Celebrating the city's heritage

emoyini_topEmoyeni Estate in Parktown (Photo: The Heritage Portal)

There are numerous heritage sites around Joburg all waiting to be discovered. Tours to these historic areas will take place in September to celebrate Heritage Month.

Johannesburg's inner city is home to some of South Africa's oldest buildings such as the Post Office, City Hall and the Johannesburg Library, all of which give character to a metropolis that strives to put heritage first.

This year's Heritage Month, celebrated during the month of September, has the theme, "Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy: Tell Your Story that Moves South Africa Forward".

According to Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Heritage Month recognises aspects of South African culture that both tangible and intangible – creative expressions such as music and performances, South Africa's historical inheritance, our many languages, the food we eat, as well as popular memory.

Various heritage sites and infrastructure developments in Johannesburg have been named after liberation struggle icons, such as Luthuli House and the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.

As custodians of Johannesburg's heritage, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) takes pride in upholding the integrity of the city's older buildings, helping to preserve them.

Sixteen tours that showcase Johannesburg's oldest buildings have been scheduled for September. Highlights include:

  • A walking tour through Johannesburg's market square, Beyers Naude Square, will pass fine buildings on the square – the Post Office, City Hall and Library – as well as many other ones of significance in the neighbouring financial and mining districts.
  • Another tour includes The View, once the home of Sir Thomas Cullinan and now the headquarters of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment; Hazeldene Hall; and Sunnyside Park, the former home of Lord Milner.
  • A walking tour starts at Glenshiel, the grand, rambling home built for Sir William and Lady Dalrymple, before proceeding to Pallinghurst and then ending at Woollsack, now the Ridge School.
  • A bus ride of Johannesburg's ridges. The ridges are one of the city's defining features, and they have provided inspiration and building material to generations of architects.