Oakdene, Johannesburg

Lying to the south of the centre of Johannesburg, Oakdene nestles in amongst its neighbouring suburbs of Linmeyer, Rosettenville, Glenanda and Bassonia. Despite sounding as though it is away from the hub of the city, Oakdene is anything but. The area lies just south of the city centre, five kilometres from Gold Reef City and close enough to the airport to make it there in 20 minutes or so.

Johannesburg, like numerous cities the world over, has an unspoken divide between the northern and southern suburbs. The north wouldn't consider moving down south and the south, well, they think anyone north of the centre of Johannesburg is a snob, and they are probably right.

However, you would be remiss in thinking that the only beautiful spots in the city lie north of it. Parts of Oakdene rest on a hill that at night has incredible views over Johannesburg, and the kopjie on Southpansberg provides residents with a natural and less austere view than many similar northern suburbs.

The access from Oakdene to the N12 and consequently the M1 is very good too, and local shopping centres make it an easy space in which to reside. And then there is Johannesburg's city centre, just seven kilometres from Oakdene.

There is a hustle and bustle about its streets that make it attractive. Outdoor cafes around Newtown and the financial district make a visit here a contradiction to the myths that keep the average visitors away from the city's heart. Yes, there is crime and there are potholes and taxi drivers that defy every possible road rule, but people now walk around Jo'burg, yes, really.

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