Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The myth of "crumbling" South Africa.

If you're a South Africa or someone who has recently visited the country, take a cruise over to these two websites and tell me if you notice anything out of place.

The Death of Johannesburg
The Death of Durban.

I'll allow you a few moment to stop laughing before I carry on. Better ? Good. Let's continue.

The sheer mordacity that someone would choose this time where both the above cities are enjoying growth and development like never before in their history, to try and make the argument that they are in fact in decline , well.......that's beyond me.

Let's start with Johanessburg. If you've been to Johanessburg you'd know that while it's been suffering from inner city decay for many years now (like any other city in the world?) certainly the masses of new developments easily and massively outweigh this.

The following video was made in 2004 (at the start the real boom going on now) describes how quickly and vibrant growth and development are taking place in Johannesburg. Ironically the piece is actually pointing out issues that have come from Johannessburg developing too quickly.

Johanessburg : Urban regeneration.

Now with that said, despite the huge money, Johanessburg is arguably a crap place. Certainly it is a vibrant exciting city with beautiful suburbs, night life etc....but it has a high crime rate and less than glamorous parts too. So we can understand some critique in this regard. But imagine for a moment you start a website to document all the new amazing development in johannesburg since 1994 versus the so called decay. Ask yourself honestly which one is going to be the bigger website. I'd say for every case of "decay" you could document 100 cases of new development. It's because we've been through this little thing called an "economic" boom. You that left the country might not have noticed, but we sure have...so spare us your stupid bullshit.

Now Johanessburg is one thing...but to portray the beautiful city of Durban in the way the Durban blog does? That is beyond insane. Then to next actually propose the infrastructure has gotten worse in recent years is so profoundly absurd that one has to wonder what the point of these blogs are? What are they trying to do? To demonstrate how entirely out of touch they are with South Africa? Certainly they can't expect any South African or person who has recently been here to take them seriously?

It's really sad that people would dedicate so much time to trying to portray South Africa in this grossly distorted light. I can't think they're truly stupid enough to really believe their own hype, so I think they must on some level be aware of their spite.

I shouldn't have to even spend a minute of my time debunking such bollocks. Durban and the surrounding coastal towns is a beautiful city and area with glorious pristine beaches and world class infrastructure. I'll post the first three videos I can find on it on youtube to hopefully add some balance to the poor unsuspecting person who might have come across those sites.

F for fail. If you want to make critiques about the country that will resonate with people, try do so with a modicum of sanity. If you must "cry wolf" at least do so with more subtlety than a rapists in a nunnery.


Anonymous said...

Way of the world Rooster mate... bad news = headline grabbing news.
Though it never ceases to amaze me how South Africa has spawned so many blinkered pessimists, hell bent on running the country into the ground (DoD, DoJ & SAS are a spawning pit for these amoeba's that could do with a massive dose of chlorine)
They are almost like spoilt children who have now been told they have to share their toys and, like pretentious brats, they want to take the ball and go home!

The Rooster said...


Nice way of putting it anon.

Anonymous said...

as a Zimbabwean, I agree with this blog site...almost all countruies have gotten better over the years. the media targets specific areas and creates a new reality.

zimbabwe is thriving. comrade Mugabe is always made to look bad in the eyes of the western proaganda media. Zimbabwe is better now than it ever was under white rule.

i'm sick of the racist media making blacks look bad...there arent any countries that are worse off now than before. all countries improve.

The Rooster said...

Sarcasm only works when it's obvious to the other party that the claims you are making are absurd in relation to the reality they are proposing.

To try and compare Zimbabwe to South Africa : Once again one the poorest country in Africa , and the other the richest country. One the most democratic and the other the least ....is stupid.

Anyone who ever catches themselbes comparing South Africa to Zimbabwe needs to give themselves a serious smack through the face.

Anonymous said...

The deathofjohannesburg site is very misleading in my opinion. That site had me thinking before I went to SA and to Johbg, where I spent most of my 6 months in the country, that it must be a god-forsaken city where as soon as you step outside you are dead. That is far from the truth as I learned. The author of that blog, who went by "Real Realist", took one small slice of the worst areas - Hillbrow, Berea, etc. and passed them off as representing all of Johbg. He does not tell you of the revitalization that goes on in the CBD around the Carton Center, the liveliness of Newtown or that much of Johbg is not not like that. As for Durban, I can not comment because I never made it down there, but I have heard there are a lot of muggings there.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rooster & g - man

Get a room.

The Rooster said...

G man , the point is not that Johanessburg or Durban are all one big paradise...but to take some photos of the crappest part of the inner city of Johanessburg and try and portray it as all dump is extremely dishonest. You don't go into a New York Ghetto and say "this is New York!"

The main point is that the last few years have seen exceptional development. You can't go anywhere in South Africa without seeing new high income housing complexes, gold estates , shopping malls , high rises etc etc....money is streaming in and the country is booming. We never had anything like this before 1994 when the country was in stagnation. Not since the 1970's when the greater South African white middle classes wealth emerged have we had anything similiar.

As for Durban I have travelled there frequently and you will still find beautiful pristine and clean beaches everywhere with new resorts and infrastructure going up all the time. They can't keep up with demand in either city. To come and say "hey Durban was once nice but now it's a craphole" is just ludicrous when it's 10 times nicer now that there has ever been.

Back in the day we had nothing in South Africa compared to what we currently have. We may not have the greatest country in the world but we've certainly improved a lot. Any statment to the contrary is misinformed and likely made by an expat who simply has no idea of what it's like here now.

The Rooster said...

To the expats...Ask any south african still living here to be honest and answer the following question.

Do you deny that there has been a great deal of new development in South Africa like we've never seen before in the last few years with new plans being made everyday ?

I don't care how negative of peccimistic they are , there is no way they could honestly deny that.