Soweto, Sophiatown and Apartheid Mueum.
We start the tour with a brief introductory talk on South Africa and its people and Languages. Depending upon the choice of clients on whether they wish to have a township lunch or not we decide upon the sequence of sites to be visited.
We provide a political synopsis of events leading up to Apartheid in 1948.
We tour this area briefly explaining its significance to Apartheid and the events of February 1955. We visit the memorial to Father Trevor Huddleston and see the house of Dr Xuma, Leader of the ANC in 1942.
The early years of Sophiatown are outlined and some of the old streets visited- scenes from the past are vividly painted, and some of the stories of this area are told.
The meeting place where the leaders met in 1955 prior to the meeting in Kliptown are pointed out.
Whilst Sophiatown bears little resemblance to how it was in those days – it should be visited as part of a journey to Soweto as Soweto really grew out of Sophiatown.
Destroyed by the Apartheid Government in 1955 and re-named “Triomf” (“Triumph”) Sophiatown, has a special place in the History of Johannesburg and this country
We drive through the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg, pointing out the homes of the Randlords, past the original beacon of Randjeslaagte- the boundary of old Johannesburg, Milners Headquarters during the South African war. We pass the old Fort and the Constitution Court, as well as to the suburbs of Kensington and Jeppe, pointing out historical sites en route. Down town Johannesburg and the old mining Houses is toured as well as the site of the first Stock Exchange and original buildings shown.
Mandela and Ghandi’s offices are pointed out and a drive by Cecil Rhodes’ Club – the Rand Club is made. Then onto the site where gold was first discovered by George Harrison in 1886 as well as a visit to the site of the death of General de la Rey. His death and the rebellion of 1914 are told.
During this tour anecdotes are told and a vivid picture of the early years of Johannesburg are painted.
The very name conjures up images of the heroic struggle. The background to Soweto is painted and Soweto is experienced- both the traditional as well as the new!
Past Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital one of the largest in the world, the largest taxi-rank in the world. St Johns Lilian Ngoyi Eye Hospital; The Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University, the Orlando Power Station and new adventure centre are seen. The background to the growth of Soweto and the history of control is provided.
A visit to Walter Sisulu Square where the Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955 links this site to that of Liliesleaf Farm. Then onto Lilian Ngoyi’s home to view the memorial to this stalwart of the ANC, on the way we pass the Orland Stadium currently under construction for 2010
Vilakazi street and the homes of the two Nobel Peace Prize Winners pointed out as well as the site where the South African Police shot Hector Pietersen dead on 16th June 1976.
The story of that day and the march are told in detail. We also vist the Hector Pietersen Museum, if time permits.
Onto the first shop of Mr Maponya and then to the Morris Issacson High School where the marches started from on June 16th, 1976. The Mashinini memorial and then the Oppenheimer Tower and Credo Mutwa’s Cultural Village shown.
We then pass the Regina Mundi Church scene of many political gatherings after 1978.
Finally we see the brand new modern shopping centre- Maponya Centre.
If time permits we pass the FNB Stadium under construction- Home to the opening game and final of the World Cup in 2010.
Then we travel to the Apartheid Museum. Rated amongst the finest Museums in South Africa.
The background to Apartheid is given as well as examples of discrimination, which had existed here since the 17th Century. 1948 is discussed and the laws surrounding Apartheid and the implications of those laws explained.
At the Museum guests are accompanied by ourselves and the exhibits explained in detail.
(The Museum has a great deal of information so we select what we consider to be the most relevant to provide a balanced understanding of Apartheid, the Museum and it’s contents.).
Exhibits and events are explained from a personal point of view.
The early years of South Africa, the Zulu Wars, the South African War, the migrant Labour System, the Gold Mines, Miners strikes, Broederbond, Sophiatown, Sharpville, Liliesleaf, Freedom Charter, Treason Trial, Afrikaner Nationalism, life under Apartheid, Resistance, Violence from 1978- 1994, release of Nelson Mandela, CODESA, and the first democratic elections in 1994 all explained.
After visiting this Museum visitors are fully aware of the effects of Apartheid on the country today.