Thursday, December 10, 2015

Johannesburg's Apartheid: Remains of the Day

Now that we are back in Johannesburg, it's time to explore this city and its volatile past. First thing on our agenda, driving through the downtown area, was to visit the Carlton Center, and the tallest tower in the city. Its 50 stories rises above other later buildings, as a monument to one of the last structures built in a pre-apartheid community.

From here, you can see many of the other business structures in the downtown area. 

 Below the Carlton center, is an artistically constructed two-story shopping mall, originally for the white population of Dutch and other Europeans. This day, we were the only whites in the mall from what we could tell! It's always good to experience what others have in the past, especially when it has included segregation. 

 Check out this African style prom dress:

Although Johannesburg, and in fact, all of South Africa is under black rule, things are still sorting themselves out, as was evidenced by a trash collector's strike occurring under our noses while we sightseeing. They wanted higher wages, and so, went about the downtown area, upsetting all the trash cans. 

This was the result:

What a contrast to the clean and orderly mall above!

And so, life goes on:

Evidently, the current government (ANC: African National Congress: center-left wing/i.e. social democracy)  is more communistic than democratic, where the guys at the top have it all, and offer very little, including education, to the common folks. Just goes to show that in any culture the 'all about me' mentality never works!

Here is their charter, which sounds good written down, but not necessarily in practice:

This was Nelson Mandella's dream party, although somehow, I think it became corrupted due to the old tribal mentality. Not too sure he had the present government in mind, when he went to prison for 25 years for supporting it. 

Many old buildings, built during European rule, have been left to ruin, as the post office above. . .

But, there are signs of progress (?) such as the Casino . . . I question the wisdom of tempting those with little money to take a chance. I'm betting it has sent some to economic ruin. 

Lastly, this photo of the casino clock tower. . .

Is it telling us that time is running out? There is no time like the present? Or time is insignificant in South African culture? 

Take your pick!

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