From the Geography department
On Wednesday 19 February, the Form V Geography girls went on an educational tour which enabled them to observe parts of the settlement syllabus throughout Johannesburg.
The tour began with driving through Norwood and Berea, where the girls were able to observe different types of commercial spaces: namely, commercial ribbon development and invasion and succession from a residential area into a commercial one. The girls were then able to stop and explore Victoria Yards which is a diverse urban complex which prioritises promoting the diverse culture of South Africa. It also preserves the importance of heritage through maintaining the old buildings and upgrading only certain components of the buildings. It allowed the girls to witness how gentrification can benefit the local community. The girls also had the opportunity to go to the top of the Carlton Centre and analyse the layout of the city from a completely different angle. They were able to observe the street pattern of a CBD and see apartheid city buffers - enabling them to link the past of our country to its current layout.
The final destination was Rand Steam. This site is a neighbourhood shopping centre with local shops and a few major tenants. The girls were allowed to explore and observe how the centre’s heritage has been preserved through the careful construction of the centre and the placement of the Rand Steam water tower. Before the girls climbed back on the bus, they were given lunch at a restaurant called “Cowfish”. While eating, the girls were shown the original brickwork of the old buildings in the restaurant. The bus ride then continued through two of the major OBDs (Other Business Districts) of Johannesburg - Sandton and Rosebank. This was later contrasted to Alexandra, which the girls drove past next. This opportunity allowed the girls to observe clearly the huge division of wealth in South Africa.
The tour allowed the girls to observe Johannesburg and apply their observations with the syllabus they were taught in class. This allowed them to have a better understanding of how the theory fits into the physical world.
Megan Hayes and Kristen Olivier