Newtown, Johannesburg

Situated in Johannesburg inner-city, Newtown forms the heart of the city’s regeneration and reinvention of itself. Newtown is a fairly large area that lies sandwiched between the railway lines to the north, the M2 highway in the south and bounded in the east and west by West Street and Quinn Street respectively.

What makes Newtown so accessible is the Nelson Mandela Bridge, which links Braamfontein to Newtown, is able to carry some 3000 cars an hour and forms the new gateway into the city from the north. Newtown is now a mixed-use area with a vibrant and unique character, particularly if you take its cultural facilities into account. Newtown is home to the renowned Market Theatre, which played such an important role in South African theatre during the apartheid era, committed as it was to non-racial theatre right from 1974, where a run-down Edwardian market hall was converted into a cultural arena that provided a platform for some of the country’s best actors and playwrights.

Today the complex is home to three theatres and two art galleries, and on Saturday mornings a flea market continues at the theatre. Kippies, located in the former Songwriters’ Club in Newtown, is named after the legendary saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi and serves as a venue to live jazz as it has for years, despite its closure for two years.

Just around the corner from the market complex is the Oriental Plaza where every shopkeeper owns his shop and the vibrant colour of the busy complex is a sheer delight. Rolls of fabric spew out on to tables, pots, pans and crockery, kiosks with hair accessories, electronics, leather goods, fashion and the smell of incense, samoosas and chilli merge charmingly.

Travellers' Reviews

1 Review from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

Newtown is the best site in johannesburg to be in ... the market theater, SAB and beautiful Mandela bridge on the edge connecting Braamfontein with this massive city of exploration and disastrous beauty. The accomodation from top class hotels to guests house that will feed your soul and ease up everything. The museum in market theater tells secret stories hidden from the apartheid and history of South Africa. Newtown is a place to be. Oriental plaza on the side making shopping very easy.

April 2013

makgato machaba (johannesburg)

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