Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Gauteng

You are only moments away

Attractions
Entertainment
Sport
Johannesburg
People

BBuzzing with excitement and vivid social culture, you’ll find it difficult to not fall in love with Alexandra township life. It couldn’t be more different from its posh neighbour, Sandton, which is a mere five minutes’ drive away. What it lacks in elegance, it makes up for in street cred and character. 

A peek into the history of Alexandra reveals that Alex has been home to many luminaries such as world-renowned jazz legend, Hugh Masekela and former president Nelson Mandela. 

Alexandra was established by Mr. Papenfus who tried to establish a white residential township. In 1912, it was declared a ‘native township’. Escaping the Natives Land Act of 1913, Alex remained one of the few areas where black people could own land under a freehold title.

Did You Know?
AA wealthy farmer, Mr Papenfus named the township after his wife, Alexandra.

NNot willing to take responsibility for an area that it claimed was not under its jurisdiction, the Johannesburg City Council would not supply basic resources, such as electricity, to the area. This is how Alex became known as the Dark City.

Cycle Tour of Alexandra

Food
When to visit
How to get here

IIn the early 1960s, a decision was made to demolish all the properties in Alex. Family accommodation was to be eliminated and 25 hostels, each housing about 2 500 people were to be built, but the global political backlash that followed the 1976 Soweto uprisings forced the government to reconsider this approach and Alexandra was given full status as a residential area in 1979.

To have a fully immersive Alexandra experience, book a cycle tour with Alexandra Tours or the Ekala Eco Tours. You get to meet the locals, taste the food and enjoy a drink at one of the local shebeens (informal bars). The infamous hostels can also be seen on a tour of Alexandra township.

Related Articles

Active adventure

10 great restaurants in South Africa

Active adventure
10 great restaurants in South Africa

South Africa’s streets, shores and vineyards are lined with so many incredible restaurants, it’s a hard task narrowing them down into a short bucket list.

Active adventure

Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Active adventure
Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Gin is the buzzword on everyone’s lips in Cape Town at the moment.

Vibrant culture

Traditional African food in South Africa

Vibrant culture
Traditional African food in South Africa

The food story of South Africa.

Bustling city life

The 10 best restaurants in Joburg

Bustling city life
The 10 best restaurants in Joburg

Just like the city itself, the dining scene in Jozi is constantly changing.

Active adventure

Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit

Active adventure
Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit

South Africa is a country that’s diverse in its culture and language, and if there’s one thing that brings South Africans together it’s food.

Active adventure

The art landscape in South Africa

Active adventure
The art landscape in South Africa

South Africa’s history of art is a long and interesting one

Active adventure

Enjoy a golfing holiday in South Africa

Active adventure
Enjoy a golfing holiday in South Africa

Golfers from around the world are continuously impressed by the standard of the courses they play and it’s no surprise too as South Africa has some of the best in the Southern Hemisphere.

Active adventure

Adventure across the provinces of South Africa

Active adventure
Adventure across the provinces of South Africa

Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, South Africa caters for adrenaline junkies wanting to try something new and exciting, with an African twist.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy