Date: 2016/10/31 / Author: ReaVaya Admin / Category: Site Seeing - Destintions
Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication
Cross the road and you have entered the square, which at all times is a hub of activity as hundreds of street vendors sell their wares here every day. It is a colourful mix of bananas, oranges and cheap clothing and a marvel of humanity that so many people, selling exactly the same products, for exactly the same price, in exactly the same location, can make any kind of money. You will see this economically harmonious co-existence among informal traders replicated in many spots throughout Johannesburg.
Kliptown is Soweto's oldest suburb and the oldest urban settlement in the Johannesburg area to accommodate people of all races. It is the location of Freedom Square – now Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication – where half a century ago, on 26 June 1955, more than 3 000 representatives of resistance organisations and ordinary people made their way through police cordons to gather on what was then only a dusty square.
Referred to as the Congress of the People, it was here that the Freedom Charter was drawn up and adopted. This document offered an alternative vision to the repressive policies of the apartheid state, and to this day remains the cornerstone of ANC policy, seen by many as the foundation of South Africa's 1996 Constitution.
At the time, Nelson Mandela was in hiding to avoid the police, and on the second day of the gathering authorities broke it up, but by then the charter had already been adopted as a guiding document. A museum located next to the Soweto Hotel at the bottom end of the square is open daily and offers an insight into this historic period through various memorabilia and art works.
Freedom Square today is a beautifully paved area, planted with over 100 indigenous trees and 10 impressive sculptures, standing atop 10 columns to represent the 10 clauses in the Freedom Charter. The square is also the location of Soweto's first four-star hotel, the Soweto Hotel on Freedom Square. Its restaurant offers lunch, buffet and a la carte meals daily and is a good stopover place for lunch, brunch or a quick coffee.
Next stop is Regina Mundi Church and Thokoza Park. Walk back to Klipspruitvalley Road, turning to your left to locate the Rea Vaya bus stop further down the road. It is located approximately one block further down, next to the sign for Polly's Place. The bus will take you back to Lakeview Station where you will disembark for your site visit to Regina Mundi Church and Thokoza Park.
Again, you should not wait longer than 20 minutes for the bus to arrive.