all the small things
JO BUITENDACH: Saving Chancellor House
A few locals took it upon themselves to clean the historic site’s windows. The building is in a sorry state as the city’s managers don’t seem to care
Once Chancellor House contained the buzzing legal practice of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Then it became a heritage site — but the space sits empty. The street outside is lined with rubbish and the stench of urine pervades the surrounding area.
Last week, a small group of concerned Joburg inner-city firms decided to act. They took it on themselves to wash the windows — which had become filthy from years of neglect — to do what little they could to improve the state of this important building. It might seem a small act, but it speaks to the importance of having a civil society that cares. It is also an indication that authorities don’t...