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Johannesburg’s contrasts are some of the most extreme in the world; poverty-stricken and overcrowded Alexandra is surrounded by some of the richest suburbs in South Africa, and downtown hundreds of homeless struggle to survive around the Stock Exchange. The contrast between suburb and township is mirrored nationwide, but is more extreme here because of the intense wealth of many of the suburbs, and the sheer size of the townships and their satellite squatter camps. Yet the city as a whole continues to absorb people and skills from all over the country, making it the financial, commercial and cultural powerhouse of South Africa.

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