Johannesburg, more commonly known as Jo’burg or Jozi, is a rapidly changing city and the vibrant heart of South Africa. The city is flourishing. Its centre is smartening up and new loft apartments and office developments are being constructed at a rapid pace. The cultural district of Newtown, with its theatres, restaurants, museums and jazz clubs, is livelier than ever. Other inner city suburbs like Braamfontein and Doornfontein continue to gentrify since the World Cup and now house the coolest club, bars and cultural spaces.
A thriving black middle class has risen up from the ashes of apartheid, both in the suburbs and in the famous township of Soweto.
However, the wealth divide remains stark. The affluenza of Rosebank and Sandton breeds discontent in desperately poor, neighbouring townships such as Alexandra and Diepskloot. Politicians stagnate while crime continues to disrupt daily life.
Still, Jo’burg is an incredibly friendly, unstuffy city and there’s a lot to see here, from sobering reminders of the country’s recent past at the Apartheid Museum to the progressive streets of Melville.