Saturday, 06 August 2011

Urban spaces: Johannesburg

Downtown Johannesburg is starting to look like a war-zone -- this building has become unusable -- every single window is covered with cardboard and plastic bags to cover it up. Like other buildings near this one, decay has been allowed to set in.

Like car jackings in other countries, in South Africa, specifically Johannesburg in Gauteng Province corruption has set into the property sector. It works like this: All the paperwork that accompanies property owenership gets falsified and enters the system... the lawful owners finally have to defend or try and proof that they are the lawful owners... I have in my whole life never thought that it is possible to steal a building...

The local govenment, led by the ANC party that also governs the national government is helpless in the face of these and other forms of corruption. But enough about politics and corrupt officials or dysfunctional systems...

Buildings are living spaces and reflect something about society -- hinting at a past era -- or providing insight of the current state and people's attitudes towards their environment.
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