My informant John Taylor wrote in with a comment about a recent trip through the Durban CBD which came as a bit of a shock to him. I had many of the same feelings even though I left the place nearly two years ago. Here’s what he had to say:
There are a number of accounts of the Durban CBD at various times in Durban’s history by various contributors to FAD (one of them being me).
It was a reasonably elegant place.
I haven’t had any reason to visit the CBD for some time, but a few days ago on a late Saturday afternoon I drove down West Street (or whatever obscure political activist’s name the street now bears) and I was shocked at how badly urban decay had set in, as well as the amount of filth and rubbish strewn around the pavements and street. The place was hardly recognisable from the CBD residing in my memory banks!
I guess that, like Johannesburg, the new Durban CBD has moved north, leaving the old behind, as a consequence of political and demographic change, and the fact that much of South Africa is seriously third world in nature.
Despite this reality I could not help but feel great sadness at the state of a once great city.
Perhaps some of FAD’s readers and contributors also have comments and observations in this respect?