Updated: 5/16/2006; 4:01:08 PM.

Digital Development
Communications and info tech in developing countries, especially wireless broadband and high-value applications

daily link  Friday, July 18, 2003

Bridge gives new lustre to the city of gold: The rivival of Johannesburg:  "Most guidebooks have yet to register the fact, but South Africa's sprawling metropolis is in the process of transforming its core into a commercial and artistic hub..

In fact the entire continent is pressing into Johannesburg in the form of refugees and economic migrants from Zimbabwe, Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria and Mozambique, hustling a living whatever way they can and turning it into one of the world's most populous cities. With parliament in Cape Town, the embassies in Pretoria and businesses following the stock exchange's exodus to Sandton, a new financial citadel to the north of the city, many thought Johannesburg's modern infrastructure swamped forever by a tide of poverty.

Several things are changing that perception. Some 200 cameras in the city centre have cut crime by 80%, according to Business Against Crime, which operates the cameras from the sixth floor of the Carlton Centre. Uniquely, the cameras can track suspects and a police unit is on standby to respond within 60 seconds of an incident. By the end of the year there would be 360 cameras and eventually 3,500 across the city, said John Penberthy, the managing director. "The pied piper of Hamelin has walked through the place and taken the rats out of town."

Some of the crime has been displaced to other areas, he acknowledged, but some of those who previously engaged in spontaneous crime were now finding jobs as businesses returned, boosting occupancy in some buildings from 15% to 95%. ..

The Johannesburg region accounts for 20% of GDP of entire continent, arguably making it capital of Africa. "

  9:35:06 PM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 4:01:08 PM.