Gentrification aggressively displaces the poor, causing the most vulnerable among us to be rounded up and tossed onto the streets. Johannesburg’s central business district (CBD) is ground zero for this phenomenon in SA. Johannesburg is currently experiencing state-sponsored revitalisation, giving it the ability to market itself as a "world-class African city" with lucrative opportunities for private developers. However, behind the facade of luxury apartments and trendy bars are 60,000 people with insecure tenure and unsafe housing. Following the fall of apartheid, black Africans moved in large numbers to the once-prohibited downtown. White residents and nearly all businesses quickly escaped to the gated northern suburbs. Two decades later, the young – often white – middle class is fleeing those cosy suburbs. The CBD, once designated a "no-go zone", due to its reputation as overcrowded, violent and black, is now an appealing urban renewal neighbourhood. Tens of thousands of destitute...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.