No safe harbour david hill essay


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He lives in New Plymouth with his wife Beth, and juggles his many writing projects with numerous school visits, leading professional development for teachers, mentoring new and emerging writers and tutoring creative writing. Our Lists. View all online retailers Find local retailers. Read more. Also by David Hill.


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The Martian. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Boy Overboard. Turtles All the Way Down. Artemis Fowl. Little Women.

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Like many late 19th-century mining towns, Johannesburg was a rough and disorganised place, populated by white miners from all continents, African tribesmen recruited to perform unskilled mine work, African women beer brewers who cooked for and sold beer to the black migrant workers, a very large number of European prostitutes, gangsters, impoverished Afrikaners, tradesmen, and Zulu "AmaWasha", Zulu men who surprisingly dominated laundry work.

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In the Second Boer War — saw British forces under Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, occupy the city on 30 May after a series of battles to the south-west of its then-limits, near present-day Krugersdorp. Fighting took place at the Gatsrand Pass near Zakariyya Park on 27 May, north of Vanwyksrust — today's Nancefield, Eldorado Park and Naturena — the next day, culminating in a mass infantry attack on what is now the waterworks ridge in Chiawelo and Senaoane on 29 May.

During the war, many African mineworkers left Johannesburg creating a labour shortage, which the mines ameliorated by bringing in labourers from China, especially southern China. After the war, they were replaced by black workers, but many Chinese stayed on, creating Johannesburg's Chinese community, which during the apartheid era, was not legally classified as "Asian", but as "Coloured".

The population in was ,, of whom 83, were Whites. In , Johannesburg became the headquarters of the Anglo-American Corporation founded by Ernest Oppenheimer which ultimately became one of the world's largest corporations, dominating both gold-mining and diamond-mining in South Africa. Major building developments took place in the s, after South Africa went off the gold standard. In the s and early s, the apartheid government constructed the massive agglomeration of townships that became known as Soweto.

New freeways encouraged massive suburban sprawl to the north of the city. Under the system of apartheid Afrikaans for "apartness" , a comprehensive system of racial segregation was imposed on South Africa starting in The economy of Johannesburg depended upon hundreds of thousands of cheap black workers who performed most of the semi-skilled and unskilled work, and which forced the government to make some exceptions to apartheid in order to keep Johannesburg functioning as South Africa's economic capital. In March , Johannesburg witnessed widespread demonstrations against apartheid in response to the Sharpeville massacre.

On 16 June , demonstrations broke out in Soweto over a government decree that black school-children be educated in Afrikaans instead of English, and after the police fired on the demonstrations, rioting against apartheid began in Soweto and spread into the greater Johannesburg area. The central area of the city underwent something of a decline in the s and s, due to the high crime rate and when property speculators directed large amounts of capital into suburban shopping malls, decentralised office parks, and entertainment centres.

Sandton City was opened in , followed by Rosebank Mall in , and Eastgate in On 12 May , a series of riots started in the township of Alexandra , in the north-eastern part of Johannesburg, when locals attacked migrants from Mozambique , Malawi and Zimbabwe , killing two people and injuring 40 others. These riots sparked the xenophobic attacks of It was known throughout its redevelopment as the Newtown cultural precinct it was therefore important to stage, old renovated buildings as the setting of the new precinct.

Demolishing the old structures and replacing them with new buildings would not have achieved the same effect. Everyone played their part in the marketing, branding and the new identity of the precinct, the City, heritage bodies, heritage practitioners, private companies all played a part. The old warehouse industrial buildings that once lay decaying in Newtown are now synonymous with culture and flair. Like many cities around the world, there is an increasing focus on the rejuvenation of the inner city of Johannesburg.

Originally a hub for art, it has expanded to include restaurants, entertainment venues and retail stores as well as accommodation and hotels. Maboneng calls itself "a place of inspiration — a creative hub, a place to do business, a destination for visitors and a safe, integrated community for residents.


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A beacon of strength in Africa's most economically prosperous city". After being destroyed in to make way for a motor showroom by Imperial Holdings, the iconic Rand Steam Laundries are now being redeveloped as an exact replica, by the order of the Johannesburg Heritage Council. Apart from one filtration shed, there is nothing left on the site after being destroyed. The former Central Business District is located on the southern side of the prominent ridge called the Witwatersrand English: White Water's Ridge and the terrain falls to the north and south.

By and large the Witwatersrand marks the watershed between the Limpopo and Vaal rivers as the northern part of the city is drained by the Jukskei River while the southern part of the city, including most of the Central Business District, is drained by the Klip River. The north and west of the city has undulating hills while the eastern parts are flatter. Johannesburg may not be built on a river or harbour, but its streams contribute to two of southern Africa's mightiest rivers — the Limpopo and the Orange.

No Safe Harbour

Most of the springs from which many of these streams emanate are now covered in concrete and canalised, accounting for the fact that the names of early farms in the area often end with "fontein", meaning "spring" in Afrikaans. Braamfontein, Rietfontein, Zevenfontein, Doornfontein, Zandfontein and Randjesfontein are some examples. Another explanation is that the whiteness comes from the quartzite rock, which has a particular sheen to it after rain. The site was not chosen solely for its streams, however. One of the main reasons the city was founded where it stands today was because of the gold.

Indeed, the city once sat near massive amounts of gold, given that at one point the Witwatersrand gold industry produced forty per cent of the planet's gold. The city enjoys a sunny climate, with the summer months October to April characterised by hot days followed by afternoon thundershowers and cool evenings, and the winter months May to September by dry, sunny days followed by cold nights. The UV index for Johannesburg in summers is extreme, often reaching 14—16 due to the high elevation and its location in the subtropics. Winter is the sunniest time of the year, with mild days and cool nights, dropping to 4.

The temperature occasionally drops to below freezing at night, causing frost. Snow is a rare occurrence, with snowfall having been experienced in the twentieth century during May , August , June and September In the 21st century, there was light sleet in , as well as snow proper on 27 June accumulating up to 10 centimetres or 4 inches in the southern suburbs [44] and 7 August Regular cold fronts pass over in winter bringing very cold southerly winds but usually clear skies. The annual average rainfall is millimetres Infrequent showers occur through the course of the winter months.

The lowest daytime maximum temperature recorded is 1. According to the South African National Census , the population of Johannesburg is 4,, people, [54] making it the most populous city in South Africa it has been the most populous city in South Africa since at least the s. Only 0. Within the Metropolitan Municipality, the old centre, established in and given city status in , has been listed in recent censuses as a "main place". As of [update] , this main place had a population of , and an area of Johannesburg's urban agglomeration spreads well beyond the administrative boundary of the municipality.

The population of the whole area has been estimated to be variously at 7,, in by "citypopulation. Some authors consider the metropolitan area to include most of Gauteng province. Johannesburg's suburbs are the product of urban sprawl and are regionalised into north, south, east and west, and they generally have different personalities.

Johannesburg - Wikipedia

The inner city buildings have been let out to the lower income groups and illegal immigrants and as a result abandoned buildings and crime have become a feature of inner city life. The immediate city suburbs include Yeoville , a hot spot for black nightlife despite its otherwise poor reputation. The suburbs to the south of the city are mainly blue collar neighbourhoods and situated closer to some townships.

Greater Johannesburg consists of more than five hundred suburbs in an area covering more than two hundred square miles square kilometres. The suburbs to the west have in recent years floundered with the decline of the mining industry but have in some cases experienced some revival with properties being bought up by the local African middle class.

The biggest sprawl lies to the east and north. The eastern suburbs are relatively prosperous and close to various industrial zones. The northern suburbs have been the recipient of most of the flight from the inner city with the city starting to sprawl northwards and multiple secondary CBDs forming in the north towards Pretoria.

Traditionally the northern and north-western suburbs have been the centre for the wealthy, containing the high-end retail shops as well as several upper-class residential areas such as Hyde Park , Sandhurst , Northcliff , Hurlingham , Bryanston and Houghton , where Nelson Mandela made his home.


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  4. The north-western area, in particular, is vibrant and lively, with the mostly black suburb of Sophiatown once the centre of political activity and the Bohemian-flavoured Melville featuring restaurants and nightlife. To the southwest of the city centre is Soweto , a township constructed during apartheid for housing displaced black South Africans then living in areas designated for white settlement.

    To the south of Johannesburg is Lenasia , a predominantly Asian neighbourhood which was constructed during apartheid specifically to house Asians.

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