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Kliptown is the historic site where the Congress of the People was held on 26 June 1955 during which the Freedom Charter was adopted, a document which remained a cornerstone of the African National Congress (ANC) policy for the next half-century.

Established in 1903, Kliptown is the oldest urban settlement in the Johannesburg area to accommodate people of all races. It is a sprawling, colourful collection of settlements with a thriving informal business sector. But this historical area has not developed its rightful status.

Systematic underdevelopment as a result of Apartheid resulted in increased unemployment and lower levels of disposable income. The area has suffered years of neglect and most of its historical buildings are in serious disrepair.

But that is all about to change. R436-million has been allocated for the regeneration of Kliptown with the re-development being managed by the JDA. The first phase of the development will be completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Charter in 2005.

The scope of this development includes the:

The development, which is jointly funded by the Gauteng provincial government and the City of Johannesburg, will turn Kliptown into a heritage site and a premier tourist destination in the city, while improving the quality of life of the local community, and turning the area into a thriving residential and commercial node.

The aim is a sustainable and integrated development guided by an urban renewal programme that will:

  • Integrate the area's local economy with that of Greater Johannesburg and Gauteng;
  • Upgrade the existing business node so that it fills the needs of the residents and tourists;
  • Create business opportunities and employment in the retail, manufacturing, tourism, transport, services and construction industries;
  • Grow tourism in Johannesburg and Gauteng through the creation of a distinctive cultural and heritage centre, and
  • Increase commuter transport efficiencies to and within Kliptown.
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Key documents

Landscape masterplans:

Useful links