Gushwell Brooks ~ Reporter’s Notebook: Joburg, A Tale Of Two Cities
If you had to ask Gauteng Premier David Makhura or Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau to describe the city of Johannesburg, they would tell you that it is “a World Class African City”. It makes sense: that is how you get politicians and businessmen from Shanghai, Washington DC, Berlin and New Delhi to board business class flights and private jets to sign multibillion rand deals in Africa’s most valuable square mile. With all due respect to Abuja and Lagos, Johannesburg is where the heart of the African economy beats.
Add to that Johannesburg’s international, cosmopolitan appeal with trendy fashions, expensive supercars and cool nightlife, and it makes you feel as if you are in the middle of Manhattan on a Friday night. Beneath the glitter and glam, money is sheltered from the underbelly of a Darwinian struggle for survival, where poverty and deprivation leave human beings tussling for basic essentials such as food, shelter and even water.