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I have been back in Johannesburg for a month after being away for a full year. I need to call a problem by its name because a problem well stated is a problem half solved.

The city of Johannesburg and those who live within it are gravely ill. I do not mean to insult. I live in Johannesburg and we all want to ‘defend’ home. I have visited numerous cities around the World, and while Johannesburg might not be the worst, it is the nastiest one I have experienced. Yes, there are problems all over the globe, but the people from Hunts Point in the Bronx or Acapulco in Mexico would not last one night on the streets of Yeoville or Hillbrow.

The city and many of its residence are deficient of ethics and willingness to improve. There is a sick psychological phenomenon underway. People either believe what is happening is not ‘that bad’, or that they don’t deserve better. We literally accept being ‘treated like dirt’ while living in it, it’s a river of denial and it’s always someone else’s mess.

Johannesburg is what it is today because of some of the worse habits and characteristics of humanity.

I fear it would erupt into a civil war if people actually applied the energy required to change Johannesburg for the better.

The extent of issues are so extreme that it would take a person’s lifetime to resolve, and no one wants to give their life to this city.

Corruption and politics are the depravities at the epicentre, but scoundrels will never hold themselves accountable, it must be inflicted onto them by those who refuse to accept their shenanigans.

The die-hard people who defend the city of Johannesburg to any Capetonian or anyone else around the World, saying “our people are much nicer” and the “energy is far better”, I beg you to please take your head out of your bubble because the rot is evident to any visitor. Infrastructure is epically awful, pollution preposterous, you have no water or real natural spaces, your transport needs a heavenly saviour, and good health services and education are in fast decline.

People live with levels of anxiety and Nelsonian Knowledge that is mind-blowing. They distract themselves with dwindling pockets of wealth and the occasional park run or a game of golf. For the ‘better off’ in this city their life is a pattern of driving from shopping mall to shopping centre, restaurant to coffee shop, not knowing what to do with an actual working traffic robot when they stumble across one. People use substances and drink far too much, masking out the sights and sounds of the abundance of people on the streets with nothing to their name, offering them consideration not befitting of any human.

The best case scenario is citizens become workaholics, helping to divert attention from the crisis around them, and affording them a brief moment to feel like they are accomplishing something in the disorder, taking what is earned and using it to cocoon ourselves in gated estates. The worst case is we succumb to extreme depression and surrender our potential because of debilitating exhaustion and our incapacity to decide what to do to improve things.

Jozi is in peril and we suffer from a bystander effect thinking someone else is helping it. We are both victim and goon. The situation is insalubrious.

I love humanity, but this city is not something to be proud of and it is the residents that need to fix it. We are not setting the type of example our children deserve, and if we continue on this course the only library they will ever know is the one they read about on the internet.

I want you to understand that there is better than what this city offers, and this city will never become better until YOU decide you deserve and WANT better. You have to become a Change Champion. I know adding more electric fences is not the solution. To resolve this disaster stop accepting the rot, and those who do accept it, vehemently challenge them. Act, participate and collaborate.


Who is Jean-Pierre Murray-Kline?

Jean-Pierre is a South African Serial Entrepreneur, Published Author and Change Champion who has worked in over 300 types of industries in some capacity or another. His own online businesses have generated millions of Rands and involved sectors including Law, Web & App Development, Events & Entertainment, Property, Technical Services, Media and Tourism.
He has travelled to over 50 cities World-Wide, and is extremely active as a Business and Environmental Technologist.
Jean-Pierre is often asked to be a Guest Speaker on any variety of the many subjects he continuously studies and writes about. 


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