Thursday, 22 January 2015
Downtown Johannesburg is a dangerous place. In May 1999, not five years after the first democratic government was elected in South Africa, the Guardian published an article entitled: Johannesburg, the most dangerous city on earth? The chilling article gives personal accounts of death by car-jacking, muggings and rapes, and cites frightening statistics about the country’s daily murder and rape rates.
It presents Johannesburg as nothing short of a ‘rough, provisional kind of place’ that has ‘never quite shaken off its arbitrary, squatter-camp beginnings’. (ouch!) It is not a pretty picture.
Johannesburg’s downtown has attracted many illegal immigrants. The CBD, dense with skyscrapers, is also dense with people. If statistics are to be believed 217 000 inner city residents live in 37 000 dwelling units. The threat of vagrancy and crime keeps people away. But. Things are changing.
Fast forward to 2014 and news articles now convey Jo’burg’s downtown as ‘less dodgy’. They describe an urban renaissance transforming the city’s once-feared streets into welcoming urban spaces. One of the major contributors to this renaissance is the Maboneng Precinct.
Here are 10 Reasons Downtown Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct is the Place to Live, Eat and Visit… Continued