Things To Do in Johannesburg CentralJoubert Park
Where? Cnr Wolmarans and King George streets, Johannesburg, Gauteng.
When? Please Contact
How? Call +27 (0)11 643-2313
How much? Free
Joubert Park lies right in the city centre, the heart of Johannesburg, just behind the Noord Street taxi rank. It's the oldest park in the city, proclaimed in 1906. Like the inner city, the park forms part of a regeneration project of Johannesburg – a green space that reflects a city in transition. Today it functions less as a green space and more as a network of informal activities that include informal trade and services, community facilities like an aftercare and clinic, a chess club, and general traffic of the 20 000 people who pass through here a month.
The streets around Joubert Park reflect an African city – it lies in amongst a crowded residential area, taxi and train transport hubs and the CBD; it's densely populated and a picture of poverty. Despite this the park, which lies in the inner city suburb of Hillbrow, is one of the city's most used green spaces.
During the recent Rugby World Cup in 2011 hundreds entered the park to watch the match on big screen television – one of several Big Screen Parks where matches are broadcast live – an initiative of Johannesburg City Parks, and its partner, township TV. Joubert Park is one of eight parks that boast large TV screens – the others are Ivory Park, Diepsloot, Eldorado, Lenasia, Diepkloof, Orange Farm and Thokoza.
The park is also home to the Johannesburg Art Gallery, where the collection of art began in 1910, and the GreenHouse People's Environmental Centre Project – that includes 'green' building projects, the still to be revamped Victorian Conservatory (a listed heritage building), a recycling centre and the city's first commercial two-storey mud building. The project is a practical demonstration of how to build, recycle resources and water sustainably to benefit both people and the environment.