South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

author:The Paper

Johannesburg is South Africa's largest, most populous and most economically powerful city and one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and the world. It arose from the discovery of gold, but is now known for its manufacturing and financial industries. Once a gold digger's paradise and an adventurer's paradise, Johannesburg is now deterred by strangers due to poor security. Compared with other megacities in the world, Johannesburg's urban layout, governance structure, ethnic distribution of residents, and environmental conditions in different regions are different. Johannesburg is a city rich in mystery.

How did the name Johannesburg come about? For the vast majority of cities, these questions have relatively certain answers, but for Johannesburg, they remain a matter of mixed opinion. Johannesburg consists of Johannes and Burg. The former is obviously a personal name, and the latter is a suffix commonly used by Europeans to name cities. According to official Johannesburg, there are at least three theories as to the origin of the name Joburg, each of which has historical sources and the endorsement of historians. The first theory is that John was the most common name for Dutch men at that time, and there were countless people who called John in the gold panning fields at that time, so Johannesburg is John's castle, which means that Johannesburg is a city for the masses. The second theory holds that after the discovery of gold in Rand, treasure hunters flocked to the area, and the local order was unusually chaotic. In order to regulate the order of production and life, the Transvaal Republic sent the chief land surveyors Johannes Lisk and Christian Johannes Joubert to explore and set up the town site. Later, they named it after the Johannes shared in their own names, which means that Johannesburg is the naming act of the grassroots officials of the Transvaal Republic, emphasizing the role of the founder. A third theory holds that prior to the discovery of the gold mine, it was Wilderconette Johannes Meyer who was responsible for the management of the Rand area, who was also responsible for the specific demarcation of the mining licence. When the name of the town was determined, the people agreed that it should be named after him. When this proposal was submitted to President Kruger of the Transvaal Republic, he explained it more broadly, arguing that it contained not only the names of Lisk and Joubert, but also his own, and therefore there was no reason not to name it Johannesburg. Obviously, this statement elevated the name of Joburg to the Transvaal state, implying that the state attached great importance to this gold-mining city. From these three different statements, it can be seen that in the era of colonial contention, the naming of a city is not simple, and the different interpretations or constructions of it actually reflect the definition and expectation of the city's attributes and functions.

Site selection is the primary topic that needs to be paid attention to in the study of urban history. Site selection is closely related to the main functions of the city. Cities with military functions are generally chosen to build cities in strategic places, cities with political functions are generally chosen to build cities in political highlands, and industrial cities are generally chosen to build cities in resource-producing areas or places with convenient transportation. Cities emerged during the Industrial Revolution either to facilitate resource extraction or processing, or to be located at the crossroads of land and water transportation and easy access to markets. Johannesburg is obviously a resource-exploiting city, but its resources are not industrial resources in the general sense, such as coal, iron ore, etc., but precious metals, gold. Its transportation is not large-scale transportation in the general sense, but small and precise transportation, so its location should adapt to the requirements of capital, technology and labor, and build a city nearby. But there are gains and losses, there are no big rivers in Joburg, and as the city grows, the city's water use and metabolism will cause unexpected difficulties. In addition, because the mountains running east of the city block the water vapor and wind from the Indian Ocean, with the development of manufacturing, the resulting polluting gases are not easy to diffuse in winter, making the city gradually dry and polluted.

Unlike ordinary cities, Joburg was originally a typical colonial city. The first inhabitants of this land were South Africa's oldest hunter-gatherer Khoi people. By the 6th century, the farming Sutu-Tswana people had settled here, leaving behind the remains of mining and iron smelting, the most complete of which is the ruins of Melville Koppis, which preserved the iron furnace. After the great migration of the Boers, they gradually occupied the land north of the Var River and established the Transvaal Republic, and Joburg became a large farm for Boer peasants. However, there has always been a rumor of gold in the region, and speculators who dream of making a fortune can occasionally reap the rewards of trying their luck on small rivers or alluvial plains with shovels and sieves. However, compared to the diamond mines that have already been discovered in Kimberley, such petty troubles do not attract the attention of capitalists. It wasn't until February 1886, when George Harrison discovered outcrop gold veins at Lanragut Farm, that it caused a sensation in South Africa and the world. Treasure hunters and capitalists from all over the world flocked to the Rand and quickly became a hot spot in southern Africa and the world. The Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, Rhodes, who tried to open up the "Northern Path", not only entered the gold mining industry with his commercial allies through capital operations, but also united with the Natal colony and colluded with the host country Britain, to support foreigners in Joburg to demand the same voting rights as the Boers, and then effectively control the Transvaal Republic. In order to monopolize the Rand gold mines, Kruger's Transvaal Republic not only did not give any benefits to its original owners, Africans, but in turn refused to vote on the grounds that foreigners were later than the Boers, and even went so far as to unite with the Orange Free State and Germany against the British. The result of the intensification of the conflict between the two sides was the Second Anglo-Boer War, in which the British paid a heavy price and won a crushing victory, and although the Boers had to submit to the British king, they still gained continuous ruling in South Africa, which was a white minority, because of its discrimination against Africans. Joburg became a testing ground for racial discrimination and segregation in industry and cities.

According to the 1896 census, the number of inhabitants of Joburg reached 102078, of which 50,907 were white, 952 were Malays, 4,807 were other Asians, 2,879 were mestizos, and 42,533 were indigenous. Of the total population, 61,292 live within three miles of the city center. Of these, 14,195 were indigenous, while some of the 40,786 who lived three miles away were Boers from the Transvaal. This shows that the main manifestation of racial discrimination in Joburg at that time was not the difference in residential areas, but the right to vote. In this regard, the difference between foreign whites and natives is that the natives have no right to vote at all, while foreigners can participate in the elections of the Second People's Assembly, which is subordinate to the Boer People's Assembly, after meeting harsh conditions. In other words, the distribution of the population at that time was mainly divided by class status rather than race. After the Anglo-Boer War, especially after the plague of 1904, white municipalities burned down the town of Brickfield, a black settlement, in the name of epidemic prevention, and drove the blacks to Crippspruit, far from the town, to form a shantytown. The Native Lands Act of 1913 drove blacks onto black reservations, which comprised only 7.3 percent of the nation's land area, and prohibited blacks from buying or leasing land outside the reservation. The Native Trusts and Lands Act of 1936, while increasing the area of reserved land to 12.7 percent of the nation's land area, was still pitifully small compared to the number of blacks, and even more so it solidified the amount and boundaries of land owned by blacks and whites. This meant that blacks could not gain a permanent foothold in Joburg. However, with the development of mining and manufacturing, Joburg needed a large number of black laborers, but the mixed areas that enterprises could provide for black labor were very limited, and the income of blacks was very low, and they could not afford to improve their housing conditions on their own (the Mines and Factories Act of 1913, the Indigenous Labor Management Act, and the Civilized Labor General Order of 1924 all stipulated that blacks could not work in skilled jobs and could not receive civilized or high wages). ), and as a result, illegal black settlements and shantytowns appeared at the urban-rural junction. In the face of this irresistible trend, the municipality successively established indigenous settlements such as Sofia Town under pressure from mine owners and business owners. The Native (Urban) Act of 1923 stipulated that blacks working in cities were not urban dwellers, but migrant workers and temporary residents, who could only live in government-designated areas, and blacks already living in white areas would be forcibly evicted. After the law was promulgated, the Office of Indigenous Affairs was established in Joburg, and the Orlando settlement was subsequently purchased to establish the Orlando settlement. During World War II, municipalities set up many makeshift camps that housed more than 58,000 homeless people in makeshift tin houses. Despite the demarcation of black settlements in the cities, it was not possible to regulate the steady influx of blacks into the cities in search of work and livelihoods. The Pass Act of 1945 imposed extremely strict and onerous restrictions on blacks entering the city to work and live, and blacks completely lost their freedom to seek work and residence. The enforcement of these regulations led to Joburg's largely rudimentary pattern of different ethnic divisions before the Nationalist came to power in 1948.

After the Kuomintang came to power, it implemented a separate development policy. The Population Registration Act 1950 required South Africans over the age of 16 to identify racial affiliation, which provided colour and ethnic origin for the introduction of comprehensive apartheid. The Settlement Group Act, which also introduced the Group Settlements Act, divided South Africans into whites, blacks, colours and Indians, and the government had the power to declare any place to be a residential area of one race, in which members of other races could not own property. In other words, once the Government declares an area to be a residential area of a particular race, other races in the area must be moved out and real estate must be transferred. The new Pass Act was enacted in 1952, which required blacks over the age of 16 to carry a comprehensive, nationally uniform pass and a fine of not less than R20 or imprisonment for at least one month if not presented at the time of inspection. In addition, blacks cannot stay in the city for more than 72 hours when looking for work. The Aboriginal (Urban Settlements) Act of 1956 empowers municipalities to expel without trial blacks deemed to be "a threat to peace and order", and those who resist eviction shall be considered criminal offenders. According to these laws, Joburg restricted the activities of black workers to white regulations on the one hand, and on the other hand, drove blacks from cities where they lived freely into the seven black towns established by the city government, namely Orlando, West Native Township, East Native Township, Pymville, Jabavu, Dubey, and Moflo, but the government provided housing for only 26,134 black families, a shortfall of 57,000. Later, the Government established the towns of Midulan and Dipkluf to accommodate blacks evicted from other settlements, but the housing provided in these two towns was also inadequate for needs. In general, black settlements are far from where they work, and public transportation provided by the government is poor. In order to improve working and living conditions, black people living in Alexandra launched a boycott of bus transport companies in January-June 1957, refusing to take buses to work. In 1963, the Joburg Non-European Affairs Commission named the Negro, Indian, and Colored neighborhoods in the southwest of the city Soweto. At this point, the apartheid non-European settlements of Alexandra and Soweto have become two incurable scars in the history of Joburg, recording the unique history of Joburg and indicating a poor future for Joburg.

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Black shantytown in Soweto

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

See white towns from Northcliff

After South Africa's peaceful transition, blacks came to power, all apartheid laws were repealed, and Joburg's development entered a new phase. In theory, the racist Joburg should undergo dramatic changes in line with the wishes of non-Europeans, but in practice, the changes in Joburg are complex and difficult to say. Indeed, the ruling African National Congress has provided a lot of housing, infrastructure, services, etc. for African settlements with international aid and national budgets, which has indeed raised the living standards of some Africans and made them truly feel the benefits and benefits of democratic transition. However, apartheid left too many problems, and during the 20 years of the ANC's reign in Joburg (1996-2016), as large numbers of Africans moved into cities, new segregation emerged alongside ethnic integration in cities. Large numbers of white and large corporate headquarters have moved out of the central business district, and large numbers of unemployed Africans have moved in, turning what was once an orderly and thriving environment into a daunting area of squalor and insecurity. The neighborhoods of Hilbro and Yoville, formerly rented by white workers and people of color, near the central business district, were almost entirely occupied by Africans, and even slums formed inside and outside the settlement. In formerly black towns, violent crime rates in black towns have increased due to almost no industry, high unemployment, and no fundamental improvements in infrastructure and public services. At the same time, because most blacks could not pay utility bills and refused to pay taxes, the municipality underinvested in black towns, and some gradually wealthy blacks were dissatisfied with the status quo, resulting in divisions among blacks, and the problems of black towns were reversed, gradually evolving from racial problems to class problems. Although blacks have settled in areas formerly inhabited by whites, they still cannot accommodate the steady flow of people into the city, and the government can still provide limited housing, so illegal settlements have formed on public land, urban parks, green spaces, and bridge holes. The large ones cover several hectares, and the chaotic layout and tin houses that glow in the sun and the idle, idle people leave a strong, even unsettling, impression. The author once walked into their house under the guidance of local headmen, and found that these blacks were not as terrible as imagined, although the indoor items were not of high quality, they were all clean and tidy, and the small indoor environment was in great contrast with the outdoor environment. The little one just built a shed with branches and a rain cloth, and built a pot with stones outside, and when the sun was shining, the host either lay down on the grass and slept, or sat next to the shed in a daze. The environment around these illegal settlements is littered and dusty.

In keeping with its colonial and racist character, Joburg's institutional and governance structures have also changed with the times. As Joburg arose as a result of gold mining, the first to govern the area was the mining commissioner Karl von Brandis sent by the Transvaal Republic, and soon after the miners elected their own committee to assist the mining commissioner in related matters. As the gold mining industry moved from shallow to deep, the town of Joburg had to deal with more and more complex affairs, and the Health Committee, originally formed by the Republic (was established because of the epidemic of chronic obstructive pneumonia in gold mining fields and mixed areas, led to unproductive attrition, affecting mining production and profit, and tax revenue. Unable to adapt to changing circumstances, the single function of primary responsibility for health needs to be expanded, and the representativeness and functionality of members need to change accordingly. In 1897, by Government Decree No. 9, the Health Council evolved into the Town Council, which was divided into 12 constituencies (wards), each of which elected two councillors, one of whom must be a citizen of the Transvaal Republic, and the mayor of the town appointed by the council. However, this seemingly autonomous city has become the chicken of the golden eggs laid by the Transvaal Republic, its franchise, the right to vote for foreigners, etc. are completely in the hands of the Republic, and the autonomy of the self-government is very limited. During the Anglo-Boer War, the British established the Imperial Joburg Town Government in Joburg, and established a town council composed of 18 councillors appointed by the imperial government. After the Anglo-Boer War, the town council was changed to 30 directly elected members, the town's jurisdiction was extended to six miles of Market Square, and the Rand District Court was established to govern the surrounding 79 square miles of judicial matters. Lord Milner had wanted Joburg as the capital of the Transvaal province, but the Boer generals in the war, fearing the predominance of non-Boer whites in Joburg, insisted on locating their capital in Pretoria, where the Boers were dominant. When the Union of South Africa was established, the pattern of three capitals was confirmed, but Joburg remained the seat of the National Constitutional Court with its strong economic power and vigor. The Union of South Africa implemented a system of strong countries and weak provinces, and the Transvaal province further weakened the power of Joburg. In 1928, the town of Joburg was upgraded to the city of Joburg, and the town council was upgraded to the city council, but since then the major policies on the layout and development of the city have basically been introduced by the central government, especially a series of segregation laws. However, Joburg occupied a special place in the implementation of the apartheid system because of its rapid economic development and the need for a large number of black laborers, and the city government of Joburg became the pioneer of the implementation of the apartheid system, and Joburg also became an important base for the anti-apartheid system, and the Soweto incident of June 16, 1976, the arrest of Mandela and other events took place in Joburg. In line with South Africa's separate development policy, Joburg also exercised self-government in black towns, and Soweto established local governments and city councils in 1983.

During the period of peaceful transition, Joburg's governance system changed accordingly. The Local Government Transformation Act of 1993 provided for the implementation of a secondary system of governance in Joburg, i.e., the strengthening of local government powers while limiting the powers of the Metropolitan to the coordination of interests. The first democratic local government elections were held in November 1995, and 11 local governments were formed, but the system did not work as well as the local governments were highly motivated to develop their own cities and made overbudgets, resulting in a serious deficit and crisis in the Joburg Province. In 1999, Yoburg carried out municipal reforms, selling non-core assets on the one hand, restructuring infrastructure, and achieving a financial turnaround in three years; On the other hand, the former municipal service organizations were reorganized, and three major group companies of electricity, water supply and sanitation were set up to improve service quality with market forces. In 2006, Yobao merged the original 11 municipalities into 7 to improve work and management efficiency. Each municipality has set up a civic center to provide a platform for citizens to express their opinions on the municipality and ensure smooth flow from top to bottom. The municipal government is responsible for health care, housing, leisure and sports, social development, etc., the metropolitan government is responsible for taxation, fiscal control, municipal services, etc., and the relevant departments and departments of the province of Hauten and the relevant ministries and commissions of the central government also manage the overall affairs. It is clear that in the democratic New South Africa, Joburg's administration is on the path to democracy and professionalism.

Because Joburg is a typical colonial and apartheid city, it is not only inadequately planned, but also does not fully fit with any classic planning ideas. Joburg emerged more than 100 years after the Industrial Revolution, when Howard's pastoral urban design ideas and paradigms were already popular around the world. From the perspective of the founding history of Joburg, it absorbed the pastoral city focusing on the combination of urban and rural areas, and the need to build parks and green belts in the city, etc., to build a white city suitable for work and life, but ignored the idea of pursuing social equality and reform in Howard's urban design thought, and even completely went to its opposite, forming a black town in sharp contrast to the white city, in which the poverty, congestion and harsh environment make people feel like entering another world. Joburg became a polarized world, but it was the poverty of black towns that underpinned the affluence of white cities, and the two were strangely connected by apartheid. After the First World War, Joburg's economy developed greatly, mining, manufacturing and finance went hand in hand, and the city entered a new phase. In the central business district, American-style buildings have sprung up, white cities have refined their functions, and skyscrapers have exchanged public space for densely populated cities, creating large green spaces and resting places. After the adoption of the Athens Charter in 1933, the white Joburg used a convenient road network to link work, residence and recreation places, and the production and life of the white Joburg were further rationalized, almost no different from the capitalist countries in Europe and the United States. However, black towns present a completely different picture, not only far from the work area, inaccessible, but also the environment is tight, the infrastructure is severely lacking, and the most frightening thing is that most of the black towns may be demolished at any time, and the blacks living here are extremely insecure. Joburg's polarization intensified during the period of separate development by the Kuomintang government. Although the construction of a network of highways connecting Joburg with all parts of South Africa and through Joburg was only beneficial to whites who owned private cars, the situation of black workers at large was even more miserable. After the establishment of the new South Africa, the urban development of Joburg was in line with the transformation from meritocracy to national participation proposed in the Machu Picchu Charter, and also broke the dogma of functional rationalism to a certain extent, and the rise of new cities such as Sandton is the embodiment of these principles, however, due to the existing pattern that Joburg has formed, it is not easy to implement the concepts of sustainable cities, smart cities, sponge cities, etc. The revitalization of the central business district, the economic development of black towns, and the integration of different ethnic groups and cultures in Joburg are all overall issues that need to be addressed.

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Mandela Square in Sandton

Compared to Cape Town and Pretoria, Joburg impressed me most directly with its environmental problems. In Cape Town and Bitore, blue skies and white clouds are common, while in Joburg, clear skies are rare and smoggy days are common. This of course has to do with the fact that these cities differ in function and location. Cape Town is located at the intersection of two oceans, Table Mountain can't block the monsoon from the sea, and although there are plenty of cars, the city does not seem to be seriously polluted. Bitore is located in an inland plateau and surrounded by mountains, but it is the administrative capital, with little industry and population, and limited urban pollution. Joburg is an economic center with a large population and accelerated disorderly urbanization. Whether in black towns such as Soweto or illegal settlements, most black households do not have access to electricity, use coal, wood or kerosene for heating, cooking, boiling water, etc., and release sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and ozone that have a greater health impact on children under 10 years of age, where the acute respiratory system prevalence is significantly higher than that of children living elsewhere in Joburg. Although the traffic in Joburg is not as congested as Shanghai and New York, both stationary and mobile pollution is increasing. There are many factories in Joburg, technical measures for air pollution control are insufficient, and the enforcement of pollution control laws is insufficient. In the Wal Triangle, there are a large number of chemical plants, steel factories, brick factories and other highly polluting enterprises, and the local concentrations of suspended particulate matter and sulfur dioxide are higher than the standards issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency, resulting in the life and health of about 2 million people living in this area, and the respiratory disease of school-age children in the area far exceeds that of other regions. As far as transportation is concerned, outdated running vehicles, lack of public transportation, and inefficient traffic management systems have resulted in much more air pollution near black towns than in other cities. Although the state required the use of unleaded fuel in 1996 and encouraged the use of unleaded fuel in 1998, including through taxes, the use rate is still low because either the installation of catalytic units or the purchase of unleaded gasoline requires a large additional payment, which is a heavy burden for people living in black towns. According to the survey, the lead content in the atmosphere and school playground of the black town of Joburg exceeded the World Health Organization standard, and 78% of first-graders had blood lead levels that exceeded international standards, and these students performed somewhat abnormally in school. From the distribution of harmful gases and the impact on specific populations, it can be found that the air pollution in Joburg shows obvious characteristics of environmental racism, and its impact on children of different ethnic groups makes the work of eliminating the harm of racism more difficult and long-term.

The second problem in Joburg is waste, which is a headache for the city government, a sight to see and a danger to the health of citizens. Joburg produces 6,000 tons of waste per day, 1.4 million tons per year, and a large amount of illegal littering. In order to clean the environment and improve hygiene, the Municipality of Joburg established Pikitup, a wholly owned municipal waste treatment company (Pikitup), in 2001 under the goal of building a "world-class African city", which is responsible for the collection and treatment of waste in Joburg and the cleaning of 9,000 kilometers of streets in the city. Joburg Waste Limited's vision is to be Africa's leading integrated waste management company and one of the best waste treatment companies in the world. The mission is to provide above-than-expectations, integrated, sustainable and innovative waste treatment services that ensure that waste is reduced, reused, recycled and recycled. The specific goal is to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2022, and to achieve recycling based on minimizing waste production and maximizing value. In terms of its vision and specific goals, it is impossible to say that Joburg Waste Treatment Company is ambitious, but as I see the specifics (the recycling rate of Joburg waste is only 13%, and the annual loss of littering and illegal dumping of waste is 150 million rands). There is still a long way to go to achieve the target. However, although it is not possible to do it now, it is always good to have a goal.

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Haude Coppis Landfill

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

A garbage truck weighing over the Haude Coppis landfill

Joburg Waste Management has 12 divisions responsible for 33 waste collection sites, 4 landfills and a waste incinerator. The author visited the Avelon Division, Haude Coppis and Robinson Landfills under the leadership of the company's INED. The main work of the division is to dispatch production, manage employees and vehicles, etc., and its working environment is clean and tidy, which is in strong contrast with the production line. The Haude Coppis Landfill covers a large area, with several garbage trucks hauling waste from the streets and storage yards every day, weighing it over and dumping it to the top of the garbage hill. There are several vents on the top of the mountain to discharge the exhaust gases, and the bottom of the mountain is paved with anti-seepage devices to prevent wastewater from contaminating the underground water source. The sight seen on the garbage mountain is both awe-inspiring and poignant for the pickers. The vast majority of them are said to be illegal immigrants from Lesotho, earning a living in very harsh environments and forming their own unique society. However, the deformed social environment and garbage environment not only distort their personality, but also damage their physical health. Methane accounts for 50%-60% of the polluting gases emitted from landfills and 40% of carbon dioxide. The landfill also emits other carcinogenic and teratogenic pollutants, including volatile organic compounds, benzene, vinyl chloride, dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, mercury vapor, microbial pathogens, dust, etc. Although wet settlers are used in landfills, these toxic substances can cause fatal harm to workers without any protection measures and the surrounding population, especially benzene and toluene. Benzene is a carcinogen, long-term exposure to high benzene content can cause leukemia, nervous system damage and skin, eyes, respiratory problems, long-term exposure to low benzene content environment can lead to chronic diseases. Unlike benzene, toluene is not a carcinogen and will not be deposited in human tissues, but long-term exposure to high toluene content can cause headaches, drowsiness, birth defects, tingling of the respiratory system, kidney, hearing, central nervous system damage and other symptoms. The thought of these impacts makes you worry about these people who are picking up trash in landfills, and can't imagine how they will live in the future.

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Robinson Landfill

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Trash pickers at Robinson Landfill

Robinson Landfill is the largest and most modern landfill in Joburg. Covering an area of about 50 hectares and transporting about 200 truckloads of waste every day, the flat land in front of the garbage mountain is said to have been a tailings dam that was later repurposed and its base site used as reserved land for future expansion of the landfill. Compared to the Haude Coppis landfill, the Robinson landfill is not only orderly treated, but also has certain benefits. There is a waste sorting workshop at the bottom of the mountain, and the waste piled up the mountain is relatively less mixed, and the landfill has almost no peculiar smell. After the rainy season, the landfill is lush with vegetation, and the landfill is like a scenic mountain, but the dry season is prone to wildfires, strong winds, dust, and the landfill becomes a source of pollution that affects the lives of surrounding residents and factory production. The wastewater from the Robinson landfill is treated without odor and can be reused as wet deposition water. All the gas produced by the landfill is recovered and used to generate electricity. The technology and equipment are imported from Germany, and on this basis, Joburg Waste Treatment Company's plan from waste gas to energy is implemented, so as to achieve the goal of recycling waste. It is particularly worth mentioning that the power generation from the landfill enters the Joburg grid free of charge, reflecting the concept of taking from the civilian to the people. Obviously, the two landfills in Joburg are different in terms of their functional arrangement and technical level, the former is rudimentary, but it can solve big problems, the latter is advanced but also costly, but it indicates the future direction of Joburg waste treatment.

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Landfills that have burned out in winter

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

The site of the tailings dam in front of the landfill

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Three sets of power generation facilities at the Robinson Landfill

South Africa (5) – Unique to Johannesburg and its environmental issues

Treated water at the Robinson landfill

In world history, with the emergence of cities, human history entered the era of civilization; With the development of industrialization and urbanization, human history has entered the era of modern civilization. However, the history of Joburg is somewhat distant from the history of world cities due to the apartheid system in South Africa. By practicing apartheid, Joburg gave itself a history intertwined with civilization and barbarism, modern and anti-modern. It is in the context of colonialism and racism, whether from the perspective of internalism or extrinsism, that the occurrence and development of Joburg is different from the general history of the city, and it is a unique existence. After the end of apartheid, Joburg faced new challenges from a growing population. It is superimposed on the old problems left over from history, traditional urban diseases mixed with serious environmental problems, so that the vibrant and dynamic Joburg has to carry the burden forward, and then need to explore an efficient, equitable and sustainable development path, which is not destined to be smooth sailing.

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