home from jo'burg and feel sick to the stomach . I bought lunch that I can't eat and my nose is blocked due to urine stink and filthy streets I walked in the CBD . Jo'burg is a real health hazard and thanks to mr Haywood , to hell with the stupid advert !

      Adair Victoria Cross - 2013-07-10 15:04

      Not to mention the security risk Kwena.

      Lionel De Frontignac - 2013-07-10 17:08

      Paid for by tax and rate payers.

  • Nolan Smit - 2013-07-10 14:40

    The Johannesburg CBD is trashy!!

      Wayne Anthony Faulds - 2013-07-10 16:12

      Show me a streeet in JHB that isnt filthy?

  • Adiel De Villiers - 2013-07-10 14:42

    10bn down the drain. more money for the gov to pocket. seriously. WTF.

      Martha Sequeira - 2013-07-10 17:10

      @Adiel, in Sophiatown they are building a park, albeit without public loos...because a handful of visitors will be smoozed by the mayor. So the ONLY time ANYTHING works in JHB is when we need to try and show off for foreigners to prove the stupid "worldclass" slogan.

  • Mandy Pepler - 2013-07-10 14:45

    Was called the City of Gold way back then

      Thomas Fowler - 2013-07-10 15:42

      that didn't work cause they started stealing the gold fillings out your teeth!!!!

      Norman Sander - 2013-07-12 12:32

      Gold mining as an industry is in decline, due mainly to the average 12.5% salary increases for the last 3 years, making the mines non viable. Allow the mines to contract workers on a demand basis and then things will become profitable again. Perhaps when the majority of people realize that indiscriminate breeding of children who will be unemployable should stop....then workers can demand higher wages based on supply and demand. At present due to industrial action RSA is becoming a non viable state. I see more South Africans in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya every day.....and we are building the infrastructure for these countries. We should be doing it at home, but can't because of the colour of our skin. In Nigeria I have not heard or seen anything related to race and the local people are hardworking, intelligent and ripe for learning. They are delighted to have us here.

  • Ian McNaughton - 2013-07-10 14:47

    Way to go Steven:-) how about those corny Castle ads?

      Theo Konings - 2013-07-10 15:30

      Who stills drink Castle anyway ?

      Lulu Rudo Shezi - 2013-07-10 15:32

      build a time machine and go back

  • Stephen Russo - 2013-07-10 14:48

    World class dump is more like it......

  • Ivan Vincent Fourie - 2013-07-10 14:50

    Well i guess cANCer compares "Joburg" to other african countries such as Zimbabwe, Angola and Ethiopia then he thinks it is looking good, we need change seriously

  • Heidie van Dyk - 2013-07-10 14:54

    O! Johannesburg loses world class claim? There is nothing world class about Johannesburg. It is a sh$t hole

  • Carol Harvey - 2013-07-10 14:55

    Dream on Joburg ... you've got a long long way to go ... clean up your act and we'll vote again.

  • Nicola Dee Van As - 2013-07-10 14:56

    Good on ya!

  • Ayanda Sishi - 2013-07-10 14:56

    Cape Town is a world class city. Gauteng needs a leadership change. Then maybe JHB will become a world class city.

      Black B.E.E Diamond - 2013-07-10 16:05

      Really? Just go and look at the cape flats and you will see that Cape Town is anything but world class. In my opinion, the best ru city in SA is probably Durban.

      Lionel De Frontignac - 2013-07-10 17:09

      Unless you live in Cato Manor...

  • Michael Peters - 2013-07-10 14:57

    I am very happy reading that. World Class City. What a joke.

  • grant.henry1 - 2013-07-10 14:57

    World class my @$$. The place stinks of urine, the cabbage laying in the streets and lets not talk about the buildings windows that hasn't been washed in over 20 years.

  • Adair Victoria Cross - 2013-07-10 14:59

    Good.Well done to the resident who challenged this.Every time I see this ad I cringe.

  • Mark Kronenberg - 2013-07-10 14:59

    Ha haha ha - what a joke!!! City of johannesburg and their ad agency have no clue what a "brand" means. Idiots

  • Cindy Naude - 2013-07-10 15:01

    WHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA.....gasp....whahahahahahaaaaaa!!! got my comedy relief for the day! Just can't BELIEVE they'd have the cheek to appeal!!!

  • Adair Victoria Cross - 2013-07-10 15:03

    You were never given a chance to state your case?Probably overslept.Don't waste more rate payers money Mr Mokoko.Fix the city rather.

  • Ndwangu Shandu - 2013-07-10 15:04

    This Steven Haywood wanted publicity and yep he is on the news now.

      Cindy Naude - 2013-07-10 15:06

      who cares if he's in the news?!? FACT is, Johannesburg is DEFINITELY NOT a world class city!

      Samuel Khazamula Bila - 2013-07-10 15:27

      Is there no substance in is arguement or u very stupid n brain wash to read n analise the context in which his arguing.Or you just onother failed product mass revolution of the ANC.Wake up n smell the coffee jack as*

  • Bongo Bongo - 2013-07-10 15:04

    World class in African terms, and getting more so by the day. No doubt.

  • Blackhole_Sun - 2013-07-10 15:05

    Joburg was once the city of gold, not anymore..

      Lionel De Frontignac - 2013-07-10 17:11

      I've always thought Joburg was a dump. A monument to crass materialism. I try to avoid going there at all costs - Give me Dirtbin anyday! :D

  • Jacques - 2013-07-10 15:07

    In a dark way this is pretty funny

      Nsovo Komati Sambo - 2013-07-10 15:11


      Cindy Naude - 2013-07-10 15:11

      absolutely Jacques, I'm still giggling!

  • Deborah Anne Hall Jutzeler - 2013-07-10 15:09

    Too little too late

  • Barry Millward - 2013-07-10 15:12

    Can someone advise. But if I remember Joburg prior to ANC rule it was a bustling City. I went to College in Bree Str, above the old Musica. So what happened to it....Oh ANC mad it a SLUM. There were times back then that we would spent the whole night in Hillbrow. Eating chicken at 3am on a Sunday morning. Bet that happens now (NOT). Why does it take 35 years to rebuild what they destroyed in 5 years. Oh, maybe this is because the corrupt Government spent the peoples money on themselves and the retirement packages!!!!! WAKE UP WORLD SA NEEDS YOU TO INTERVENE AND SORT OUT THIS CORRUPT GOVERNMENT. But the overseas powers are just as corrupt. Does not matter if you are in SA, UK, USA. They are all lining there own pockets and it has to stop.....

      Mandy Pepler - 2013-07-10 15:21

      MMMMm, Fontana chicken, and remember Bimbo's? We had such good times in Hillbrow those days, It was safe, clean, my sister and I used to walk alone at 4 in the morning after a good party.

      Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 15:47

      and Bella Napoli ....

      Lynn O'Shea Comley-White - 2013-07-10 17:15

      And Ciros... does anyone remember that?

      Mandy Pepler - 2013-07-11 08:31

      Yes I remember Bella Napoli (that was the name I was trying to think of)and Ciros. What about the Ambassador, Chelsea Hotel, they were the rougher joints, always fist fights.

      Piet Pompies - 2014-02-07 09:50

      ....and the Goblet in High Point.

  • Pat Flanagan - 2013-07-10 15:13

    If they threw a $100bn at it it wouldn't make a dent. When last did anyone go to the center of Joburg. A person could not even spend a night in Joburg.

  • Barry Millward - 2013-07-10 15:13

    Sorry College was corner of Jeppe and Joubert Street....

  • Sean Cape - 2013-07-10 15:15

    I agree with Haywood, but you have to ask yourself: WHAT GOOD WILL THIS DO? Already it's wasting the taxpayer's -- MY -- money so that the government can appeal. If they lose, then who do you think is going to foot the bill to replace all those adverts in glossy in-flight magazines? Yes. Us. Sure it's a lie, but I can't think of any negative impact it can have...

  • Sedeshan Naidoo - 2013-07-10 15:16

    2040? Hopefully by then I would have saved enough to by myself a place in Camps Bay haha!

  • Michael Tetley - 2013-07-10 15:16

    African class world city more like it.

  • Mhaka Khoza - 2013-07-10 15:19

    Yah ke nnete. Jo'burg is a dump.

  • ARTFUL DODGER. - 2013-07-10 15:19

    CAPE TOWN, does not have such a problem, What you see,is what you get. We have the most beautiful and friendly city in the WORLD.( D.A. run ....and PROUD of it!!!!..)

      Derek Chapman - 2013-07-10 15:31

      You forgot to mention the bucket system in your beautiful city

      Louise Barnard - 2013-07-10 15:35

      Derek is the bucket system only found here is Cape Town??? Hell no!!!!!!!

      Alan Gernet - 2013-07-10 15:57

      @Derek - Buckets are beter than nothing, like in so many other places in SA. Moving to C.T. is on MY bucket list.

      Mandy Pepler - 2013-07-11 08:33

      Derek we are talking about the CBD now not the rural areas dude. CT is paradise compared to JHB, come look for yourself and then talk.

  • Tim Steiner - 2013-07-10 15:20

    How about. "A Third World Class African City"