Female gardener tending to organic crops and picking up a bountiful basket full of fresh produce outside of Johannesburg on rooftop.

Green movement in Johannesburg sparks an urban African economic revolution

Urban Decline in Post-Apartheid

In a country with a majority black class, the minority whites that once ruled in a brutal colonial authority then a bloody, segregationist Apartheid regime, siphoned much of the wealth and still control today’s economy.

When Apartheid ended, whites maintained control over the country’s best resources—mines, prime real estate and banks.

Mostly, whites live in the suburbs or small white towns that preserve their wealth. Metropolises like Johannesburg were left to rot.

Cities like Johannesburg fell apart. Poverty led to high crime and a social implosion of the inner city.

At the same time, jobs left the country, other Africans migrated to the country, causing more competition. Economic uncertainties climbed.

Once a sprawling city where the world flocked to get a taste of an early 19th century gold rush, now Johannesburg struggles in urban decline.

Dotting the landscape of the inner city are mammoth buildings decaying from the inside out. Around the tall buildings lives much of the city’s residents, in informal shacks or squatter settlements.

White hipster in Johannesburg. Photo credit: Keenan Constance

In the years after Apartheid, a real estate boom commenced. Speculators bought the towering edifices in Johannesburg, but never developed them.

Similar to Detroit, Mi. and Newark, Nj., investors and hedge fund companies purchased real estate; however, they wait for the city to get better to develop it.

After decades of neglect and abandonment by previous owners, the once magnificent skyscrapers decomposed more. Then artists stepped in. Next, African immigrants from other countries forced South Africa to redevelop its economic plan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

An Interview with Percussionist Wilson ‘Chembo’ Corniel: art is an improvisational expression

Next Story

Happy New Year!

Latest from Africa & the Diaspora