The Tales of South African Townships
Township in South Africa reflects the celebration of joy in human rights, freedom, justice and reconciliation. From the experience of shebeens to visits with sangomas.
A township visit is an emotional and unique sensory experience that is abuzz with the vivid social culture. Each township tells a story of its own about how it was established, the struggle through the years of apartheid and the current age it has evolved into.
South African townships have an irresistible soul and vibe that will welcome you and give you the experience of a lifetime!
Alex – “Township of Rhythm”
Alexandra is affectionately known as ‘Alex’, it is Gauteng’s oldest township. Initially, it was established as a residential area. This was in 1905 by a white farmer. He aimed for a white suburb and named it after his wife. In 1912 it was transformed into a native township. Black people were allowed land ownership.
In 1913 the land act dissolved land ownership rights by blacks. Alexandra continues in migration as it was close in proximity to the employment opportunities in Johannesburg.
‘Alex’ has an interesting and turbulent and past, a fascinating present, and a very promising future. It also has it’s own community radio and TV station.
Popular culture like theaters in the townships was a dynamic force which gave life and hopes to the people, it’s a dynamic force that gave hope.
A township tour will give assess to the best shebeens in where you can quench your thirst on the tradition umqombothi, an African beer that is home-brewed, and taste amazing local delicacies.
You can also stock up on arts and crafts from street vendors, curios and explore the world colorful traditional medicine world.
The outdoor markets, the St Hulbert Catholic church, Mandela Yard Precinct and traditional healers create a fascinating new and old blend making Alex a fascinating township tour.
A Visit to the iconic township of Soweto
Soweto is the fifth most popular destination for overseas visitors to the Gauteng province. It’s ‘Jozi’s’ tourism drawcard. And one of the biggest attractions is the Mandela Museum, in Vilakazi Street. The former four-roomed home of Nelson and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is a deeply moving experience, that reminds us of our past, and gives us hope for the future.
The Hector Pieterson Memorial is three blocks from where 13-year-old Hector was shot and died on 16 June 1976, the day when students in Soweto marched against the repressive imposition of the Afrikaans language in schools
Soweto tours start with, Hector Pieterson Museum and the Regina Mundi church.No trip to Soweto in Johannesburg is complete without a visit to Regina Mundi, the largest Catholic Church in the most popular Soweto.
It’s been a spiritual haven for thousands of Sowetans, it has also played a pivotal role in the township’s history of resistance against apartheid.
The Ubuntu Kraal is a collection of straw-roofed rondavels that form a homestead, popular as a wedding and conference venue.
Many will also be interested in the Soweto Festival. The Soweto Festival is held annually
The venue is the magnificent Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, the site of the signing of the historic Freedom Charter by anti-apartheid organizations in 1955.
This is the ideal place for the people of Soweto to congregate over Heritage weekend as the Square is a national monument.
The Soweto Festival centers around an exhibition and day-long entertainment events.
The capturing visit to Katlehong
The Katlehong township area smoldered with political tension in the early 1990s and the name was associated with violent protests and a low-level civil war amongst factions.
This, however, is a thing of the past and in some way seems to make the Art Centre even more of an achievement for being there. Some of the most exquisite examples of ethnic artwork are housed here and the center seems to have been as influenced by the emotional turmoil of the township as its inhabitants once were.
Welcome to motherland Africa! Welcome to South Africa!