Faraday station, in the southeastern part of Johannesburg, was formerly an area of significant decay but, with the completion of the Faraday Station Precinct, the area marks yet another milestone in the city’s regeneration campaign.
The area is home to Faraday Market, a major centre dedicated to the art of traditional healing and a viable transport hub. With trading space for more than 280 muti traders, the Faraday Market Precinct is a major attraction whose tourist potential has been largely untapped.
The Faraday precinct is bordered by Anderson Street in the north, Von Wielligh Street/Rosettenville Road in the east, Eloff Street in the west and Newton Street in the south. Anchored by Faraday Station – a railway terminal on the lines that link Soweto and other southwestern townships to the city – the precinct has become a multinodal transport interchange, with bus and taxi services extending connections into the central and near city zones.
Faraday functions as a threshold space offering access to various destinations both locally and in the broader city environment. The overall development concept proposes an interweaving of energies as a way of generating a richer and more diverse urban fabric. The intention of this project was to recycle and regenerate, to create a more inclusive and sustainable future for the precinct and the city.
Business Plan, Novemeber 2001
Urban Design Plan, Novemeber 2001
Formulation Phase Needs Analysis, Novemeber 2001
Faraday Market has been subdivided into five blocks:
- Block A is the administration centre;
- Blocks B and E are occupied by muti traders and traditional healers;
- Block C has more formal shops; and
- Block D is reserved for informal traders.
An impressive feature of the market is the double-storey B Block that houses muti traders on the ground floor and healers’ consulting rooms above.
Apart from recognising the activities of the area by providing good facilities such as waiting and consulting rooms for traditional healers and dispensers, and also for the display and sale of their products, the Faraday Station Special Facilities Project also provides facilities for other formal and informal activities in the area related to taxis, buses and rail.
The multi-million Rand “Special Facilities Project” improvements by the JDA included:
- Facilities for commuters, taxi operators and drivers;
- A market for traditional medicines and consulting and treatment rooms for traditional healers;
- A general informal trading market;
- A precinct or neighbourhood centre including offices for precinct management, meeting and training rooms for health workers and for environment and conservation, and a visitors’ and security centre;
- Public open space with a small retail component;
- Environmental upgrade of existing pavements and provision of new pedestrian spaces, safety measures and amenities; and
- An impressive array of public art adorns the buildings including innovative mosaic work and imposing hand-made steel gates and doors.
The taxi rank can accommodate more than 250 vehicles and serve a significant number of commuters each day. In line with the City Council’s and JDA’s requirement to take holding and ranking taxis off the streets and traders off the pavements, one of the main considerations in the design of the special facility was to create appropriate formal accommodation for taxi operators.
The allocated taxi holding area also has a formal space for the preparation of food. The taxi rank is designed on a larger scale. Graceful steel-framed structures with curved galvanised IBR roofs shelter the ranking lanes between pavement platforms. The building straddles a broad walkway that links the new market, through the taxi rank, to the area beneath the motorway where trading was once conducted.
The muti market
An impressive feature of the market is the double-storey building that houses muti traders on the ground floor and consulting rooms above.
These rooms each have a low 1,6m-high door, which lends to the traditional feel of the building as patrons have to bend to enter, a sign of submissiveness to the traditional healer. The walls of the consulting rooms are used not only as partitions, but also as storage spaces, with cubicles that can be used by healers to store their medicines. The rooms have bathrooms for use not only as ablution facilities but also during healing procedures. The zinc bowl is used for regurgitation and the bath for ceremonial cleansing.
An open area is being used for the Friday market. Each Friday, supplies are brought in from areas such as Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal to be sold to dealers in bulk.