The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) hosted a close out ceremony on 12 June 2019 for the twelve 2019 #JoziWalks hosts. It was a celebratory occasion to recognise their #JoziWalks participation and more importantly their contribution in creating walkable and vibrant communities.

All 12 participants presented and shared their #JoziWalks experiences. The standard of presentations, depth of community history and local knowledge shared nurtured constructive discussions between all participants. Ultimately, of the 12 walks, three were singled out for their outstanding contributions to city development.
#JoziWalks is a series of JDA sponsored walking tours that aims to get Joburg residents to explore the city on foot, connect with their neighbours and encourage people to reflect on what makes neighbourhoods work. Since 2017 when #JoziWalks was launched over 1200 people have participated in these free community-led walks, unearthing fantastic stories about this dynamic city.

This year the awards were adjudicated by cultural, academic, and media representatives of Johannesburg and Gauteng: Dawn Hill, representing cultural icon, Constitution Hill, Laurice Taitz of the highly influential event guide “In your pocket” Johannesburg edition, Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina of the South African Cities Network and Dr Alexandra Parker of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

“As part of our work as the JDA, we believe in a multi-pronged approach to developing Johannesburg that will spur on economic activity, inclusion and social cohesion,” says Susan Monyai, Marketing Director of the JDA. “This approach, which emphasises diversity, is illustrated in the range of walks we chose, the judging panel, and the three awards we have given out.”

The Spirit of The City Award was awarded to Mbali Mdluli’s for her “Woman of Fire” walk. Mdluli highlighted the often invisible but significant contributions of women to the Braamfontein and Newtown area on her walking tour; from recognising the women street sellers to Brenda Fassie.

The Community Connections Award was given to the bike tour from Diepsloot, organised by Black Bite Productions. The ‘SlootDEtour’ brought members of the Diepsloot community together with visitors from outside the area to tour Diepsloot using bikes hired from the community themselves.

The third and final award was handed to the team from Noordgesig lead by Nadia Naude. This walk brought together the history and future of Noordgesig and won the “Best Community Insights Award” for their walking tour which included a community concert and incorporated several local businesses.

Dr Karuri-Sebina said: “As we develop cities, we need to keep in mind the human stories that this kind of project invites. They teach us how to read the city differently, and ultimately how to read ourselves and build our own narratives differently.”

“We believe that a city development can benefit hugely from the enthusiastic and empowered citizenry shown in Jozi Walks”, says acting CEO of JDA Douglas Cohen.

The JDA intends to build on the successes of the 2019 #joziwalks in 2020.

Editors Notes:

Jozi Walks took place over the Weekend of May 18 and 19 2019. The 12 JoziWalks taking place during the #JoziWalks2019 weekend were:

    1. SlootDEtour/Bikers Must Ride with Black Bite Productions in Diepsloot.
    2. Unknown History of Braamfontein Cemetery with Friends of Johannesburg Cemeteries in Braamfontein.
    3. International Nurses Month with Sehonghong Sa Thuto NGO in Dube, Soweto.
    4. Meeting Hillbrow: Hillbrow Youth Tours with Outreach Foundation in Hillbrow.
    5. Braam Comedy Walking Tour with Story Nation in Braamfontein.
    6. Sports, heritage and culture walk with Maboneng Township Arts Experience in Maboneng.
    7. Fun walk through the fashion district with the Fashion District Institute in Maboneng Precinct.
    8. Johannesburg Literary District with Bridge Books in the Joburg CBD.
    9. Noordgesig ‘Historical’ Arts Alive with Exaltation Women’s Projects in Pennyville and Noordgesig.
    10. In-touch Transect Walk with In-touch Youth Development in Orange Farm.
    11. Woman on Fire with Miz. Buttons in Hillbrow and Constitution Hill.
    12. La Rochelle and Talk with Art My Jozi in Turffontein.

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Issued by:

Grounded Media
Yusrah Bardien
011 544 1900

On behalf of:

Johannesburg Development Agency
Marketing & Communication:
Susan Tshililo Monyai