Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jeppe Street

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Johannesburg Sun Hotel on Jeppe Street was one of Sol Kerzner's greatest follies. A committed liberal, Kerzner really thought he could build a five star luxury hotel in the middle of Johannesburg in the mid 1980s, and that it would remain as a standard bearer for his Sun International Group.  But, of course, nothing could withstand the onslaught of the New South Africa, and very quickly, as central Johannesburg's complexion changed, fewer and fewer tourists came to stay at the hotel. It turned a roaring loss - have cost untold millions to build - and eventually Sun International abandoned the building and it closed down, with the company just writing off the millions it had put into the site. But, it seems, there is no end to liberal suckers, and the Holiday Inn Group then bought the empty building, and tried to turn it into a "Holiday Inn Express". This also proved to be a dreadful flop, and the hotel was closed down and emptied for the second time. But, there is no end to the chumps: a new set of madmen re-opened the building in 2002 as the KwaDukuza Egoli Hotel, which means 'Gathering Place in the City of Gold'. Unfortunately for them, this plan aslo, utterly predictably, saw its arse, and today, once again, the 20 odd storey building stands desolte, boarded up and empty, waiting for the inevitable... 


A Drive Down Jeppe Street

Jeppe Street, Johannesburg . . . what can one say to someone who didn't know it "back then" ? A major shopping thoroughfare on the eastern end, and a residential centre on the western end... but today, well, let the pictures do the talking...



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