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Published: July 30th 2014
19 July: Johannesburg day tour
Our day started early with a breakfast of yogurt and fruit with our tour guide picking us up at 7AM to take us around Johannesburg area.
Our first stop on the tour was to Soweto. We started off in the nice area of Sweto where the houses looked liked they could have been anywhere in the world. He then showed us the dorms where the workers used to live but now it is just occupants waiting for the government houses to be built (a Mandela project). Continuing our drive, we went by a new university built in the area so that kids can see it everyday and hopefully encourage them to go. Also, it was built so that children could go to university without having to go to the main city.
We then did a walk around kliptown which is the poor of the poor area of Sweto. This area is where they are all waiting for the government houses to be built. They have a bus system set up in sweto that transport to Johannesburg main city every hour. The buses have their own lanes so as not to get stopped in
traffic. Taxi drivers are complaining as it takes away business.
Traveling by a church where people used to go for political discussions instead of church. Once the police found out, they ended up having a shoot out where people were only injured.
Passing the Orlando stadium where the students were suppose to march to for their protest but the shooting started way further back and they never made it. But for youth day, no matter your age, the people dress up in school uniforms and walk the full distance from the Hector Peterson museum to the stadium.
12 million people still on the waiting list for the government houses (rdp). To qualify you have to be making less then 3,000 rand per month.
Toured the Hector Peterson museum where it talked about the story of the uprising of the students that led to the innocent bystanders being shot, Hector Peterson.
On the only street, villa gaza, where there were two men living who would become peace awards.
After our tour of Sweto, we went to the Apartheid museum. Was interesting as our tickets at the start say if you are a white or a
non-white and you have to go through a different entrance to begin with. We didn't have much time in the museum but was interesting to see some of the history of the country fighting for freedom.
From the museum, we headed into the city of Johannesburg itself. We First went up the tallest building in all of Africa at 50 stories. It is originally owned by Carlton as they had a hotel next door. They have hiked up the price for someone to buy it. It closed down due to crime rates and the changes Jburg had occur. The tallest building is currently lent out to transfer which is a governmental owned transport company of Jburg. They real in trains, boats, planes, petroleum and the metro. First photo from tallest building is Vodacom, most popular picture seen with Johannesburg.
We got to see the stadium that the movie Invictus is about. And we passed many re-mining area of Johannesburg. There is their main square are of the town that is named after Gandhi and has a statue of him. Gandhi spent much of his early years in South Africa and started his time in politics. We also passed
the hospital, it is three buildings that look the same (sometimes called the three sisters).
For the end of our tour, we went to the court house. Highest court in the land that only deals with constitutional matters. 11 justices that represent the 11 different languagesgroups of the country. The main symbol and which they have built the building to represent is "justice under the trees."
In the front entrance they had a ladder to represent different things on each rung: chains, blood spilt, elephant bone because they never forget and so on. They have words in red on the wall meaning the continual struggle of the country. In the court room itself, the stands of all watchers are taller then the rest of the court which is supposed to represent that all are equal and even the justices are not above all. Paparazzi is welcome and on the panel area above is where the translators sit. The flag was made by ladies in a village that were working day and night. One lady who was doing the boarder fell asleep and the candle burned everything. The president recognize this and brought electricity to the entire village. The
women then worked day and night again to finish the flag in time for the opening of the court. Last stop was driving over Nelson Mandela bridge. It is a bridge over the trains.
After our long day of the tour, we arrived back at our hostel where we were to have dinner and meet our next tour group.
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