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

Cranes in the Sky

Graffiti artist in Johannesburg. Photo credit: Mike Wilson

To bring light to the urban distress, artists protested in various forms. Graffiti art with messages is the normal wall tapestry. In 2015, an art movement begin to identify blighted buildings by painting them pink.

South Africa had to deal with its urban areas, and the increasing populations moving there. Added to internal migration to Johannesburg was an explosion of African migrants and refugees from countries north of the southernmost nation on the continent.

The instability throughout the Sub-Saharan brought migrants seeking opportunity and safety. The stressed economy in South Africa faltered more. Between education and healthcare, the infrastructure could not accommodate the millions that moved there. In response, strict immigration and citizen policies were created, making it difficult for both citizen and migrant, as it created a hostile climate.

To date, South Africa absorbs the most migrants annually than any other country in the world.

Over the years, violent mobs entering into immigrant enclaves then attacking foreign groups raised concerns. South Africa became a country dealing with serious xenophobia.

However, it has been these same immigrants that have become a critical part of the economy. Studies show that they are more likely to hold a diploma or university degree, as well as, own a business. Along with those of South Asian descent, as the country has a massive Indian population that begin relocating there in the 19th century.

Two of the largest immigrant groups are Zimbabweans and Nigerians. Past tensions still linger today. Nonetheless, South Africa must tap them too to develop its cities, as these groups continue to enterprise.

Although, the agrienterprise model is new, it is promising.

Kaia Niambi Shivers covers diaspora, news and features.

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