Karoo morning, just outside Burgersdorp, the mist draped across the foothills like a scarf.


I ran a writing workshop in Cape Town recently, and one of the topics for a free-writing exercise — just put pen to paper and write for 20 minutes or so — was “It’s Autumn”. A writer by the name of Chris de Beer wrote an excellent piece, a rant against the season, which she berated for its sullen indecisiveness and bouts of bitter, drizzly cold. “Autumn,” she concluded, “you are winter’s enabler.” Well, that’s autumn in Cape Town. In Joburg, autumn is my favourite of all the seasons: a time of burnished in-betweens, of crystal-blue, cloudless skies, and lazy, benevolent sunshine. Until, one day, when you least expect it, winter marches in and boots the season from its place of mellow contemplation. Autumn, you are winter’s denier. Stay a little longer if you can, please.

It’s interesting to see how the redevelopments in the Maboneng district of Joburg have created a satellite economy, allowing space for small and micro businesses, such as this mobile clothing stall. The area has become known for its Sunday market and its high-end office and residential buildings, but there is room too for pavement craftmakers, pop-up boutiques, food stalls, buskers, and wifi-enabled tuk-tuks. Maboneng – the name means Place of Light – is a shining example of what can be achieved when a city sets out to redefine itself.