Have you ever driven through the Joburg CBD and wondered how its teeming pavements and hodgepodge of skyscrapers were once a small, dusty camp of miners’ tents? Or meandered down a jacaranda-lined suburban street and thought about the old houses you pass? Joburg nut Marc Latilla did, and in between posting on his popular history blog, Johannesburg 1912, has put together a delightful coffee-table book all about the 132-year-old City of Gold.

What is particularly cool about this new volume, titled Johannesburg Then and Now (published by Penguin Random House SA), is that Latilla illustrates the passing of time through comparative photos. He has painstakingly sought out old snaps from various archives and juxtaposed them with new images. So, for example, there are two shots of the Barbican — built in 1929 and once the tallest building in Joburg. It’s pictured in its sepia heyday and then recently, following a huge revamp that pulled it back from demolition by neglect. Latilla has ...

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