A city in transition
Founded in a gold rush during the 1800s, the early days set Johannesburg’s character as busy and constantly on the move. Many came from all over the country, continent and the world to seek their fortunes. Some prospered, others did not.
By many accounts, men arrived first, followed later by women. There was no official racial segregation in the city during its infancy. Harsher and harsher racially oppressive laws took root in the city as governments and politics shifted over time. The city bears these scars today.
Since the early 1990s, and informally before that that, official racial segregation lapsed. Some people and businesses moved out of the city centre, others moved in. The policies and plans for the inner city are born with great flourish. Some live, others flounder. But the residents of Joburg keep moving into every available space, physically, financially and emotionally. Some prosper, other don’t.