Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg - Stein Travel
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Newtown Cultural Precinct

This complex of buildings in the city centre has been upgraded and restored as part of the city fathers' urban renewal policy and provides several attractions. The Market Theatre and Museum Africa, for instance are housed in a Victorian building in Bree Street that was originally Johannesburg's fresh produce market. The Museum of Africa is particularly worth a visit with its exhibits that tell the story of the city from its beginnings to the present day, including an interesting section about the Treason Trial of the 1950s in which Nelson Mandela and other activists were accused of plotting against the state. The same building houses a photography museum and the Museum of South African Rock Art. At its eastern end is the Market Theatre, famed for being the venue for many protest theatre productions in the Apartheid era. Also in the area, in President Street, is the South African Breweries Centre, which offers a tour detailing brewing history through some reconstructed gold-rush pubs and shebeens (township bars). Along Jeppe Street is the Oriental Plaza, the commercial centre for the Indian community.

Information & Facts

Admission

Free

Language

South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.

Money

South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.

Opening Times

Museum Africa open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm

Time

Local time is GMT +2.

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