TripAdvisor Review Taste of Africa Soweto

TripAdvisor Review Taste of Africa Soweto;

TripAdvisor Review Taste of Africa Soweto and other, Cedric & Nettie de la Harpe, consider that our Soweto Tour, or rather visit, is #1,  and through this, they have driven Radical Economic Transformation in the tourism sector since 2004.

As South Africa’s political buzzword  is Radical Economic Transformation, we will drive  our guests to review their experiences, allowing our guests to participate directly in the process.

Please review, even if your visit was ten years back.

Cedric & Nettie de la Harpe

Soweto self-guided visit a Passport to Soweto
Soweto Tour includes, Soweto self-guided visit a Passport to Soweto


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Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day

Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day, a special event if you are going to be visiting Soweto on September 1, this is the first of special experience visits that Taste of Africa offered through the Passport to Soweto Responsible Tourism initiative.

Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto
Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto

Passport to Soweto, a guide that gives direction to using the Integrated Public Transport system, the Gautrain and Rea Vaya bus, and gives guidance and direction, including all the Heritage Value sites, bringing you the magic of Africa, while, everything you pay, goes directly to the community.

Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto
Soweto tour rather visit on Spring Day with Passport to Soweto

Spring Day is a magic fun day, one that should not be missed:

Your day will be filled with visits to Heritage Value Sites, details of the various sites are slowly filling the Passport to Soweto blog, allowing you the option to watch the blog grow, and ask any questions.

On Spring Day, Nettie and Cedric will be enjoying the day with the visitor.

For international visitors, you may either buy your Passport to Soweto through Createspace;  or alternatively, Buy from our Store; in which case we will despatch a .pdf version to you, and your Passport to Soweto will be delivered  to your Johannesburg accommodation, or await you in Soweto.

We guarantee that this will be the highlight of your visit to South Africa.

Cedric and Nettie de la Harpe



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Chief Hintsa

Chief Hintsa.

Chief Hintsa
Chief Hintsa

When researching Consider the Verdict, I found great difficulty in understanding the logic of the archive material that described the ‘murder’ of Chief Hintsa, when he was at his most powerful period of his life.

I used my ‘artistic licence’ to attach the reasons and motivation, for what I believed, the circumstances related to his murder, was.

My thoughts often think about going down to the Easter Cape to find his descendants, and present my thinking, then, as I write my next book, I discover a link to Chief Hintsa’s descendants,  in Soweto, and today I meet this family.

I leave their home, return to my computer, and add the following comment to the front cover:

12 years of regular interaction in Soweto, and I still feel a tingle, when I talk to the descendants of these great leaders;

Cedric de la Harpe  



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Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, Taste of Africa celebrates ten years of successful contribution to homestay;

Your link to the menu page:

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, living at home with a local family, is possible, in most parts of where you would like to travel, to experience, the magic of Africa.

Sorry, it is possible to enjoy this with the elite, in the suburbs, but not as easily achieved.

Taste of Africa, has provided shack accommodation in Soweto from late 2004, and Homestay would be no different.

Nettie and I embarked on this proves on December 26, 2005, starting in the Matiyani Village, where we have our home today, 

Homestay Africa; Matiyani, Cedric & Netties new home,
Homestay Africa,Matiyani, Cedric & Netties new home,

and keeping close to the Kruger National Park, we ended up in St Lucia, where we met Marrah.

On February 21, 2006, a Swiss couple, spent three nights with us in our shack, having not booked their next holiday stop, I was able to sell the Zulu Village, homestay opportunity with Marrah.

They departed on the City to City bus, and Marrah arranged to have them collected in Richards Bay.

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park:

Today, we celebrate ten years of Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, without needing to hide behind the high security fences, we have never had any security issue.  

Homestay Africs, our first guests that we hosted in a KZN Village, 24 February 2006
Homestay Africa, our first guests that we hosted in a KZN Village, 24 February 2006 


Your most important part of the visit is the introduction.

In African Culture introductions include where you are from, who your parents are, your children and all other relevant aspects.

Often the lengthy introduction builds the relationship through common interests or family structures.

Homestay Africa, mainly double beds
Homestay Africa, mainly double beds
And in the more rural villages, single foam mattresses.

Kitchens can be modern;

24 hours in Soweto, a typical kitchen
24 hours in Soweto, a typical kitchen

Or, in the more rural villages, ‘cooking down’ by the fire:

Homestay Africa, cooking down in many rural villages
Homestay Africa, cooking down in many rural villages

Most important NOTICE:

Soweto generally has pretty good facilities, however, they will be shared by you and the family.

In the Villages the accommodation is more traditional.

You room may be in the house, or one of the outside rooms. The toilet / bathroom facility may be inside or outside. 

In the Village your toilet will more than likely be the ‘pit toilet’;

Homestay Africa, the pit-toilet
Homestay Africa, the pit-toilet

Talk to the hosts about how you access them.

The rooms all have double beds, and the hostess is paid R 200 for the room for the night. If you do not wish to share the double bed, we will provide the room as a single, at an additional R 100. 

Washing / bathing in Soweto takes place may in the traditional bath, or, in other areas by using the plastic bath / dish. 

See where the water comes from and whether you can assist in collecting the water.

We make every effort to accommodate you on a rotational basis, however, if you wish to ensure that you do get one of the more comfortable homes, please let us know, at and additional R 100 per person, which will go into a community kitty for all the mothers, we will allow you the choice for a ‘better’ room.

Where we are hosting groups, the group leader must distribute the group according to their understanding of the group, any special requirements, let us know in advance. Should you be in the position to provide us with the names of those who wish to share, 2 pax and 4 pax, we will allocate hostess in advance, reducing your settling time drastically.

Nettie and I have great fun when bathing in the Village
Nettie and I have great fun when bathing in the Village MEALS:


Our arrangement is that the host cooks their normal planned meal and just adds to the pot to cater for you.

If you have any diet restrictions please tell the hostess.

The family often does not have the same daily clock that you have, so if hungry at night, do not be afraid to talk, and please make sure they know what time you want your breakfast, coffee or bath.

For groups we will arrange a meal at a local shebeen, or one of the mothers who can cater, with music and magic.

In order to give the visitor the magic vibe, the night includes the provision for the hostesses to join you for the meal. 

Any refreshments that the hostesses may have access to, is not included. 

Beer is freely available at community ‘shebeens’, and should the group wish Taste of Africa to source wine for the group, please order in advance.

Homestay Africa, possible breakfast
Homestay Africa, possible breakfast

Homestay Africa Soweto to Kruger Park, the magic of Africa

Return to home:

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Johannesburg Cheap Transport Local Taxi

Johannesburg Cheap Transport Local Taxi

Cheap transport, to and from ORT Airport, Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill,  Johannesburg Cheap Transport  Local  Taxi,

In order to spend a number of days in Johannesburg, the visitor needs to be introduced to the  Johannesburg Cheap Transport  Local  Taxi, and to attract the international visitor to this site, already popular with our local people, Taste of Africa introduces cheap, quick, easy access, to visiting the Apartheid Museum, see below.

As they were raised in Melville, both Nettie and Cedric de la Harpe will not be blamed for promoting Melville as the ideal base for your Johannesburg sojourn.

To assist the budget traveller, and those who would prefer to spend their available money, on more than just transport, we will run this blog to create a culture of using the cheap transport systems, allowing you to invest in our magic.

What is our motivation for this initiative, where we lose a little on transfer costs, we will make up on providing the visitor with the magic experience of walking the streets of Johannesburg, Soweto and Alexandra.


For the visitor who wishes to visit the Apartheid Museum via local taxi transport, you may use the Bree Street taxi rank, see below. Mid-way between West & Sauer Streets is and entrance with a stairway to the upper floor, use the steps to the upper floor, turn right at the top, follow to the end and turn left, and then mid-way on the left is an entrance to the upper-floor.

Enter, and to your right, approx 3rd lane, ask for the Baza-Baza taxi, and tell the driver and passengers you wish to be dropped at the Apartheid Museum. This is important, the taxi has options that could result in taxi not passing AM: 

The Bree Street Rank reflects the vast changes of South African life. The ranks, when I was younger, 30 to 40 years ago, were the public parking garages, used mainly by the whites. Then, as the whites moved out of the Central Business District, and the parking garages stood empty for years, the taxi industry were housed in these buildings. The City of Johannesburg, as part of their beautifying the city project, has commissioned numerous interesting pieces of art that surround these ranks.

Both on the ground floor, and the upper-level, there are hawkers and small businesses providing for the commuters daily needs. Almost every commuter requires to use two, maybe three taxi rides to get to work in the morning. and often, the closest that the commuters get to shopping, is while they are changing from one taxi route to another.

Melville Taxi:

When visiting Melville, or returning to Melville, to locate the Melville taxi, use the same entrance as described above, take the steps down to basement, turn left, keep left and take the next step to the lower level, and then turn right, crossing over to the first paved isle, which service at the terminal, ask for the Melville taxi.

When leaving Melville, use Main Road, south, or Kingsway, east, index finger in the air, will stop the taxi. 3 fingers indicates Bree Street, 5 fingers indicates Noord Street.

Just after you pass the Gas Works, on the corner of Enoch Sontongo Street,the taxi may stop, this is if the driver is aware that a passenger wishes to divert past the Oriental Plaza, Newtown to Bree rank. At this stage, passengers are redistributed as the same association shares the passengers among the two routes.

This is your opportunity to visit the Oriental Plaza en route to Newtown. 

For those of you who would prefer a guide to experience the magic of these areas, Taste of Africa will oblige, we are just not into, selling the typical tourist site, that only requires transfer.

Please also read in conjunction with, our Gautrain / Rea Vaya Public TTransport link page:  

Lets go into more detail:

Johannesburg Cheap Transport Local  Taxi:

This section is aimed at permitting the more adventurous visitor to get through Johannesburg, and into Soweto while they appreciate the magic that exists, as economically as possible.

For those who have climbed Kilimanjaro, I always say, reaching the Peak was great, but I will always remember the getting there. 

Use this section in combination with the traditional Street Maps and guide books.

Taste of Africa will assist with any enquiries via contact below, or, provided you make enquiries seven days ahead of your visit. For those visitors who make use of a Taste of Africa guiding services through Johannesburg & Soweto, we will support you throughout your stay in Johannesburg, should you wish to venture through Johannesburg on your own.

‘Local shared taxi’ a negative in the suburban South African communities, but the daily mode of transport for 65% of the South African community.

Johannesburg cheap transport, the old Bara taxi rank
Johannesburg cheap transport local taxi, the old Bara taxi rank

You are able to board a local taxi on most corners in the Urban areas, however, at peak times it is often essential to stand in the queue at the taxi rank, as the taxi will be fill when they pass. We must warn you, many of the boarding stations very little respect for age and gender is given, if the taxi door opens, get in first, else you will be left on the street.

In general, the index finger pointed towards the sky will stop a taxi heading for the centre of the city, however, many ranks also have their individual signs when a route provides the service to more than one rank.

When in the taxi rank, ask the drivers/controllers to ensure that you are boarding the correct taxi, tell the driver and passengers where you wish to alight, if you are boarding on a street corner, ask other on the corner for the desired hand-sign for your destination.

When boarding a taxi always have your fare ready, do not use large notes early in the morning. The fares are passed from the rear of the taxi to the passenger sitting alongside the driver, or alternatively to the driver. Where possible you are expected to collect fares and take change during the process to relieve the driver of the load. Just a word of warning, ask, there are areas where payments take place at certain points en route, and sometimes, just before you alight. 

Always ensure that the driver knows where you wish to be dropped, and do not hesitate to talk to your fellow passengers if you are not sure.

Our support information will prepare you for what you can expect when you arrive at the terminal, in order that you do not give the appearance of being lost on arrival.

Throughout the world you need to be aware, do not be careless with your camera, do not flash your wallet around, and decline an offer of any ‘tout’ who wishes to show you around.

Read up before you venture into the area, know what you are visiting and the times that they are open.

In these high-density pedestrian traffic areas that you will go through at the taxi terminals, the community are very aware of your level of anxiety. The more relaxed you are, the more you are respected.

Cedric de la Harpe +27 82 565 2520 


The Bree Street rank services the Soweto, Melville to Rosebank / Randburg areas, and through to Hillbrow.

Situated on Bree Street, central Johannesburg, between Sauer Street and West St / the Street that crosses the Nelson Mandela Bridge:

From Melville you will cross the Nelson Mandela Bridge. Then alight as the taxi take the left just before the rank.

When using the taxi to Bree, and you wish to get to Noord, please ask the driver, they could be including the Noord in their link.

Click on this Google Link for the Metro Taxi / Bree Street Taxi Rank, 

The Bree / Metro Taxi rank, is to the right top, of the google map, and  the Newtown Precinct, to the left and lower of the view:

The Newtown area, off the Museum Africa area,  is a short walk.

Bree Street taxi rank, a hub for the Johannesburg Day Visit, Cheap Transport initiative
Bree Street taxi rank, a hub for the Johannesburg Cheap Transport  Local Taxi, Bree Street Rank

Off this corner, walk down the road, towards the Newtown area:

The Art work, corner Bree and Sauer Street, is your landmark, for access to the Newtown Area on Johannesburg Cheap Transport  Local Taxi
The Art work, corner Bree and Sauer Street, is your landmark, for access to the Newtown Area on Johannesburg Cheap Transport  Local Taxi

A look at the Johannesburg Central Business District, (Downtown).

Downtown Johannesburg Cheap Transport Option
Downtown Johannesburg Cheap Transport Local Taxi, Option

The Newtown Area:

A visit to Newtown wouldn’t be complete without taking in some of the restaurants and nightlife spots which lend themselves to the eclectic, multicultural, artistic reputation of the area.

See below for more details.

The Market Theatre

Tel: +27 (0)11 832-1641
Address: 56 Margaret Mcingana Street

Museum Africa

Tel: +27(0)11 833-5624
Address: 121 Bree Street
Open: Tues to Sun 09h00-17h00, closed on Monday

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

Tel: +27(0)11 639-8400
Address: Corner Miriam Makeba and President streets, Newtown
Open: 09h00 to 17h00 (16h30 on weekends/ holidays)

Niki’s Oasis

Tel: +27(0)11 492-1134 & 838-9733
Address: 138 Bree Street
Open: Monday 12h00 to 00h00, Tuesday 12h00 to 22h00, Wednesday to Sat 12h00 to 00h00, closed on Sunday.

Bassline (live music venue)

Tel: +27(0)11 838 9145/6
Address: 10 Henry Nxumalo Street

Sophiatown Bar Lounge

Tel: +27 (0)11 836-5999
Address: 1 Central Place, Jeppe Street
Open: Monday to Wednesday 10h30 to 21h00, Thursday to Saturday 10h30 to 02h00 and Sunday 11h30 to 20h00

Constitution Hill:

Constitution Hill, can be accessed from the Bree Street taxi rank, either using the taxi that goes to Yeoville, or a walk via Mandela Bridge and Braamfontein.

Coming in from Sandton, towards the Noord Street rank, the driver can drop you a block away, coming from Melville, you can alight, as you approach the Mandela Bridge, and walk up through Braamfontien, moving around the Civic centre. 

Noord Street Taxi Rand:

The Noord Street Taxi Rank, consists on the enclosed MTN Rank, as seen below, but also covers the extended are as discussed below.

Noord Street is easily accessed when arriving by taxi from the Northern and Eastern suburbs and Alexandra. It is recognised by the high density taxi traffic and the high density pedestrian traffic.

Taxis travelling from the Melville Area, do have the option of taking you through to Noord Street, check with the driver, if not, there is a ‘local feed’ operating between Bree and Noord.

Taxis are restricted to leave from certain ranks, but when the arrive in central Johannesburg, there is very little restriction.

Johannesburg Cheap Transport Option Local Taxi Noord Street Node.
Johannesburg Cheap Transport  Local Taxi Noord Street Taxi Rank Node.
Noord Street area
Noord Street area, Johannesburg Cheap Transport Local  Taxi.

This Google Map view of the area, prepares you for your transit;

From the North and East, many taxi’s arrive in the Noord Street area on Klein Street, travelling from North to South.

From this rank you will access taxi’s to Pretoria, Sandton, Alexandra, and suburbs to the East.

On your left is Joubert Park, then the Johannesburg Art Gallery, your taxi will pass the JAG on the left, cross the rail line, and first a shopping centre on your left. You will need to alight between Noord Street and De Villiers Street. The Rank now is enclosed, as per picture above, the view is shown from Twist Street, and the shopping centre is on your right.

If wishing to move to the Bree Street Taxi Rank, move to the far side of the MTN Taxi Tank to Plain Street, diagonally opposite on the left, Corner Klein and Plein Street, under the big sign, Taxi Butchery, you board the taxi to Bree.

The Drill Hall can be visited while in the area, walk through between the MTN Taxi Rank and the shopping centre, and cross Twist Street, the large red building seen opposite.

The Extended Noord Street Taxi Rank area:

ORT Airport:

Travellers wishing to access the ORT Airport Cheaply, can do so, using local taxi transport, from the MTN rank, move along De Villiers Street, in an Easterly Direction, keeping the Drill Hall, the large red brick building, on your left, continue two blocks or so, towards claim street, and you will find, by asking, a taxi that will take you to ORT Airport:

From ORT Airport to Johannesburg:

This is the more difficult option, mainly because you must not ask for assistance, there is no person on the airport who will believe that you can use a local taxi, after-all, you have enough money to used an expensive taxi.

Leave the arrivals terminal, onto the road way, turn right, and walk towards the oncoming vehicles that are arriving. As you leave the arrivals terminal, keep right, you will reach a fork that takes you down to a road way, at a lower level. Parked just under the vehicle ramp, you will find a shared taxi, if not, ask a local, the taxi will arrive soon.

During the morning, and late afternoon, your taxi will take you straight to the De Villiers Street rank, two blocks from the MTN rank, should they not be travelling direct, they will move via the Kempton Park taxi rank, where you may need to switch taxi.

A few years back, using this link, we could access Soweto, via the MTN rank for a total of R 45, today it my be R 60.

Wanderers Street, Long Distance Taxi Rank: 

Johannesburg’s link to Long Distance Taxi’s depart from the seen on the Google Map, just north of Noord Street, on Wanderers Street. You must get there early in the morning if you wish to use this service.

I would suggest that you visit the area the day before you wish to depart, but it is not necessary. Google View, Taxi Rank on left, Bridge Shopping Centre on the right. 

Faraday Taxi Rank

Situated on Faraday off Eloff Street, neighbour to the Faraday Traditional Medicine Market, well worth a visit.  

Taxi Routes:

Faraday:   Natalspruit Steeldale  Southgate The Hill Thokoza Alberton  The Glen Shopping Centre  Bassonia

Please feel free to call me, Cedric 082 565 2520.

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Please feel free to call me, Cedric 082 565 2520.

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James Mpanza relates early Soweto History

James Mpanza relates early Soweto History

On the 15th May 2005, we present a backyard theatre where James Mpanza relates early Soweto History educating both Taste of Africa  Soweto Tour visitors, my family and friends, Sofasonke’s family and the community.

SunValley;  Unfortunately Google Maps can’t give us more than this.

The Blue Building on the right is Musi High School, and to the left, the grey roof, now a shopping centre, was where the ,  ‘ematangeni’ concentration camp was originally located. The Rail siding can be seen on the ariel photo. The hillock can be seen on the ariel photo.

Sunvalleyt, Skomplaas.
Sunvalley, Skomplaas.

I use part of a backyard theatre production, presented on the 15th May 2005, both Sofasonke and my birthday, to give a little history into SunValley for my family, friends and Sowetans.

Continue reading “James Mpanza relates early Soweto History”

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NATIVE LAND ACT. NO 27. of 1913

Natives Land Act No. 27 of 1913 

Today I celebrate the anniversary of the day I started to research my history and South Africa’s history.

During Black & White Intercourse in Soweto, I am asked questions that I answer, but I know that my answers are only being accepted because I am white and superior. When I get home I start to seek answers to these questions.

Three months pass and I am no wiser, then, one night I have a dream, and I wake from a nightmare, during the dream I am as black as the Ace of spades, and during the early hours of the morning, I still believe I am black.

As per usual, I start with my email and computer activities first thing in the morning. Having completed my email replies, I start to scrutinise the research material that I had been accumulating for months, and I see the content completely differently.

As this occurs I feel relieved, my body is white, it is just that my mind has shifted into reading and observing everything through the eyes of the ‘still disadvantaged black’, or from the ‘black cage’ as we refer to this group.

The research material becomes an eye-opener, I see evidence that my white family did steal everything from the blacks, I become a ‘Revolutionary’, I become an introvert, afraid to talk about my feelings.

During the next six months my research goes further back, searching for the motivation of the Native Land Act of 1913, and it takes me into the late 19th century, and from there into the mining sector and why the labour unrest of today.

You will find various web sites where I blog personally, where I talk Economic Freedom Charter, where I talk Social Cohesion, where I talk Land Reform, but this month I have decided to risk my capitalist business interests, and talk South African History on the Taste of Africa site.

19th June 2014, one-hundred and one years after the commencement of Native Land Act of 1913, one year into my research, the day that I launch my reflections on our history and the impact that it has had on our society.

Cedric de la Harpe

Please subscribe to the category, “Reflections on our history” and your comments will be appreciated.

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June 16th 1976, – Youth Day, Hector Pietersen Museum


JUNE 16TH 1976.

This day is one of our most important days in our history. I have spoken to a number of people that were present on that day and details differ considerably. I have selected Mbube Mdingi’s recollection of his memories, even though they change over a period, they talk about the reason why the students were in the position they were when the shots were fired.

 We honour those 1976 children, those who preceded them and those who followed them for making our Nation a better Nation. 

“I have a friend, Mbube Mdingi, ANC Mk Cadre, I will relate his version of what took place in 1976 as best as I can.

“During late 1975, the Nationalist system started implementing the system of converting the black schools to using Afrikaans, as a medium of instruction in the schools. This would have been impossible for a white English child, no matter how bilingual you are. I was very bilingual, but I would never have coped.”

“Those teachers and head-masters that showed any little objection to Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, were summarily dismissed, and replaced by a headmaster and teachers who supported the change.”

“Here on the left, Phefeni High School, this is one of the schools where the Head-Master had been dismissed and a new Head-Master in position.”

“Just about a week before June 16th 1976, the members of the school student committees held a meeting in the Orlando community hall to discuss the problem. At this meeting Tsietsi Mashinini was elected as Chairperson of the SSRC, Soweto Students Representative Council. During this meeting, the SSRC decided that they would arrange a mass protest march into Johannesburg to make their anti- Afrikaans and Apartheid Government known to the system.”

“They were still preparing for the mass march, when the Minister started introducing the changed syllabus at this high-school, Phefeni. This took place on the morning of the 15th June 1976. The representative of the Phefeni schools committee immediately contacted Tsetsi Mashinini and notified him. He then made contact with the representatives of all the other schools, there were 70 schools involved, and arranged that they have a protest meeting the very next day, the 16th June 1976.”

“All the schools were going to march via Phefeni high-school, where they were going to have a peaceful demonstration against the implementation of Afrikaans in the schools.”

“On the morning of June 16th 1976, the school children had started their peaceful protest march from the far reaches of Soweto, Deep Soweto, – Emndeni, – Naledi. They moved passed the other schools on the way, and collected the scholars as they passed.”

“When the head of the procession arrived just here at these gates, all the senior student representatives were in the front of the procession. To their disgust they found that the Phefeni scholars had been locked inside the property and this head-master would not permit them to join demonstration.”

“The entire procession had come to a halt, and the students attempted to encourage the head-master to release their fellow scholars. They were chanting and singing, chanting and dancing. They were protesting against the implementation of Afrikaans in the schools and they were protesting against the apartheid system.”

“Let us move up the road to the next corner, Moema Street. According to Mbube, Vilikazi Street, as far as you can see up the hill was a sea of children. This mass of children overflowed into the side streets.”

“Mbube was on this corner, watching the activities that were taking place down at the school. The local Municipal Police; black-jacks because of the black overalls they wore, must have been aware of the protest march because they were down at the school entrance in full force. All the black police were armed with batons, and only the white was armed.”

“Mbube says that the police were shouting at the students in a derogatory manner trying to force them to return to their schools. The students were chanting protests while at the same time exchanging pleasantries with the police. Soon the South African Police started to arrive from the side streets and Mbube saw them approaching from that direction. The South African Police at this stage were waving whips while threatening the students.”

“Then a shot rang out from the direction of the Phefeni school gate. All of a sudden he heard shots fired from a number of directions. Hector Pietersen was not far from where Mbube was, when the bullet hit him, when Hector dropped.”

“All hell broke loose in this area, after the shots were fired, the children returned with rocks and stones.”

“Hector Pietersen was picked up by Mbuyisa Makhubu and carried along Moema Street, towards the far main road to pick up transport. The photograph that the world knows so well shows this event with Hector’s sister, in anguish, walking alongside.”

“Yes, I think that photograph went around the world a few times before it got to our white press. We were living in Greytown, a small town in Natal. I became aware of the unrest in Soweto, but I always thought the children were objecting to having to learn Afrikaans as a subject. The response from the white community was why bother teaching them Afrikaans if they do not want to learn Afrikaans.”

During the past year I often thought back to just why I was so unaware of the 1976 events, then recently while surfing the web, I found some history on one of our white activists, a young teacher in 1976, teaching in Greytown where we were living, at that stage and her recollections, or lack of recollections around the uprising were similar to mine.

“That photograph, I believe was taken here, then just across there, the journalist Sofie Thema stopped her yellow VW Beetle and they loaded Hector Pietersen into the back of her car.”

“Sofie was going to take Hector to the Baragwanath Hospital, but as she turned this corner, she saw the South African Police had established a road-block and turned back and went up to the clinic that is just a 100 meters up this road.”

“Hector Pietersen was certified dead on arrival, and every year the media will contact Sofie, only once a year is she of interest, and talk to her about that morning.”

“Mbube says that the leaders of the school committees then had a meeting up at the Dube Mens Hostel, 500 m up the road, where they were considering forms of retaliation for the death of Hector Pietersen. Mbube was present at this meeting. Mbube says that the scholars were encouraged to burn all the Beer-halls and Bottle Stores as a form of revenge. The motivation given to the students was that these Beer-halls and Bottle Stores all belonged to the City Council and that the ANC considered them as a destabilising factor on the community by the system. The fathers would arrive at the station on a Friday afternoon, wage envelope in their back pocket. First stop would be the Beer-hall or Bottle store and the father would eventually get home drunk and without money.”

“According to Mbube, at this meeting the scholars made it very clear that they would do no more that burn the Beer-halls and Bottle Stores. They wished no more damage or injury to take place.”

“The Bottle Store, just outside the Dube Mens Hostel, just up the road, was the first Bottle Store to burn.”

“Soweto started burning. The effect that this fire had on our history could never have been anticipated. With the fires came looting, drunkenness, and a charged feeling that was growing throughout the community. Even people ten kilometres away were charged, more buildings were burnt, more looting took place, and numerous children were shot, two whites died.”

“The Police in helicopters, and armed vehicles, criss-crossed Soweto. Throughout Soweto the charged children, with the rebellion against the whites, growing by the minute, gathered in groups to try and find out what was happening. They could see the fires burning in the distance. Where-ever Police found groups of children gathering, they opened fire, killing and wounding.”

“Soweto was burning.”

Mbube says the ANC obtained a list of names of children who the Security Branch was searching for, leaders of the schools, they blamed them for the rioting and burning. The ANC moved the children out of their schools and out of their homes, to safe homes, the Dube Hostel and other families where they would not be found. You could not find a young black child if you could not find him at home or at school.”

“During the next few months, the ANC, the PAC, the local Councillors, the traffic cops, they all filtered students out of the country, initially to Swaziland. Once in Swaziland, the children were given the option to complete their schooling, or move to a military base in Mozambique or Tanzania, where they were going to receive training. Both the PAC and the ANC had operations in Swaziland that were recruiting and attending to the students needs. What the ANC did not realise, was that the Security Branch informants had already infiltrated the schools, prior to June the 16th. These names were on their list, and the ANC moved these informers to Tanzania, Mozambique and other bases with the scholars.”

“These informants were able to feed information back to the Security Branch, on who was receiving training, and what they were being trained for, what the targets were, and who was moving in and out of the camps. This information was devastating and resulted in a number of the youth being arrested soon after arriving back in the country, and being sentenced to terms on Robben Island.”

“The students on June 16th 1976 catapulted Soweto into the homes of the rest of the world. The South African struggle that we managed to keep on the inside pages, was to become front page in the news of the world. The white Government would never survive the power that was rising. Both the PAC and the ANC military forces; received a new boost from the youth that were being recruited.”

“I have read various articles on what happened during that period July 1976 to December 1976. There was an element that motivated going back to school, with their studies being of prime importance and those who promoted the boycott of schooling and the exams. The youth got themselves in ‘work stay away’ demands on the adults.”

“There is no doubt, the country was in the grips of a movement that would change the country and it was not going to stop.”


Today, as I reflect on our ten years in Soweto, I feel the youth energy bubbling towards change. We need to listen to their voices:


Cedric de la Harpe



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Day trip from Johannesburg, Public Transport my first focus:



Should you wish a guided Johannesburg visit, with Cedric, please click on Johannesburg with Cedric

As they were raised in Melville, both Nettie and Cedric de la Harpe will not be blamed for promoting Melville as the ideal base for your Johannesburg sojourn.

To assist the budget traveller, and those who would prefer to spend their available on more than just transport, we will run this blog to create a culture of using the cheap transport systems, allowing you to invest in our magic.

Public Transport, getting around Johannesburg and into Soweto on budget:

South Africa has the reputation of having a lack of Public Transport, the majority of the South African public do however get to every corner of South Africa using public transport:

As Taste of Africa promotes the UNSEEN TOURS, Johannesburg, Hillbrow and Alexandra, plus home-stay’s in Villages Outside the Kruger Park gates, Punda Maria, Orpen, and Numbi, we provide these guidelines for those visitors who would like to participate.

We provide guiding services where our guides will meet the visitor at the various Gautrain Stations and as the Reya Veya bus service extends their operations, we will do the same.

Since the 2010 SWC, South Africa has developed a safe integrated transport system, and to support your preparations, we provide a look at what to expect.

The Gautrain / Rea Vaya / Red Bus link at PARK STATION: 

Gautrain Sandton, Rosebank & Centurian stations are well used and as Park Station is the centre of Johannesburg Transport Node, it may have the reputation of being challenged.

You will be pleasantly surprised at the link established between the Park Station, the Red Bus, and the Rea Vaya link to Soweto and other areas:

Your view as you exit the Gautrain Park Station; having used the escalator straight ahead from the exit turnstile,  100 m to ahead of the Red Bus is the Rea Vaya, Park Station, if you used the escalator, 100m to the right of the exit turnstile, you will exit 50m from the Rea Vaya Park Station: 


Your exit from Gautrain, using the escalator to the right, is to the left of this Park Station on the photo below.

 Rea Vaya Park Station on Rissik Street, move towards your right down the street, and the Rea Vaya station is ahead on your left, on Rissik Street:



For the purposes of this topic, we request that you obtain details and info from the relevant sites.

 Gautrain:                          Rea Vaya:                

This map is aimed to giving you the comfort of knowing what to expected when you reach the main node of the integrated transport link.

R80.001If arriving at Johannesburg’s Park station on the Gautrain, the photo has been taken from the exit of the Station. Directly opposite is the RED BUS, across the road is the Rail Station, and the Red arrow points to the Rea Vaya, T3 bus terminal:

This integrated transport system allows for the R 20 TO R 80 Soweto visit, and links Melville, Rosebank, and Sandton.

Use the Gautrain and T3 Rea Vaya to enjoy the magic of Johannesburg and Soweto at affordable prices.

Taste of Africa promotes Responsible Travel, and Empowerment through tourism, for the little extra for your 3 day visit to Johannesburg, Alexandra & Soweto, please contact us. 


The Map gives the visitor insight into where you will locate a T3 bus station to Soweto:


Using the T3 Rea Vaya bus to access Soweto, by prior arrangement our guide will meet you at the Orlando Stadium bus station, giving you the Magic of Soweto for R 250 per person, sharing, or, for the more adventures, you may link to our SOWETO SELF-GUIDING VISIT:


Return home:

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