Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The late, great, Rissik Street Post Office

The oldest Public Building in Johannesburg burned down two nights ago. It stood opposite the Gauteng legislature, for the past 10 or more years, with a fence around it, in a vain attempt to stop vandals, thieves and homeless people from entering it and living inside it.

Recently, it has been used as a place for film shoots and suchlike. Some years ago, someone stole the clock. The wooden windows were left to rot and bit by bit, this beautiful building just crumbled and decayed.

It was rumoured, at one point, that a Saudi firm had bought it and were going to turn it into a hotel. No sign of any Saudis. Even less of any hotel. There it stood. Every morning, as I drove into work in the city centre, I would see it, with the clock tower ignominiously wrapped in some kind of sheeting, to protect it from the elements. That stayed on so long, that a tear developed in the protective covering, which became a gash, which eventually let the elements right back in.

Politicians from all sides of the house could not have failed to see the building, everytime they entered or exited the Legislature. It was just there, assailing the eye for years and years and years. They did nothing about it

Now it is gone. Forever. It is a crying shame. It is a Provincial and National disgrace. It is a blight on the whole lot of us.


  1. The post office that burnt in 2009 was the Rissik Street Post Office. Jeppe Street PO is still standing.

    1. Thanks for this. I was thinking Rissik and writing Jeppe!