Alexandra Township Tour

ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP TOUR:

Alexandra  Tour, the  microcosm of South Africa, a must visit.

A LOOK AT ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP TOUR

Alexandra Township informal shack development
Alexandra Township informal shack development

Alexandra  Tour Rates:

Departing Melville with Taste of Africa,  half-day visit, R 500 per person sharing.

Departing Sandton Central Business District using local shared taxi from Sandton, hosted by our guide:

4 hour visit, R 350 per person sharing, excluding the local transport, payable by the visitor.

 SUNRISE WALK & other tours:

Alexandra Township Tour
Alexandra Township Tour

Alexandra Township Tour – ‘SUNRISE WALK’  R 500 pp (min 2pax)

When we experienced the walk through Alexandra from 05:30 to 08:30, (winter 06:30 to 09:30), we experienced the Alex that we found the most attractive. Could it just be that it is cool, even the winter months can be hot during the day, or just that the magic of Alex waking up and rising around you is magic, you decide.

In the interests of Radical Economic Transformation in the tourism industry, these tours are intended to cater for the Sandton visitor, where our guides can host your access, through the local taxi transport in and out of Alexandra Township.

Any Half-Day Trip ex-Melville will only take place for the 05:30, 08:30 and 13:30 time slot.

Alexandra Township Tour

If departing Sandton, our guide will meet you at your hotel, if central in Sandton, or, at the Gautrain Station at 05:30, hosting you while using the local taxi from Sandton, our preferred option.

Should you wish to self-drive into Alex, we will provide directions to our guide controller on 2nd Avenue Alexandra, where you can safely park your vehicle.

Your guide will walk the area indicated in the map below compliments of Google.

Alexandra Township the area we cover.
Alexandra Township the area we cover.

From 1st Avenue, the taxi link and business area, we move through the small market places, moving through the Zulu enclave, and high density shack accommodation, where one of our guides lived, chased out by his neighbours in March 1991.

Taste of Africa visits the Madala Men’s Hostel, the heart of the 1991 conflict in Alexandra, considered a no-go area by most people.

From the male hostel and Zulu enclave, we walk via the upmarket Phase 2 with manicured gardens, an Island in the middle of the Chaos, pass the Female Hostel, walk through the high-density squatter community, the ‘Favela’ on 6th,

Alexandra Township Tour the vibe on the street
Alexandra Township Tour the vibe on the street

We pass the Room where Nelson Mandela stayed in the 1940s on 7th Avenue, then depending on time, a look at a few of the lower Avenues, before we head back to the business district and board that taxi back to Sandton:

Should the visitor wish to get deeper down into Alexandra, a trip in one of the small ‘cockroach’ taxi, will allow us to move deeper into Alexandra, and experience the cockroach.

No where in South Africa will you experience the diversity that you will experience in the 1 square kilometre of the old DARK CITY, that is Alexandra Township:

Join us for an experience you will never forget.

Cedric

If we wish to extend the morning visit, and stay for lunch, once again, Cedric’s favourite lunch venue is the Alexandra Men’s Hostel, please discuss this option with Cedric.

Alexandra lunch another one of Cedric's favourite venues.
Alexandra lunch another one of Cedric’s favourite venues.

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY:

Alexandra, originally established as a white Township in the 1890’s then, when unable to sell land, the developer converted the Township to a black Township in 1912, sold all the land as the 1913 Land Act approached.

During the 1950s Alexandra was famous for the 2 American type gangs that controlled the area.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Alexandra, like Sophiatown, Kliptown and other areas in South Africa, was ripped apart by the expropriation of all residential land, and the forceful removal of residents to Diepkloof in Soweto, and other areas.

It was the Apartheid Government’s intention to use the land for Hostel Type dwellings, to provide accommodation for the labour force, and by 1963 the male and female hostels were built.

In contrast to the forced removals in Sophiatown, because Alex was due to remain a black area, the Council started to collect rentals on all accommodation that was not vacated.

This resulted in difficulty to remove the land-owners who preferred to stay, and great conflict existed through till the 1970s when Rev Buti was able to change the Council’s minds and the development of Alex was again started.

During the early 1980s, through some link by a financial institutions, contractors, and Councillors, property was re-sold to those who could afford bond homes. You paid a deposit, and an appointed contractor built the homes through a link to the building society.

Then, in 1984 conflict in the Townships, the 1986 the rent and services boycott, aimed at all the accommodation owned by the Council impacted on those Land-owners who maintained the control over their properties. To-date, no rent is being paid, and conflict exists in many ‘land-owner groups’ who claim ownership, in the face of Government Ownership.

This was followed by the removal of the restrictions on ‘influx-control’ and Alex was one of the first areas where informal shack accommodation swelled, resulting in the over-populated conditions we find today, high-density accommodation that the sewerage system can’t handle.

During 1990, when black on black violence, allegedly driven by outside forces, spread throughout the country, Alex, the ‘Dark City’ maintained relative peace. Then in March 1991 the IFP / ANC violence erupted in the area around the Mens Hostel.

Many died, and all non-Zulus were chased out of the area, many of them leaving all their belongings and fleeing.

This section today is still occupied by the Zulu contingent that occupied this enclave.

This is a brief introduction to the dynamics that we need to be aware of, and dynamics that should attract South African’s to visit the microcosm of South Africa’s scattered problems.

Cedric de la Harpe;

The You Tube in this post gives you a look at Nettie and Cedric de la Harpe’s background to Responsible Travel, and how it has impacted on our Alexandra Township initiative:

While you are looking at Alexandra, maybe Soweto is your other option?

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