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Joburg's Jabulani Amphitheatre set for a cultural revamp

Joburg City is to enhance Jabulani's status as a cultural precinct.

A design framework has been approved by the city which will see a complete upgrade of the area and include a revamp of the 3 000-seater Jabulani Amphitheatre. This will include the construction of rehearsal studios, new performance stages, an outdoor gym, braai areas, a revamped cafeteria, a rope adventure park and spots for busking.

According to a report conducted by Albonico Sack Metacity architects for the city, for many, Jabulani - with its history as a site of political gatherings to sport, religious and cultural activities - is the perfect location to develop and document cultural narratives through the use of public art and public spaces.

'The relationship between the amphitheatre and the new Soweto Theatre, as a cultural heart within Soweto, will result in many opportunities becoming available to showcase local traditions, fashion, music and dance, in a vibrant hub,' says the report.

The Jabulani Amphitheatre was built in 1952 and was for many years the only facility in the area that could accommodate large gatherings. It was here, on February 10, 1985, that Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi stood to read a smuggled message from her father from Pollsmoor Prison, in which he refused PW Botha's offer of conditional release from prison if he renounced violence.

With the construction of the Soweto Theatre, opened in May 2012, the cultural aspect of Jabulani was reinforced. North of the area is the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the Mandela Family Museum.

The report states that over the past eight years, with the construction of a new district provincial hospital, new apartment buildings, the upgrading of hostels and the success of the Jabulani Mall - which has plans to expand - there has been increased interest from developers to add further retail components.

The city has also released land for development and hopes to transform the area, using the theatre and amphitheatre as a connector.

Plans include improving roads, sidewalks, parks and open spaces, parking and public transport and turning Bolani/Mputhi roads into a gathering spot with street furniture, proper lighting and a market, and building a cycle path and lighting Legogo Street.

The cultural precinct will also include venues for the performing and visual arts, restaurants, a library and study centre as well as office space.

Pretoria News

Source: IOL Property

4,874 Posts
^^Errm, they've already begun construction on this. The whole Koma road is gettting upgraded
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