No 26 - 2005
Images of Egoli
The Inner City:
Once upon a time there was a mining camp
which grew into a modern and vibrant city,
with parks and plazas, endless streams of cars,
stores filled with local and imported goods,
coffee shops and restaurants.
Carlton Centre was a fashionable shopping mall
with an upmarket hotel and scores of tempting
boutiques for tourists and locals.
The women congregated at Stuttafords tea garden,
the men (of importance) at the Rand Club.
It was select, undemocratic and exquisite -
for some -
1988 marked the 100 year celebration of the city.
Some large companies had already moved away.
The women frequented the new northern suburbia shopping malls.
And the city was losing blood,
slowing down, heart pumping erratically.
As the pulse weakened, so the pickpockets, gangsters and
street people, petty thieves and thugs closed in
to take its rich pickings.
But the change was fairly slow, even imperceptible.
A little shabbier, a little dirtier, a little more democratic.
In 1990 negotiations started to release our national hero from
The ripples of change grew to quakes of seismic size.
One fateful day in April of 1993,
some 50,000 Zulus marched to the Inner City.
From early morning they poured in from the east
to the Library Gardens, City Hall.
Dancing, ululating, strong and orderly in
impis led by a warrior with spear and shield.
They filled the pavements and the streets,
swung kieries and looked fierce.
The city shuddered and groaned.
The people fled in fear down one-way streets, illegally.
And the shock waves were the final blow to the Inner City's
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