Eruvs and Electric Fences: Inside the Walls of Johannesburg’s Jews

Twenty years of freedom later, yet with crime, poverty and corruption rampant, tens of thousands of Jews still call South Africa’s largest city home. Why do they stay?

The Zulus call it eGoli – Place of Gold – for in 1886, the coveted metal was found in abundance on the Witwatersrand, the inland ridge on which Johannesburg lies. The promise of instant fortunes catalysed the largest, most rapid urban migration in southern African history. Earth’s bounty crowned rand lords, and also birthed a vast apparatus of economic exploitation.