I was saddened to read about the rapid downturn of the middle of Jo'burg in the past few years. It's as if everyone has forgotten about the City of Gold and left it to turn into the City of Rubble.
I know a lot of it has to do with big companies (including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange) moving out of the CBD and moving to areas like Sandton, but had the crime not been so bad and the city was looked after, most of these businesses wouldn't have moved or even shutdown. The middle of Jo'burg should really be like the middle of London, Paris or New York, not downtown Bairut after the Israelis have visited.
I've not been into the middle of town since I was studying at Wits (nearly 8 years ago), and it was no where near the dump it's become. It's sad to think I used to run some fantastic road races, like the Wits 15k, through some of large parts of the middle of town. Mum and dad even used to live in trendy Hillbrow many years ago and I'm sure mum will remember some of the derelict places in these photos.
It's such a shame. I really hope the goverment, with the backing of some large local businesses, can sort things out and tidy the middle of Jo'burg and do it quickly. Not just for all the tourists who'll flood the city in 4 years time, but for the people of Jo'burg who have fond memories of the centre of town.