National Geographic : 2004 Apr
at 60 per 100,000-three times the rate in Chi cago, America's most dangerous city. Johannes burg experienced 20,173 incidents of burglary on residential premises last year, and businesses cite crime as a "major obstacle to growth." Fewer tourists now come to Johannesburg proper, head ing instead straight to game parks or the seaside. Crime waves are not new to Johannesburg. Almost since its very beginning in 1886 when an Australian prospector, George Harrison, stum bled upon a rock richly veined with gold, it has been a dangerous place. Barely had the city been born than a city father of rival Cape Town (no doubt stung by Jo'burg's prodigious growth) con demned it as a "university of crime." Harrison's discovery proved to be part BREA of the Witwatersrand, "ridge of white their waters," a thick reef of ore 60 miles Dread long-the richest seam of gold the world comp has ever known. At its center a "public from diggings" was set up and named Johannesburg, after its surveyor. But to the black migrants who were recruited from villages across the country and beyond its borders to toil in the mines, it has always been eGoli-the City of Gold. Fortune hunters converged from Britain, continental Europe, Australia, and America uitlanders,foreigners, the Boers called them and Johannesburg soon had all the bombastic energy of the Wild West. It almost universally appalled those who saw it. "It isa city of unbridled squander and unfathomable squalor," wrote one early visitor. Winston Churchill, then a young foreign correspondent, (Continued on page 70) (ING OUT Middle-class children emerge from walled homes for a rare bit of play on the street. ling crime, many people live in fortress-like ounds. Says one resident, "When I come back work, I close the door and do not go out."