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Bright Lights, Big City

Bright Lights, Big City

by Belinda Glenn                              Posted: 2011/11/14

Why do people move to Joburg? http://bit.ly/1KTYNTn

The shimmering city of gold calls out to people from every corner of SA and they come running. Belinda asks a few immigrants to Jozi about why they moved here and why they love it.

When gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand in 1886, people flocked from all over to get a piece of the action. Over a hundred years later and not much has changed. Sure, we may not all be working the mines, but people still move to Johannesburg from all over the country (and beyond its borders too).

 

 


As the economic hub of South Africa, the attraction is obvious. This is where the money is baby. But more than that, Jozi is where it all happens if you have any desire to make a real career for yourself in a field that's remotely creative. I've always been a diehard Durban girl but eventually I had to acknowledge that I had a choice to make - continue to live in my much-loved city and give up on my dream of writing for a living, or move to scary JHB and take a chance on that dream.

What's so scary about making the move? For me, it was a combination of being terrified of getting lost, getting stuck in traffic (yes, I hate to drive) and the dreaded C word - crime. And here's what I've figured out - traffic is only bad if you're not smart about where you choose to live in relation to where you work, getting lost is far less likely when you use a GPS and a good map book (I've only been lost once in 8 months, a fact I'm hugely proud of) and as for the crime, well, I don't feel threatened at all now that I'm here. It would seem there isn't a rapist and hijacker lurking on every corner.

Do I miss Durban? Sure, but it gets better all the time, and I'm discovering that there are perks to living in JHB that have nothing to do with work or money. I spoke to some other JHB-immigrants to find out more about their moves to the big city, and asked them all the same 5 questions:

Julian:
1.  How long have you lived in JHB?
Four years.

2.  What made you decide to move here?
I moved for my business as the JHB office was in trouble.

3.  What were you most apprehensive about before the move?
The crime rate.

4.  What do you love most about living in JHB?
The city is just really cosmopolitan and world class. And the vegetation is beautiful.

5.  What's the one piece of advice you'd give a newcomer?
Have patience and be prepared to work smart and hard.

Megan:
1.    Nearly 18 months.
2.    I followed a man, and also moved for the promise of better career opportunities.
3.    The sheer size of Jozi was very intimidating.
4.    Strangely enough, the sheer size of Jozi! I love the mix of people and the choice of things to do and see.
5.    Unless you're a homing pigeon, get a GPS!

 

 

 

 


Wayne:
1.  How long have you lived in JHB?
Almost four years.

2.  What made you decide to move here?
Money, money, money!

3.  What were you most apprehensive about before the move?
Safety.

4.  What do you love most about living in JHB?
It has to be the way things get done here - there's no long story, things just get sorted. I find life here much better and would never move back.

5.  What's the one piece of advice you'd give a newcomer?
Give it time. You will get used to the traffic and the pace of life, and you'll end up loving it.

Bruce:
1.  How long have you lived in JHB?
Nearly a year.

2.  What made you decide to move here?
I got transferred by my company.

3.  What were you most apprehensive about before the move?
Traffic!

4.  What do you love most about living in JHB?
There are definitely more opportunities, and there's lots more to do. We don't have to roadtrip to watch international bands anymore!

5.  What's the one piece of advice you'd give a newcomer?
Try to make your commute to work as easy as possible, by choosing where you live.

Tarryn:
1.  How long have you lived in JHB?
Nearly a year.

2.  What made you decide to move here?
My husband got transferred.

3.  What were you most apprehensive about before the move?
Moving away from an established support network. Also the traffic and a new job.

4.  What do you love most about living in JHB?
There's a huge variety of entertainment options, and lots of child-friendly things to do.

5.  What's the one piece of advice you'd give a newcomer?
Get a Garmin!

 

 

 

 


Leanne:
1.  How long have you lived in JHB?
A year.

2.  What made you decide to move here?
Work.

3.  What were you most apprehensive about before the move?
Where to live.

4.  What do you love most about living in JHB?
There's something to do every weekend, a concert, a show, a bike race, an exhibition at the Dome, live music etc.

5.  What's the one piece of advice you'd give a newcomer?
Get a GPS.

So whether they move for the money or the mood, one thing stands out clear; Jozi's got a lot to offer and isn't a half bad place to live.

 

 

 

 

Why do people move to Joburg? http://bit.ly/1KTYNTn

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