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Rediscover Joburg Inner City ahead of the AU Summit

By Zhang Jiexian (People's Daily Online)    14:39, June 12, 2015


Eloff Street in Johannesburg inner city, used to be the most expensive area in the CBD. (Picture: People’s Daily Online)

Johannesburg, June 11 (People’s Daily Online) — After successfully hosting WEF Africa 2015 in Cape Town early this month, South Africa is currently hosting the 25th African Union (AU) Summit in Johannesburg.

As head leaders with delegates of elite traveled from various African countries to gather at Johannesburg for the Summit, they embrace the boosting modern metropolitan with superior facilities around Sandton suburb. Yet there are definitely a lot more for them and of course, for local citizens to explore, here in Johannesburg inner city.

Johannesburg’s city centre has been through a period of depression and degeneration, as a victim in the 1990s of outburst of rampant crime and capital flight to the northern suburbs.

Nowadays, lots of multinational enterprises still maintain their regional head offices in Johannesburg CBD. (Picture: People’s Daily Online)

However, in the past few years, a number of initiatives have been adopted by the local government to reverse these trends, which put substantial resources into turning around the central business district.

“Crime rates are down thanks to intensive policing; occupancy rates are up, thanks to a combination of quality properties and low rents; investment is increasing as confidence improves; and cleanliness has returned, thanks to an intensive campaign from Pikitup, the City's waste collection utility. ”

Markets are held regularly in Johannesburg inner city, as being as much a source for farm fresh foods and specialty goods as it is a meeting point to enjoy community. (Picture: People’s Daily Online)

A variety of areas are designated or constructed into bases of arts, cultures; local business and innovative minds. Homes to independent brands and retail are built, thriving communities get developed; weekend markets for families and friends to hang around are set up; museums, galleries and theaters with abundant stories are there, only waiting for people to explore.

Among them, Newtown is an outstanding neighborhood that transformed into a safe, secure and attractive environment, where diverse exhibitions and crucial functions are held, attracting young professionals and students.

The exhibition kicked off at Workers Museum on June 6th, and will last until the end of the month.(Picture: People’s Daily Online)

Previously, South African and Chinese Cross-Culture Exhibition kicked off at Workers Museum in New Town. Around 40 pieces of art works of 12 artists from the two countries were showcased, some of which were produced by local South African artists based on their experience in China, showing different artistic and aesthetic perceptions of life in China from an African perspective.

After the opening ceremony, participants gathered with music played by local artists, dancing, singing and enjoying the bath of sunlight. I saw the brightness, not only from the sunshine, but also from the very original appreciation they held and expressed for the open air and the love of life, which was once faded when they were trapped by the fear of rampant robbery.

Thanks to the re-urbanization project, Braamfontein is transferred into an area where people can feel free to walk around. (Picture: People’s Daily Online)

“Basically we want to see a South Africa which is free from crimes.” Major General Pharasi, SAPS Functionary from Gauteng Provincial Commissioner’s Office quoted Chapter 12 of S.A. National Development Plan in a public occasion last August, "We will further ensure that, when people walk on the street, nothing happens to them.”

That should not be a dream or an expectation. It should be and is becoming reality.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Chun,Zhang Qian)

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