CARLTON CENTRE, JOHANNESBURG – APRIL 2009


As the city’s original centre is reclaimed

from anarchy by its citizens of colour,

this skyscraper – the tallest building in Africa –

built in the Apartheid era, in white Joburg,

begins to be used again: its shopping centre

and car parks thrive with consumerism,

and its fiftieth floor is a haven for lovers –

and a belvedere for occasional tourists.

 

We can see the township taxis jam the streets below,

washing lines on the roofs of re-occupied buildings,

the Mandela Bridge over the railway, the Market Theatre,

Hillbrow, the suburbs and, in the far distance,

the deserted ramparts of the gold reefs.

This place has survived. They have made it.

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