Johannesburg residents walk around in an inner city which has parts that are dirty and dangerous, while private companies, which enjoy moneyed power, have different and much better conditions, writes the author.
Local government should not claim it is democratic and functioning in the interests of its citizens if only select parts of Johannesburg’s inner-city, in the form of the Central Improvement District, are looked after by private sector companies, writes Ebrahim Harvey.
After reading a piece on the worst-ever crisis in the City of Johannesburg I did a few months ago, the founder of Olitzki Property Holdings (OPH), Gerald Olitzki, contacted my publisher and got hold of me. It turned out that while he agreed with most of my views and analysis of the terrible decline of Joburg, he was eager to invite and show me that there was simultaneously a very successful countervailing story in the CBD he was the architect of and which he firmly believed the public needs to know more about.
That is how I got to be invited last week by Olitzki to his smart, very neat and orderly OPH offices in Marshalltown in downtown Joburg, and taken on a tour, mainly along Main Street, where Anglo American is also based, and past Gandhi Square, now renamed Vuso House. Strategically situated at a major transport artery servicing the area, it is estimated that about 250…