Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Unless you visit about once a week, emerging from the Gautrain station in Sandton can be a disorientating experience. Nothing screams "out-of-towner" quite like standing on the corner of West Street and Rivonia Road and trying to work out where you are. What happened to that building that was on the corner last time I was here? Can there really be enough lawyers in the country to fill that massive new structure? And that’s just one of four law offices in the area. The Sandton skyline tells the story of how fundamentally the SA economy has changed over the past 20 years. It is dominated by the head offices of banks, insurance companies, law firms and auditors. It even tells the story of the increasing pace of that change. The large head offices of service companies become redundant in a matter of years and are replaced by much bigger ones. Part of this built-in obsolescence has to do with rental contracts that speak to the same sort of determination that obliges us to upgrade our cel...

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