Archive | Underground
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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A street gambler's story

A street gambler’s story

Although Thapelo is only 20 years’ old, gambling is a part of his daily routine. He talks about illegal gambling in the Johannesburg CBD and shares his experiences.

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White gold

White gold

An insider reveals some trade secrets when selling fake gold in the CBD.

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Jumble sale heaven

The city centre is fabled for its good deals on clothes. But one street tops them all as a dealmaker’s paradise.

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Selling abortion pills underground

In the past, desperate young women would subject themselves to dangerous rituals in dirty environments to rid themselves of unwanted pregnancies. Women in South Africa have won the right to safe abortions at no cost in the public health system. Tebogo Mahlaela finds out why the trade in illegal abortions is still rife in the […]

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Making real money from fake goods

Since the 19th century gold rush brought Johannesburg to life, hundreds of thousands of people have been attracted to the CBD with the aim of accumulating wealth from this precious metal. Today’s rush is fake gold being sold illegally by hawkers and traders. People aiming to make quick money are disguising fake gold for the […]

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No place of safety in the city

When Sophia Kabongo* heard about new threats of xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg a familiar feeling returned to her. The same feeling she had when she was in the camps in Malawi after leaving her home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I [thought] where can I go again? Where can I [re]start my life again? […]

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White waters run dry

White waters run dry

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The downtown gamble

It’s Tuesday afternoon and the Noord Street taxi rank is alive with activity. Throngs of people bustle along the pavement, vendors sell their goods and street gamblers bet their salaries on card games and dice. In the corner of the rank, a group of men are gathered around in a circle cheering. Someone has just […]

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What lies beneath

Water-what lies beneath the CBD Searching for gold, miners tried to make it big in the central business district of Johannesburg. Today, miners have been replaced by small business owners who are also trying to make it. Unfortunately our mining past is the cause of water problems and radioactivity in the CBD today. For Silence […]

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