daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Continental Forums > Africa > Southern Africa > South Africa > Regional Development and Discussion > Gauteng > Johannesburg > Discussion



Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old March 31st, 2011, 05:56 AM   #1
italmikescar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 8
Likes (Received): 1

Joburg Inner City decline of the 1980s

Hi everyone,
I am doing a project on Joburg's inner city renewal for my urban planning class.

So far a lot of the reading I have done on Joburg's inner city, point to a decline happening in the 1990's.

I also have read comments on this forum of people remembering trips into the very attractive, fun, and busy inner city of the 1980's-early 1990's.

However I was reading on the Joburg City website, that the decline of the CBD started in the 1980's, when all the department stores closed up and moved to the suburbs.

I was just wondering if anyone has any information on why this happened. And if the city was indeed still an attraction into the 1990's, or was it just a business centre to go to work, but lost its retail and entertainment functions after the early 1980's.

Any information you all have would be great.

Thanks
italmikescar no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
 
Old March 31st, 2011, 06:40 AM   #2
SA BOY
back in the real world
 
SA BOY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Republic of Waterfall Estate
Posts: 8,982
Likes (Received): 50

Inner city blight started around 1990 and based based on 2 significant factors. a) the emergance of the northern suburbs as an alternative buisness enviroment (starting with Randburg, Rosebank and finally Sandton) close to and in teh Affluent Norther suburbs so people no longer had to commute to the CBD to shop and play and b) the removal of the pass laws resulting in a massive migration of non white citizens into the CBD which they were not allowed to do in the past. This changed the demographics and economics of the inner city and Hilbrow especially went into a cataphstrophic decline with virtulaly overnight buildings becoming slums. Its simmilar to the story effecting places like Detroit and could be summed up as White Flight a term coined when Detriot started looking like a war zone (and still does). Added to this the overall changes in the country with a massive trasition ending 48 Years of Apartheit, rising crime, mass emigration and buisnesses unsure of who their customer base really was. for exaple for years there were no good inner city grocery stores, the CBD resembeled a morge with lights out at 7pm and everyone leaving for the burbs,as people once commuted into teh city to shop and then stoped as the burbs offerd the same but in a safer enviroment, the retail stors closed up as well anf followed the trade. When the inner city demograhocs changed the stores werent ready for thier new customers and feared them. 15 years later the inner city is again cool to live in, bad elements slowey being moved out, the city investing into the inner city and retail making a big comeback as an emerging non white middle class is now the domenent force in SA.

Others will add their opinion but thats it in a nut shell
__________________
Build High-The Pixies
SA BOY no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2011, 04:17 PM   #3
italmikescar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 8
Likes (Received): 1

Thanks for the info.

Was there any nightlife in the CBD before? Or did everyone hang out in Hillbrow?
italmikescar no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2011, 01:58 AM   #4
makoppa
Registered User
 
makoppa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hamburg, Johannesburg & Durban
Posts: 392
Likes (Received): 6

Yes there was great nightclubs in Commissioner, Claim and Fox Street.
Dungeon club, Heaven, Idols and Xtasy spring to mind from 1990.. I patiently wait for this to return. I'm back home in a month and wonder what Main St. Life will be like to stay in. Stayed in Mapumgubwe Hotel in Marshall St last visit.
makoppa no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2011, 05:16 AM   #5
SA BOY
back in the real world
 
SA BOY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Republic of Waterfall Estate
Posts: 8,982
Likes (Received): 50

the core CBD had limited residential in the old days and Hilbrow was a dedicated high density residential area with most of the play things there. As Makoppa said the CBD had some great clubs, same went for Durban and CT.
__________________
Build High-The Pixies
SA BOY no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2011, 12:28 PM   #6
marc_za
Barragan Rules!
 
marc_za's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Johannesburg
Posts: 49
Likes (Received): 4

Clubs......The Doors, ESP (End Street-damn that was a great club to on a hot Sunday afternoon) and of course....uhummmm.....The Summit Club in Hillbrow.
marc_za no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2011, 02:23 PM   #7
italmikescar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 8
Likes (Received): 1

I always hear Joburg residents have fond memories of the CBD and Hillbrow.
However since the 1980's, many residents starting fleeing the inner city and stopped going there for entertainment, work, and shopping, preferring to go to the northern suburbs.

If people loved the inner city so much and enjoyed it so much, how come they started not going there anymore starting years before the 1994 elections, etc?

From the sounds of it, the CBD started losing its luster in the early 1980's when all the big stores closed. So if people loved it so much, why did they stop as early as the 1980's, from going down there?

Last edited by italmikescar; April 1st, 2011 at 02:53 PM.
italmikescar no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2011, 07:01 AM   #8
SA BOY
back in the real world
 
SA BOY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Republic of Waterfall Estate
Posts: 8,982
Likes (Received): 50

no I belive late 80's early 90's was when the rot set in. I have fond memories of going to into Joburg as a kid in the 80s and it was fine then.

A big part was the abolition of the pass control laws introduced into South Africa in 1887 by the British to contol labor movments on the mines around Kimberley. Reading martins merridiths, Blood, gold and war the making of South AFrica, facinating book .
__________________
Build High-The Pixies
SA BOY no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #9
Jakes1
Jakes1
 
Jakes1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: somewhere
Posts: 3,532
Likes (Received): 119

My 10cents worth.

In the US most mid-sized cities are struggling to revive CBDs. Empty hotels sit on every corner. In Dayton, Ohio there are buildings like the Barbican in Jozi that have been empty for over 30 years! All the big department stores closed and moved out. Empty lots indicate where buildings were razed. Even bigger cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus struggle with this (not to mention Detroit).

There are a multitude of reasons. IMO the biggest reason is the lack of public transport and an over-reliance on cars. In Dayton only poor people take the bus. Middle-class people have their own cars. And CBDs are not built for personal car ownership. Without public transport you can't expect big department stores to remain.

Johannesburg shifted the entire infrastructure towards gearing for the personal car in the 1970's. Shopping malls like Killarney, EastGate, Sandton etc sprung up. The money flowed there because parking is easy and cheap. Stores in the CBD closed down. Johannesburg's decline started in the 1970's already. When the Carlton was built in 1973 people were already worried about the move towards Braamfontein, and many said that the Carlton was on the wrong side of town.

At least Johannesburg CBD is full of people. My travels in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana and other states show empty CBDs. Vacant, is the word I am looking for. Everything happens in malls on the periphery of town. Everyone says the CBD is dead and dangerous. I have been advised by most people not to walk downtown. Yet there are revitalization programs - loft apartments, small boutique hotels etc. But for the most part it is quite sad. In Dayton the train station closed in 1988. The Greyhound Bus Terminal closed in 2011. The CBD is clean, but sterile and vacant. It is sad and scary. And people here are calling it the end of downtowns in the mid-west. At least Jozi is still very much alive. Perfect and dead or disorganized and vibrant? I choose the latter. NYC is a mess, if you expect clean and organized. Litter, graffiti and urban chaos everywhere. But it is alive! If you want perfect, live in a Casino-themed hotel. I love NYC because it is so raw and edgy. I have come to the conclusion that I like layered cities. Perfect is boring. To me NYC, and Jozi, is perfectly stunning!
Jakes1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #10
SA BOY
back in the real world
 
SA BOY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Republic of Waterfall Estate
Posts: 8,982
Likes (Received): 50

well written Jakes
__________________
Build High-The Pixies
SA BOY no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 2nd, 2014, 10:57 PM   #11
Klippies
Registered User
 
Klippies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Ebeltoft
Posts: 1
Likes (Received): 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by italmikescar View Post
Hi everyone,
I am doing a project on Joburg's inner city renewal for my urban planning class.

So far a lot of the reading I have done on Joburg's inner city, point to a decline happening in the 1990's.

I also have read comments on this forum of people remembering trips into the very attractive, fun, and busy inner city of the 1980's-early 1990's.

However I was reading on the Joburg City website, that the decline of the CBD started in the 1980's, when all the department stores closed up and moved to the suburbs.

I was just wondering if anyone has any information on why this happened. And if the city was indeed still an attraction into the 1990's, or was it just a business centre to go to work, but lost its retail and entertainment functions after the early 1980's.

Any information you all have would be great.

Thanks

Hi! I know this is a very old post but I wanted to answer because I was there. I was born in Jo'burg & was working in the city centre in the late 1980s & early 1990s. I was in my late teens & early 20s, so also went to many night clubs, cinemas & restaurants in the city centre at night.

Jo'burg's city centre declined because it became too dangerous! In the late 1980's & early 1990s there were a series of bomb blasts around South Africa & many were in Jo'burg's central business district (CBD). Many nightclubs & restaurants were targeted. Read "1988 in South Africa" & years around it on Wikipedia for details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_in_South_Africa.

I seem to remember 3 nightclubs in Hillbrow (Boobs, Cafe Zurich & Why Not Club - 1988) & one in Rockey Street, Yeoville (Rockafellas?) being bombed during that time period. You can read one of the legal documents from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission regarding the bombing of the Why Not Club here: http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/decisi...01/ac21046.htm

I was waiting for my bus home, across the road from Vanderbijlpark bus terminal when a bomb exploded there on 21 September 1988. If I left my office during working hours, I frequently found myself trapped by thousands of angry mobs doing the toyi-toyi (look it up! ), who were then dispersed by police with tear gas. Jo'burg inner city was a frightening place at the end of apartheid & onwards! We took our lives into our hands venturing into it.
__________________
- Klippies -
(A South African Living In Denmark)

Klausenburg, dysan1, romanSA liked this post

Last edited by Klippies; July 2nd, 2014 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo
Klippies no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 3rd, 2014, 12:49 PM   #12
Dynamoe
Registered User
 
Dynamoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 475
Likes (Received): 107

Very interesting! Thanks for that. I see that there where 10 bombings in the JHB CBD alone in 1988.

Looking at the list of victims in the Why Not Club bombing in Hillbrow, its interesting to see that the victims where black. Never knew they where allowed to be in Hillbrow at the time. Let alone party so late at night.
Dynamoe no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 3rd, 2014, 01:52 PM   #13
nomnolence
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 258
Likes (Received): 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamoe View Post
Very interesting! Thanks for that. I see that there where 10 bombings in the JHB CBD alone in 1988.

Looking at the list of victims in the Why Not Club bombing in Hillbrow, its interesting to see that the victims where black. Never knew they where allowed to be in Hillbrow at the time. Let alone party so late at night.
There was a sizeable (mostly illegal) black population living in Hillbrow at this point. Being illegal meant unscrupulous landlords could charge them more (which led to overcrowding to afford inflated rents, but also saw white people leave for the suburbs). Without rights, buildings were often poorly maintained. It didn't take long to become a slum.

The Goldstone judgement (1982) largely halted the capacity of the apartheid State to evict black tenants given the State's inability to provide a sufficient quantity (not quality) of alternate housing. So even though it was illegal, the only option for the State was to use the police to harass people. [Not necessarily that different from today... Blue Moonlight judgement of 2011 and the more recent ConCourt rulings on street hawkers]
__________________

Jakes1 liked this post
nomnolence no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2014, 04:15 PM   #14
RODDAS
Registered User
 
RODDAS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: London
Posts: 9,422
Likes (Received): 2981

Can Jo'burg's inner city heritage be rescued?

__________________
"Let the African think, and think, and think." Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
RODDAS está en línea ahora   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2014, 04:31 PM   #15
BenjaminEli
Shrewd
 
BenjaminEli's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: top floor
Posts: 4,875
Likes (Received): 8636

I reckon knock that (post office) down, it looks like a backpackers hostel more than a post office anyway...They should replace it with something modern.. With black and grey exterior...with glass doors and tiled floors...Even if its just a library...That building is not worth restoring..
__________________
All Credit Are Mine!
BenjaminEli no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #16
Dynamoe
Registered User
 
Dynamoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 475
Likes (Received): 107

What! No! That is a prime building for some government function. Possibly a police / law enforcement function.

Haha, maybe even the IEC!?
Dynamoe no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2014, 06:12 PM   #17
BenjaminEli
Shrewd
 
BenjaminEli's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: top floor
Posts: 4,875
Likes (Received): 8636

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamoe View Post
What! No! That is a prime building for some government function. Possibly a police / law enforcement function.

Haha, maybe even the IEC!?




Ahhh.....you back to recycling tissues i see...
__________________
All Credit Are Mine!

Dynamoe liked this post
BenjaminEli no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2014, 08:33 PM   #18
dysan1
More development
 
dysan1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Durban, Singapore
Posts: 17,512
Likes (Received): 323

Destroy all history?
__________________
Have your own opinion
dysan1 no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.2.5 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!
Forum server management by DaiTengu