Overview | Profile | Projects

jda_bara1The heart of Baralink is undoubtedly the Baragwanath Public Transport Facility and Traders Market, referred to in short as the Bara taxi rank, the biggest and busiest bus and taxi rank in Soweto. For many visitors this transport hub gives the first glimpse of Soweto.

Located on Chris Hani Road, which runs almost the entire length of Soweto, it offers high visibility and accessibility. The Johannesburg freeway grid and Western Bypass are a mere two kilometres away, while the Nancefield railway station lies adjacent to it.

More importantly, it is situated directly opposite the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, which is being upgraded.

Visitors and residents disembark from this node to make their way to the hospital or to the various clusters that make up the greater Soweto area. Hawkers depend on the passing traffic, and the volume of pedestrians in and around the rank makes it a lucrative market. The informal traders peddle an assortment of goods.

The taxi rank started as a makeshift stop for buses transporting hospital staff and patients in the 1940s. Back then there were no taxis and no taxi rank; there was just a bus stop along the road.

In 1994, the Baralink Development Framework was initiated to make use of the vast tracts of land surrounding the hospital. This urban development framework, which was adopted by the City of Johannesburg, now forms the basis of development and land release in the area.

The detailed design of the Public Transport Facility and Traders Market started in 2002. And in March 2004 the Johannesburg Development Agency took on the responsibility of overseeing its development.