Johannesburg’s CBD, the grid of streets and tightly packed skyscrapers just to the south of the Witwatersrand Ridge, is the most recognizable part of the city. For a century after the first mining camp was built, on what is now Commissioner Street, the CBD was the core of Jo’burg’s buzzing commercial and financial life. Then there was the mass exodus during the crime-ridden 1980s and 1990s, and when the Jo’burg Stock Exchange moved out in 1999 in favour of Sandton, the city centre was all but written off. However, thanks to the gradual regeneration of the area over recent years, a visit to the CBD offers the chance to see buildings and institutions with a fascinating history and get a taste of the bustle, sounds and thrills of a genuinely African city.

 

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