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​​​Pulling down buildings​​​​​
download.jpg​Johannesburg has always been characterised by a continual process of pulling down buildings, as the land value has been greater than the value of the building. "By the 1970s some stands were being built on for the fourth or fifth time and the average life expectancy of a building was just fifteen years," indicates Ball.

He describes how in 1919, the city council began levying rates on site values, as opposed to rates on land values. The immediate effect of the ruling was that undeveloped land was either sold or developed. But there was a downside. "The major disadvantage of the system was the relentless pressure to demolish charming but obsolete buildings."

This ruling remained in place and played a role in the rapid economic development of the CBD in the 1960s and '70s, contends Ball.​