The Battle for Johannesburg captures the changing face of a city that’s preparing to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It’s a tale of property developers vying for sections of the crumbling city with renewed excitement, of a city council determined to create a world-class city, and ultimately of how this affects the hundreds of thousands of people who have made the city slums their home. There is money to be spent, even more, to be made and conflicting interests are at stake.
As whole areas around stadiums get a brush-up and the middle classes, black and white, begin to move back in, beneath the scramble for property and space is a human story of survival. The eyes of the world are in South Africa. The film raises universal questions such as does urban development have to mean gentrification and is it possible to create a world-class city for all?