Conversely, the 1980s saw Joburg reliving its heyday, with Mayat describing the era of perms, leg-warmers and Depeche Mode as "another boom and bust" in its architectural history, with the inner city seeing a great proliferation of buildings - from "fancy glass buildings" to hotels.
The '80s was "about the last time a lot of buildings went up in the CBD", she says. During the late '80s and early '90s, the city experienced decentralisation as businesses left for the northern suburbs of Sandton.
"Johannesburg is a relatively young city, but it is a kind of microcosm of South Africa," says Mayat. "The legacy of different styles is phenomenal."
This is echoed by Laurice Taitz, publisher of Johannesburg in Your City Pocket Guide. "Joburg often seems like a city that doesn't place much official value on history", owing to South Africans living in a society where "ideas around ownership and heritage were warped by apartheid history", she says.
Colonial gentleman's clubs, skyscrapers, Pequeno Brasil - what this metropolis lacks in natural beauty, it makes up for with a miscellany of tangible heritage and history. Here's to Johannesburg's architecture: the living embodiment of a complex, bizarre and, ultimately, an ag-no-lekker-hey! country.