History of Newtown Pt.3 (1970-2020)

Catch up on Newton Pt.1 and Newtown Pt.2 to get the full backstory.

At the time of writing this third part of Newtown’s history, it has been a cultural centre for 46 years and has gone through several revivals over that time.

The 1970s – Market Theatre

During apartheid, this area of Newtown was a ‘grey area’ based on the zoning of the market which allowed people of different races to mix in the interests of commerce. The theatre (and area) was non-racial and provided the basis and start of Newtown’s cultural journey.

The relocation of the market and abattoir, and the closure of the power station provided an opportunity to redevelop the area. 59 hectares of land was now available near the new stock exchange site with one-third of the valuable property owned by the Municipality. Generally, the impression of the area during this period was that it was run-down and a good place to get robbed.

‘The Company’ was started by Mannie Manim and Barney Simon in 1974 as a platform to perform and promote non-racial theatre. Other founder members were: Aletta Bezuidenhout, Vanessa Cooke, Judith Cornell, David Eppel, Leonie Hofmeyr, Janice Honeyman, Danny Keogh, Sue Kriel, Lindsay Reardon and John Oakley-Smith.

For two years they put on plays at various venues while looking for something permanent. Along with architect Manfred Hermer, they considered old nightclubs, an unused synagogue, barns, and an abandoned cinema. The old market buildings came to their attention via city council official Maurice Norton, who saw the potential of the building after witnessing a shaft of sunlight that lit up a man selling fruit on the octagonal central platform of the old fruit market.
Norton contacted Manim about the old fruit market that was to close in a few months. It was perfect, similar in proportion to Shakespeare’s Globe and ideally situated.

Interior of the old fruit market (Source: Lost Johannesburg)

The future of the building was uncertain. Norton did some research on the structure and found out that it was the longest three-pin arch in the Southern Hemisphere. This convinced the city engineer that the building must be preserved and could become an entertainment complex. The problem was that it now had to go to tender and Manim wasn’t guaranteed the site.

With the help of Manfred Hermer, they drew up plans and submitted the tender. Their biggest competition came from Des & Dawn Lindberg, but somewhat controversially, The Company eventually won. It came down to costs, the depth of renovation and the fact that the Company had a better track record of putting on a broad range of plays. Their renovation was minimal and would have kept costs down, and therefore ticket prices, while still preserving the integrity of the structure.

While waiting for the outcome and the building to be vacated, The Company performed plays at the Arena (Doornfontein), Oxford Hotel at the Blue Fox (Rosebank), the Nunnery (Braamfontein), WITS at ‘The Box’ (Braamfontein), and the Chelsea Hotel (Hillbrow). At the same time, plays were also held in halls in Soweto and Lenasia.

The council confirmed via letter on April 29 1975 that the Indian fruit Market was to be leased to The Company. One of the provisions was that the old signs were not to be damaged.

Old fruit market during its transformation into the Market Theatre (Source: The Best of Company)
Market Theatre stage 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)
Old signage in the theatre 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)
Market theatre foyer 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)

Building began in August 1975 to convert part of the old market building into a theatre with the architectural work handled by Hermer and Grosskopf (of Ponte fame, although Hermer also designed the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein in 1951). During construction, the admin staff moved in to prepare for the first production to be held in the building. In June 1976, ‘The Seagull’ opened at ‘Upstairs at the Market’.

Over the next two months, the bookshop opened as well as the first exhibition in what would become the Market Gallery. David Marks opened the Market Cafe in July 1976.

In September, the building was finally completed to allow rehearsals for the first play in the main theatre. On 19 October 1976, Marat/Sade opened at the Market Theatre.

Stage and set for Marat/Sade (Source: Best of Company)
A page from the visitor’s book in 1976 (Source: Best of Company)

A second small theatre called The Laager opened in August 1978 with Piet dirk Uys’ ‘Die van Aardes van Grootoor’.

Cast of ‘Die van Aardes van Grootoor’ (Source: Best of Company)

September 1979 saw the opening of the Photo Gallery which was conceived by Wolf Weineck. The opening group exhibition were works by David Goldblatt, Rodney Barnett and Struan Robertson.

Gallery space 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)

Running parallel to the privately funded theatre precinct, planners Wilfred Mallows and Max Kirchhofer prepared and delivered a three-volume report for Newtown to the city council. The first was delivered in December 1977, relating Newtown to the whole central city. The second described the area in detail and the third contained the planning proposals that were delivered a year later. Leslie Green’s 1974 and 1975 reports accompanied the volumes. Green was an international authority on city management. These five reports were shelved by the council and gathered dust until 1981 when they were released for public information.

Market Theatre complex 2018 (Source: Yeshiel Panchia)

The 1980s – Growing the cultural complex

Mallows and Kirchhofer envisaged parking garages under the M1 with pedestrian priority between Jeppe & President Streets. There existed plans for a railway tunnel to link Westgate station to Braamfontein with an underground station in Diagonal Street with the street pedestrianised between Kerk and President and various shopping bridges easing street congestion. The Diagonal Street Station would reduce walking time for workers. Express bus routes would lead to a terminus close to new taxi ranks and car parks. New offices would upgrade in the area near the stock exchange site. Interestingly, a high residential zone on the municipal land was ruled out due to being low-lying and ‘liable to temperature inversion and thus atmospheric pollution’. The nearby M1 also added to the noise and general pollution.

A recreational zone was to be created near the market buildings, with some existing buildings earmarked for an arts centre, bowling alley, dance hall and indoor sports centre. There was no immediate plan for the cooling towers. Practical uses needed to be found, but whatever they were, extensive remedial word would be needed to be carried out as the concrete had weathered exposing the reinforced steel bars which were beginning to rust which presumably affected the structural integrity of the towers.

Cooling towers c1969 (Source: Hilton Tepet Facebook)

Mallow-Kirchhofer expressed some regret at the time that the market buildings were handed over to Museum Africa. The feeling was that the cavernous building could be put to much better use. After some public consultation later in 1981 there was little interest in the greater proposal. The council was also allocating various buildings to other organisations which also caused concern and thwarted further plans.

One of the historical victims of the square was the original toilets on the western end under the M1. These were damaged during the 1922 miner’s strike by bullets fired which ricocheted off the green tiles and also damaged a urinal. It was a highlight of heritage tours and there was a desire to have it proclaimed as a national monument. In May 1981, municipal workers ripped off and replaced all the damaged tiles and replaced the urinal with a modern steel one. At the time there was a drive to fix issues in the municipal area and the toilets were discovered to need fixing. It took 59 years to get around to fixing them, but it also destroyed what had become an important heritage site.

The plan for Mary Fitzgerald Square was a landscaped park with an underground carpark. These plans along with many others for Newtown at the time never materialised.

The Johannesburg Flea Market, the first of its kind in Johannesburg, opened on the 28th of February 1984 on Mary Fitzgerald Square with 160 stalls.

Flea market with towers (Source: unknown)

It was started and run by avant-garde artist Wolf Weineck, who got the idea from a visit to New York after witnessing the locals putting up temporary stalls on recently demolished city blocks. According to his wife, it took two years of negotiations with the city council to change certain by-laws and get approval.

Wolf Weineck (Source: Best of Company)

People turned up in period costumes and various musicians, buskers and performers stole the show. By December there were 375 stalls. It attracted a mixed bag of visitors: housewives from the north, crafters from Soweto, designers from Hillbrow, and miners from Jeppe. The flea market became a major attraction turning the ‘cultural district’ of Newtown into a popular hangout spot.

Flea market in 1984 (Source: Johannesburg 100)

It would pave the way for future flea markets like Bruma Lake and Rosebank, which would flourish in the 1990s when businesses and customers abandoned the city centre for the suburbs.

In 1984, the market Theatre complex comprised four theatres, two galleries, a bookshop, a restaurant, a bar and a coffee bar.

On the 6th of June 1985, the four 1937 towers were imploded. After this, Wohunter Street was pedestrianised and a new street named now named Miriam Makeba Street was constructed running from Carr Street straight across to President Street, dividing several blocks in the process and giving street frontage to the back of the old power station.

Imploding towers (Source: Unknown)

This Sunday Times article, prior to demolition, gives some insight into the thinking around the development of the area:

“Although Johannesburg’s four cooling towers in Newtown will soon come tumbling down the 6680m2 site is not top priority for the areas redevelopment. John Mortimer, chairman of the city council committee responsible for advising on the redevelopment plan, says the decision to implode the towers is a result of an investigation into the feasibility of redecorating the towers for Johannesburg’s centenary next year. The centenary festival committee wanted to spend R500 000 on renovating the towers but the city electrical engineer found they were in too dangerous a condition to allow work on them.”

According to the overall plan, the cooling tower site is the last part of the area to be developed. Dr Mortimer says: “We see the Newtown site being developed from the north-east side towards the motorway.” The City Engineering Department’s mechanical workshops are situated around the towers and new premises will have to be found before the site can be put to other use. As the site is next to the motorway, the noise would be a problem and the planners suggested the site should not be used for offices but as a recreation area.

The Mallows Kirchoffer report which formed the basis of the council’s redevelopment plan recommended that the cooling towers ‘be considered as popular landmarks to be retained if possible.’ The report suggested an entertainment zone be made between the two taller towers and the Market Theatre. Another suggestion by architects and planners was for floors to be built in the larger towers. They would house an entertainment centre, including a theatre, art gallery and restaurant. None of that happened.

Nigel Mandy of the CBD Association mourned the passing of the cooling towers and said that although he knew the two smaller towers were unsound, he thought the larger towers were stable and worth preserving as a landmark on Johannesburg’s skyline. ‘People who are making new facilities would pay hundreds of thousands to build a landmark such as that says Mr Mandy.” Sunday Times via Heritage Portal

“By the late 80s, and at its height, The “Market” included the Market Theatre Foundation (with its 3 theatre spaces, gallery, Photo Workshop and Theatre Lab), the FUBA Arts Centre, The Artists Proof Studios, The Newtown Gallery, the Mega Music Warehouse, Shifty Records and the Kippies Jazz Club, amongst others. In addition, there were shops, restaurants and bars, including the infamous Yard of Ale, Gramadoelas, and the Saturday Flea Market… By then the cultural district itself was relatively small and intimate. It included the theatre across which was a block where most other organisations were based, with a small public space in between. This was a pedestrianised street, with Kippies on one end. Here is where most of the action happened, except on Saturdays when the flea market took place on the large Mary Fitzgerald square. Newtown was in those days one of the most significant, culturally relevant spaces in Johannesburg if not in South Africa and attracted a large number of important cultural workers, artists, journalists, activists, the international diplomatic community and others.” http://www.creativecitysouth.org

Interior of what was once Gramadoelas Restaurant (Source: Marc Latilla)
Kippies 2021 (Source: Marc Latilla)

Kippies Jazz Club (named by Abdullah Ibrahim after famous Jazz artist Kippie Moeketsi) was opened on 8 March 1987. Its design was based on the 1913 Edwardian toilets a few hundred metres away. In 2005, it was earmarked for demolition having become unsafe but appears to have been saved by the JDA as it was relaunched in 2008. It still stands in 2023.

This late 80s period is referred to as Newtown’s cultural high point.

“Essentially all these organisations, venues and restaurants were, according to Sack, cultural brands or cultural products or ideas that moved into the space, and a lot of them survived for only a limited period of time because they were associated with a particular set of circumstances, time and place.”

“The Market Theatre became an extraordinary phenomenon. It took plays abroad and developed a huge international reputation. In fact, it became one of the major theatres of the world, and it retains this status to this day. Kippies originally opened under the management of The Market Theatre as did the weekly flea market on Mary Fitzgerald Square. The pedestrianisation of the then Wolhuter Street outside the Market Theatre was also undertaken by the Market Theatre and so a small cultural precinct started to take shape. Newtown became the place where people gathered, artists moved in and took over old buildings, and cultural projects development – all off the back of the Market Theatre.” Shand

90s – Decay and the push for revitalisation

“The decline of the Market Theatre in the early nineties happened in parallel with the Newtown flea market closing when Bruma and Rosebank markets opened. Purkey pins this moment as the point when the crisis in Newtown happened and its downward spiral of urban decay set in. Mannie Manim left the Market Theatre in 1990 because, according to Purkey, “it seemed impossible to maintain the venue as a going concern”. It was operating on international and liberation money and suddenly liberation was here. It was the political environment and not the area that was in decline. Post 1994 for about ten years the theatre lost its way and mission. Obviously, as the anchor cultural institution in Newtown a lot of activities in Newtown followed the decline.” Shand

“The thrust of cultural infrastructure development in Newtown took place under Till’s leadership. During the nineties, and driven by Till, the Africana Museum relocated to what is now Museum Africa; the South African Breweries (SAB) created the ‘World of Beer’; the infrastructure for a technology museum in the Electric Workshop was achieved; most of the programme for the Biennale took place in Newtown; and the Foundation for the Creative Arts (the predecessor to the NAC) and the French Institute converted offices opposite the Market Theatre.”

“Less formally the Market Theatre Foundation expanded to include The Laboratory, the Photo
Workshop, small shops in its own precinct and a gallery. It also provided a base for Gramadoelas, The Yard of Ale and then Kofifi. Cultural activist, Benjy Francis, launched the hugely ambitious Afrika Cultural Centre in the Potato Sheds. Till found space for Suzette le Seuer who moved her dance operation from the City Hall to what is now the Dance Factory, and Sylvia Glazer moved Moving into Dance Mopatong into a building next door, and Mega Music operated as a commercial music venue and equipment hire company out of the now Bassline venue. Nikki’s Oasis opened, the pub and micro-brewery at SAB World of Beer became Horror Café and The Workers’ Library converted part of the Power Workers compound for their use and as a small Museum of Workers’ History. Small cultural businesses occupied space temporarily in 1 President Street, and Artist Proof Studios provided space and facilities for the fine arts. In fact some of the tenants moved in by Till are still in Newtown today, namely Artist Proof Studio, Moving into Dance, and the Dance Factory. Africana Museum used to be on the top floor of the Johannesburg Public Library in Harrison Street. It moved to the old market buildings and is now known as Museum Africa.” Shand

“The council, in the form of the new municipal art and culture department under Christopher Till, took control of the site in the 1990s and renamed it ’Newtown Cultural District’. It was extended to the old power station and the ‘electric workshop’ which was transformed into an exhibition space. The newly named ‘Museum Africa’ was the anchor. Sites in Newtown were rented out to various cultural organisations and arts groups at low rentals. Till established Arts Alive and the Johannesburg Biennale, the first which took place in 1995, and the second (and last) in 1997.” Shand

“Other efforts included trying to convince Transnet to build the structure that now has the original Park Station on top of it. His vision was to bring steam trains back into the area and using the Potato Sheds and existing platforms as a station to go to Magaliesburg. Transnet did build the structure and moved the old station onto site but the City did not take forward his steam train idea. Unfortunately, a squatter camp began to develop there, which Till did warn the City about, and soon it was massive. Transnet did not want to take their plans further because of this and the City did nothing about the squatters.” Shand

The old power station was also home to several punk squatters in the 1990s and even attracted a Carte Blanche interview.

90s punk squatters in Newtown (Source: Facebook)

New Reserve Bank building 1996.

In 1996, the Johannesburg branch Reserve Bank building took up the place of the old tram sheds which became known as car sheds.
“…the new SA Reserve Bank Building in West Street, Newtown, makes its presence felt on the western border of the CBD – surely no one can ignore its solid red brick edifice, broken by interesting angles and shapes. Despite being modern and large and angular, it blends with the rusty lines of the large, glass-walled Turbine Hall alongside it, and heralds the start of Newtown with its dramatic profile.” Lucille Davies

It was designed by Floris Smith & Meyer Pienaar Architects and Urban Designers (now Meyer Pienaar Tayob Architects).

Reserve Bank building (Source: Co-arc.com)

The 2000s – Re-development and housing

In late 1999, JDA (Johannesburg Development Agency) took over the area along with Blue IQ. Graeme Reid was the executive officer from 2001-2005. The cultural aspect of Newtown seemed to be on the wane and cultural/artistic groups moved out as funding was cut.

“The political context of the Market Theatre’s rise to prominence in the eighties was one of growing militancy because of the cultural boycott. Artists became political activists and started unionising. The tenants in the buildings made available during Christopher Till’s tenure in the early nineties refused to pay rent and this, according to Sack, was the seed of destruction for a lot of the organisations which were eventually displaced when the JDA started the Newtown regeneration project. Sack asks the question “Why didn’t they pay rent and why didn’t they make provision to pay rent?” Eventually, as the city became democratised these organisations were sent accounts. Sack believes that they destroyed their own viability. He adds that there are, of course, other factors why arts organisations do not survive.” Shand

The JDA/Blue IQ partnership, while at the same time focusing on the Constitutional Court growth precinct, also coordinated the construction of the Nelson Mandela Bridge which was completed in 2003. Designed by Danish bridge architects Dissing & Weitling, it connects Newtown in the south, to Jan Smuts Avenue in the north, while spanning Johannesburg’s river: 42 tracks of the great Johannesburg-Braamfontein railway junction.

Nelson Mandela Bridge 2018 (Source: Yeshiel Panchia)

The three-lane bridge is “a suspended cable-stayed viaduct with two high support towers each comprising of a pair of tubular masts diagonally cross-braced and topped with cylindrical perplex lighting” Chipkin. It instantly changed Johannesburg’s skyline.

Around this time, on and off ramps to Carr Street from the N1 were constructed to increase access points from the north and south to Newtown.

Phases three and four between 2002 and 2004 involved the creation of cultural organisation infrastructure and the attraction of commercial development (Debnam & Starke, 2002). The daytime programme and training this included the creation of the Bus Factory as a capex project with funding from the Japanese government and the installation of the Beautiful Things, a craft exhibition which was a provincial initiative. Also achieved was the securing of Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and the opening of the first phase. The long-term future of the Workers’ Museum was to be secured as well as the opening of the west wing of Museum Africa. Both these projects were delayed and the opening of the west wing has yet to happen. The relocation of Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) to Turbine Hall, although agreed to by the City, did not take place. The evening programme and events achieved more success. The Market Theatre was rescued and restructured; Bassline became managers of the newly refurbished Newtown Music Hall; the Dance Factory was stabilised; and Mary Fitzgerald Square was launched as a major events space. Shand

In Debnam’s view at the end of 2003 Newtown organisations and venues were in poor shape. The Market Theatre was on its knees with a R10 million deficit and twenty percent audience figures. The Bassline was doing one performance every three weeks usually when a promoter wanted to launch a record but there was no regular programme. At that stage it had evolved from Mega Music to the Music Industry Development Initiative (MIDI) with Rosie Katz trying to fund training programmes from MAPPP Seta funding in such a way as to bring in funds for concerts. The Bus Factory had acquired the Beautiful Things exhibition but there was no longer term funding. The Dance Factory was also on its knees with funding from the Belgians to run the dance school but nothing to run a venue. Moving into Dance was relatively well funded. The Market Laboratory was getting money from the Swedish to run their development and school programmes. The Market Photo Workshop, still in their old building, had very limited funds, resources, and no real exhibition space. Museum Africa was there put poorly managed. “The exhibitions had dust all over them and it looked like a museum that time had forgotten,” said Debnam. The eviction of the tenants from 1 President Street was very controversial. The building was included in phase two of Sci-Bono’s expansion and therefore the arts organisations, although they created a critical mass, had to be evicted. The SAB World of Beer and the Horror Cafe were both in place. The Workers’ Museum was called the Workers’ Library.” Shand

Source of all graphics: Kate Shand

Lael Bethlehem took over from Graeme Reid in 2005. Despite many challenges, “her cultural successes, in summary, are securing the Bus Factory as a space for cultural organisations, a new building for Moving into Dance, a new theatre and offices for the Market Lab, and a new museum for the Workers’ Museum. The redevelopment of Kippies can also be added to her list of achievements and although it is a different space now it is under the Market Theatre’s control and hopefully, it will be used as a music venue. Sci-bono’s expansion has been massive and although the JDA did not directly fund this, they did play a facilitation role. And finally, the JDA managed to give the Market Theatre control over their land via a forty-year lease.” Shand

Between 2005-2007, Brickfields Precinct designed by Heather Dodd and Colin Savage were built. These were low-cost/rent subsidised, but modern units, for the Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC) and just one of their many urban renewal projects around Johannesburg in previously inner-city bank red-lined areas (ABSA was the first to re-open finance in 2000 for previously red-lined areas which covered Hillbrow, Berea, Joubert Park, Doornfontein and most of the city – red-lining is cited as one of the factors for urban decay from the late 1980s – 2000s). The Brickfields Precinct was built on the land that formerly housed the abattoir and animal holding pens.

Brickfields precinct (Source: Marc Latilla)

AngloGold Ashanti refurbished the old Jeppe Street Power Station and Turbine Hall which opened in 2008 on a 15-year lease. It housed the company’s corporate head office and was used for events like SA Fashion Week and RMB Turbine Art Fair. They appear to have moved the head office to Rosebank as of 2023.

Back of the power station 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)

2010 World Cup park did give a temporary boost to the area. Other key events like Joy of Jazz, Arts Alive, Africa Day, Diwali, the City of Johannesburg’s New Year’s Eve Party, and Gauteng and Joburg carnivals also added to the activities, but somehow, Newtown was not able to sustain the cultural aspect of the area.

Mary Fitzgerald Square 2018 (Source: Yeshiel Panchia)

2014 saw the completion of the Newton Junction Shopping Centre which also included the restoration of the Edwardian toilets. It was built on the site of the old potato sheds directly behind the old market building extending up to Carr Street.

Newtown Junction under construction (Source: Unknown)
Edwardian toilets against Newtown Junction with train lines 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)

In 2017 another JHC housing project called Heritage View was completed on Carr Street, opposite the Brickfields Precinct in front of the old relocated Johannesburg Station structure.

Heritage View 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)

I relied heavily on articles and research by Zayd Minty (RIP) and Kate Shand on understanding the period from 1986 – 2010, just prior to the construction of the Newtown Junction complex. My interest in documenting Johannesburg started around 2012 and I took several photos of what was the old potato sheds prior to Newtown Junction’s construction which I’ve included below.

One of the oddities I came across when taking the above photos was a house under the M1 freeway. It has remained intact with the construction of Newtown Junction. According to Goad’s 1937 map, it was an office.

Market offices c2012 (Source: Marc Latilla)

My personal relationship with Newtown was between 2005-2007 with Cellardoor, a monthly indie/alternative nightclub at the Horror Cafe which was the old micro-brewery/bar once part of SAB World of Beer. It was a great venue, except for when there were too few people (the cavernous space also hosted the forward-thinking Secret Parties). Toward the end of 2007, Cellardoor moved to Cool Runnings in Melville as we struggled to keep filling Horror Cafe and cover overheads. There was very little ‘passing trade’ at night as the area wasn’t known as a regular night spot.

People went to Newtown for something specific. There were still the occasional concerts and music functions at the old Bassline (New Model Army tour and a Springbok Nude Girls album launch come to mind) as well as the hugely successful Thursday Reggae/Dancehall nights hosted by Apple Seed (Jah Seed) & Admiral.

By the time the 2010 WC soccer came along, I’d sold the Cellardoor rights and moved to Kitcheners in Braamfontein, hosting a new regular party called REFORM Soundsystem with Charles Leonard. The Horror Cafe had closed down and briefly, become another venue called Shikisha (where Charles and I played a swing set) before changing to a Doppio Zero for six months, after which the building stood empty. When the SAB World of Beer closed down, the premises were sold/auctioned off and are now home to Doves Funerals (since 2022).

Swing Party at Shikisha c2008
Old Horror Cafe now Doves Funerals 2023 (Source: Marc Latilla)

Sci-Bono is still going, as is Museum Africa, albeit limping. The shopping centre appears to be solid, supported by the housing complexes nearby, but many of the old cultural landmarks are seemingly quiet, like Kippies, Nikkis Oasis and the old Bassline building which still hosts the occasional event. The Market Theatre still operates.

On the other side of the highway, Carfax is still around for the occasional event as well as the regular club night called And Club. The old Mills building also had a decent run from 2008 – 2015 when it was used as a club/live venue called The Woods (previously Fuel Cafe). Greitfest in 2013 took place across several venues in the area, with the Cosmic Caravan being an actual caravan equipped with a DJ set up that played to a street dancefloor. Later, a micro-brewery opened in the space next door to the Mills and for a time it coincided with a niche open mic and music venue.

Website reference:



Shand, K. 2010. Newtown – A cultural precinct-Real or imagined? MA Arts and Culture Management Degree in the School of the Arts University of the Witwatersrand

Mandy, N. 1984. A city divided Johannesburg and Soweto. Macmillan Johannesburg

Chipkin, C. 2008. Johannesburg Transition: Architecture and Society from 1950. STE Publishers. Newtown, Johannesburg

Schwartz, P. 1988. The Best Company: The story of Johannesburg’s Market Theatre. A. D. Donker. Craighall Park

This entry was published on April 8, 2023 at 1:48 pm. It’s filed under Johannesburg and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “History of Newtown Pt.3 (1970-2020)

  1. Thank you very much for this part of Johannesburg’s history, also much appreciated the previous history. Thanks and kind regards

  2. Wow Marc once again incredible research, I virtually lived in that area in the 1980’s best theatre, best bars, restaurants, the very best flea market and of course great people all round. It’s a place with all it’s ups and downs throughout the years has had a pull on me. I was also sadly yet fortunate to watch the implosion of the towers and could not agree more that the towers should have been saved and reinvented into something unique.

  3. Ann Wanless on said:

    How interesting that you do not deal with the rise of Museum Africa in any way in this article. It’s almost as if it did not and does not exist.

  4. Ann Wanless on said:

    SORRY, I see a couple of references, but not nearly enough to describe the rise and fall of the museum and the events that occurred there. Try reading Sara Byala’s book – “A Place that Matters Yet” for details.

  5. Very interesting article. I have lived in JHB years back now live in Duran, born in China and met so many friends while I was in JHB and they showed me what SA was like in the older days.

    I am so glad there is a internet corner here to see the good old days, not only remind me so much achievements South African done, but also memories my old friends who passed away in JHB.

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