Johannesburg - This is my world. The City in within which I spent the first 22 Years of my life.

Johannesburg - Yes, This is My City

This is the city in which I grew up in, although not born here, My formative years and earliest memories are of this city. My schooling and vast periods of my working life was within in this city, I have lived within this city and also a nearby town, for 54 years.

My formative years, were here, my foundations and who I grew up into, are unbeknown to me at the time, had its roots there.

This is may well become an outline and adding of other Hubs that could or would link up and flesh out other pertinant points.

Then this would be what I hope to see it grow as my over the years as The Just_Rodney actual Hub Site.

Where is it

Johannesburg, South Africa - Time zone is GMT +2 hours - 1753m above sea level - Southern Hemisphere. We do not change our watches for daylight savings.

An idyllic climate most of the year, late Autumn, Winter and early Spring has the night time temperatures of below 5 degrees centigrade and highs within mid-teen to early twenties as highs during the days. The summer period , the balance of the year early teen lows and mid to high twenties as the its high, it's rainfall is predominantly in the Summer months.

We do not have those long summer days as do parts of the Northern hemisphere.

A markerjoubert park twist and leyds street johannesburg -
twist and nugget street, Johannesburg 2001, South Africa
[get directions]

This was the centre of my life from age 3 - 8 years old.

The still calm in the early morning

The Zoo Lake, an oasis in the Northern Suburbs
The Zoo Lake, an oasis in the Northern Suburbs

General Personal Safety Statement

As a tourist to our country and our city, remember for starters this an urban jungle like any other major City in the world, we do have crime, only the crime in our country is worse because it is ours. It affects us and our opinions of what we see also what we think we see about what is happening, as this to us has become a social and political issue.

Therefore check it out with your embassies for any travel advisories that they might have.

As a general rule of self protection, behave as if you were in any major town/city and do not take chances.

Typical mall with coffee bars overlooking parking grounds
Typical mall with coffee bars overlooking parking grounds

Shopping Malls - a nation of mall rats in the making

We have a vast number of shopping malls, these are in every suburb and then even several within a few blocks of each other. They all have a basic similarity to each other though, they all contain outlets of the major retailers, all competing for a share of the walking past trade.

There are a few independent stores that do also trade within the malls, however there are relatively few of these.

Smoking in Buildings

South Africa conforms to international standards as regards smoking, and unless there is a demarcated public area within a building you do not smoke inside, hence the vast numbers of restaurants having an outside area to accommodate smoking.

This applies to hotels as well, so reserve your smoking rooms, if available.

South Africa is a very young country

When I was born, in 1950, we were a part of the British Commonwealth, we broke away and re-asserted ourselves as a Republic in 1961, 31st of May.

This was a confusing time for me as it was my earliest exposure to politics, the run up to the declaration of us as a republic, was that a referendum was held by the government to establish the will of the people. This meant every enfranchised person over the age 18 could have their opinion on the issue.

The street lamps, robots (traffic light's we were not that technologically involved) and were festooned with placards, calling for our opinion.

English placards The Question Republic Yes or No with a bold cross for No

Afrikaans placards Die Vraag Republik Ja of Nee with a bold cross for Ja

To my random count there were more placards proclaiming no, however the end result was for the Republic. The lesson derived is that the visible majority is not always the actual majority.

Wild South Africa - 45 kms from Johannesburg

A three year old king of the beast, in a Lion Park
A three year old king of the beast, in a Lion Park

South African Television and Others

Television

Our television service was only broadcast for the first time, wait for it 30 years ago. Yes 30 old, we are a little behind the times, as far as a lot things go. We did have radio and listened to the first moon landing, the broadcast on JFK's assassination.

Overseas Performers and Artists

In the past, we only saw artists like, Cliff Richard, Percy Sledge and many others long after the they dropped off the top twenties, or so it was seen by us over here.

This did not seem to be the case with Ballet, Opera and other classical musicians and conducters, as the performing arts council spent vast sums of money to keep us cultuarely alive.

PC and other digital technology

This too, until only recently, since about 1992, was way behind the rest of the Northern Hemisphere's.

Surfing and Using the Web

Broadband is only about three years old, and not all service providers can give all of access, I have only one wireless broadband provider that can services me.

There is a majority of SA users that still only use dail-up and have call-more service packages so that they can surf and interact in cyberspace, else it then becomes costly.

In and around Johannesburg

Casinos

If you enjoy that form of amusement, in and around the greater Johannesburg area we have quite a few.

Gold Reef City in the Southern part.

Emperors Palace on the near east - close to the airport

Monte Casino in the Northwest close to the Sandton Area

Carnival City which is quite a bit further east than Emperors Palace

All of these Casino Resorts have Hotel Accomodation and many Restaurants within the complex, theatres and reveue bars.

Theatres

Always changing the live theatre scene is hive of activity with numerous, small intimate theatres within Newtown, city centre.

The Civic Theatre

Always a big draw currently doing an pruduction of Queen, another tribute.

Eating out

Every from African through to anything you like. These are mostly in the local malls, as I have said we tend to be Mall Rats, again only recently, about 10 years behind the rest of the world.

Sport

We are a sport made nation, and with the exception of some of the wintersport activities we are well represented for all afficondos of most sports.

This would never be allowed in the 70'
This would never be allowed in the 70'

Just a bit of a giggle

Things That Got You Into Trouble 1961 - 1996

Bikini's

Banned in public beaches and swimming pools until after the late 1970's. Also they were publicly condemned in the churches (Afrikaans), for the major drought that we experienced during that time.

Female Bare Breasts

If your were Caucasian, and exposed them in public, this would have you charged for public indecency. If other race groups did this it was OK, as they were like that culturally, in any case, as decreed, by the then powers that be.

All magazines and motion pictures would have to go through the censorship board for approval before releasing. The number of times Der Spiegel and other foreign language magazines were banned because of nudity was ridiculous.

Illegal and Public Gatherings

Outright ban on all unauthorised gatherings, this caused havoc in having test emergency evacuations of buildings, as a part of emergency procedures. As we now had a group of people massed together, as we did not want our staff members to be aprehended. So we worked with the Police so that they knew, in writing, a few days before, hand delivered, and then still phoned local station Commander an hour before, theactual test evacution.

Actual Emergency, real live evacuations, we had to notify the Police as part of the procudures.

Sunday Observance Act

No public performance, sports event entertainment was permitted between 00h00 and 24h00 on Sundays and declared religious public holidays.

Private house parties were closed by the Police, if a neighbour complained.

Many people were arrested and fined in Hillbrow coffee bars on Sundays for listening to folk singers, owners fined or closed down.

Cricket Internationals often would have an enforced days break on the Sunday, and resume stumps on the Monday.

Political views

Critism of certain aspects and practises of the ruling party would result in their either being baned, arrested, deported or tagged as suspect.

Being suspect is one of those things where, Big Brother is watching you, your activities, and each and every aspect your life is being scrutinesed. Your file, permanent record, is never closed, you are constantly stalked, until, who knows.

More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

Rodney, this was facinating to read. I would love to travel and see every place in the world if but only I was financially able. Your democracy seems to be more stifling than ours. But, sometimes I wonder if the US Gov. just lets us think we are free. I'd ask if you liked living in Johannesbburg, but you probably have no other reference. I've heard that it is very beautiful, but also crime ridden.

Thank you for your view. I hope we get more hubbers telling about their home towns.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Pretty zccurate but somewhat abbreviated some 50 years condensed in a couple of hundred words


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Thanks for the comments received from my fellow Huber's.

Easiest to answer, it is an very abbreviated 50 years, this was deliberate as I am going to write individual hubs that will tie up most of the bold written headings. This will make it easier to read, as some people might want to know some details and not others, saves them scanning through.

Yes some good places exist were you can enjoy good food, however these are matter of taste, will give an individual blog that will cover, what to my experience, are good.

Crime is definatly a problem, however, it is not only South African, we seem, at this point in time we are very sensitive to our statistics.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Interesting stuff, Rodney. The government, like Karen said, sounds a bit stifling. Cool, though, that the cultural arts are thriving. Do you get many rock shows, or are they allowed?


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Yes we were in those days, but things did change and we hav had many rock groups out here on tour, Stones, Meatloaf, to name a few. Thanks for the comment.


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

The country is just wonderful, yet its organizational structure is very important matter and right now I think, is in a quite little mess. However, it takes much longer to learn to govern so rich and nationally so diverse country. There are also very many languages and different habits. I've got a few good mates from SA and they are all so very passionate about it. And wines...wines from Stellenbosch and other places...heavenly tasteful


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Solar, I as a South African, do not think that it we are in a mess, agreed we have a many problems, and those are not uniquly South African. Dont forget that Zimbabwe, is not within South Africa.

Remember we are at least 10 years behind the rest of the world, during power blackouts, we are not having wholesale looting. and they are around.

We are a very beautifull and diverse nation.


bright_sorcerer profile image

bright_sorcerer 8 years ago from London, Canada

This was a fascinating hub, Rodney, that I really enjoyed. I don't much about your country so I wanted to thank you for this info. I LOVED the photo of The Zoo Lake and spent a few moments just absorbing it...you can really sense the peace and serenity. As sixtyorso mentioned, it's quite a task to condense all of your experiences of over 50 years into a single hub. Quite informative and I really enjoyed this, Rodney. Be Well.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Thanks Bright, it was a bit dificult and is designed as an expanding hub or one that will springboard into some other of lifes experiences in this city.


Shane 7 years ago

Hi Rodney, your take on South Africa and Joburg is spot on. I wouldn't change a thing, except maybe the crime. Though I have never experienced it in Johannesburg, or any other South African city as yet (touch wood). I love South Africa and think that it often gets bad press both locally and internationaly only because bad is good when it comes to news. Take care and thnaks for telling it like it is and was


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City Author

Thanks for the comment there Shane, yes life in South Africa and Jhb in particular has been slammed in the press as a crummy place to visit. Hope to educate overseas, as well as South African visitors to what Jhb is really like. If you view my profile, you will find my web site link, feel free to visit and comment.

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