It is a place where money and dreams flourish or fail. It started on a piece of “left over” land and today the heart of Johannesburg still pulsates with a noisy mix of buildings, cash and culture.

The CBD began on a piece of land called the Randjeslaagte triangle, between surrounding farms, Braamfontein, Doornfontein and Turffontein. It grew out of the gold that lay beneath its surface and created rich men and paupers. It made dreams come true and crushed hopes.

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Above the ground

Skyscrapers, bulldozers and cranes fill the skyline as developers try to restore the city to its old glory. From recycled buildings to recycled goods, citizens do their part to inject life back to the derelict buildings and littered streets. Rejuvenation and regeneration is in the air.

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On the ground

Barefoot soles, women in six inch heels and kids in their Toughees all sing the song of daily footsteps on the ground. Upmarket stores are jostled by street hawkers to create the commerce of these streets. And still today, immigrants retrace the steps of the first settlers in search of the elusive gold.

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Playground

Jo’burg is definitely not a dull boy. Besides its vibrant sport and music life, many games are played within the city. By day, the streets become race tracks for taxis vying for first prize, and by night it is playground to thugs and misfits, who engage in a cat and mouse chase with the law. There are no rules in this playground.

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Under the ground

The city began with gold mines, and continues to thrive on activities that are beneath the radar. Underground art, music, informal employment and underhand dealings all form part of the city’s culture. And now, as acid mine water threatens the city’s future, it remains home to a diverse community.

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Money, smoke and magic

Johannesburg is an assortment of people on the hustle – from those climbing the high-powered corporate ladder to entrepreneurs who make the city their playground to those who eke out an existence on its streets. Watch one of these hustlers work his magic in this video. Introducing “Cobra”: a magician who claims to be the […]

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Child’s play

Children’s muscles and cognitive skills can only be developed through play. This clip discusses five different types of play children need to obtain maximum development so  they don’t struggle in their teenage years and in adulthood. For the accompanying story, click the following link: http://journalism.co.za/indepth/jozicity/?p=299

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Plaiting hair and peddling pills

Plaiting hair and peddling pills

Despite abortion being legal in South Africa, women in Johannesburg and elsewhere still opt for illegal procedures. The easiest method seems to be  buying abortion pills sold on the streets in the city centre.

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Freedom, flight and urban running

Freedom, flight and urban running

Urban Running: Parkour in the city Dhirta Jinabhai and Sakeena Suliman Jo’burgers get together in the CBD to practise their parkour moves. Parkour, also known as PK and urban running, is a fairly new sport which involves using the body’s natural agility to move from one spot to another. Check out the video to watch […]

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