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
Attractions
Museums
Culture
History
Johannesburg
Nelson Mandela

TThe Kliptown open air museum is where delegates to a people's parliament met in 1955 to adopt the Freedom Charter, now the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights and the South African Constitution. This historical museum in Soweto is dedicated to Walter Sisulu, a stalwart of the Freedom Struggle.

Did You Know?
NNelson Mandela had to watch the proceedings at Kliptown from a nearby rooftop.

TThe Kliptown Open Air Museum is a heritage site symbolising the right of people to freedom. This Soweto museum tells the story of the Freedom Charter.


AApartheid heaped indignity upon people of colour. This was fertile ground for the ANC Youth League, which appealed in particular to the hundreds of thousands of educated urban black youths. To counter white repression it advocated a passive resistance. As the campaign escalated, so repressive measures intensified.

To give the ANC a clear vision, its Cape leader, Professor ZK Matthews, proposed a national convention of progressive movements from all sectors of South Africa ‘to draw up a Freedom Charter for a democratic South Africa of the future'. The response was thousands of delegates meeting on a dusty field in Kliptown on 25 and 26 June 1955. 

KKliptown was chosen because it was a multiracial, freehold area originally intended as a buffer between adjoining Soweto and Johannesburg. Here ‘a people's parliament', the Congress of the People, adopted the Freedom Charter, which is now the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights and the South African Constitution.

By the advent of democracy in April 1994, Kliptown had become derelict. Due to the national significance of the area, an urban regeneration and business tourism project, known as The Greater Kliptown Regeneration Development, was initiated to transform the area.

The showpiece of this is the Kliptown Open Air Museum, also known as the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication, a historical museum in Soweto that incorporates informal traders, shops, art galleries and a hotel.

There are also convention and conferencing facilities, restaurants and exhibition spaces in the square.

 

Who to contact
How to get here
Best time to visit
Tours to do
What will it cost
Length of stay
Where to stay
What to eat
What's happening

Related articles

Tour Soweto in Gauteng: experience vibrant township life and the spirit not even apartheid could crush in the south of Johannesburg

Tour Soweto in Gauteng: experience vibrant township life and the spirit not even apartheid could crush in the south of Johannesburg

Take a tour of Soweto, Johannesburg’s vibrant city-within-a-city – apart from learning the history of the struggle against apartheid, you can immerse yourself in a modern urban vibe with lots to do.

Soweto Bicycle Tours: see the famed suburbs on two wheels

Soweto Bicycle Tours: see the famed suburbs on two wheels

Soweto Bicycle Tours let you explore South Africa’s most famous township’s streets with a qualified guide, taking in historical sites like the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu.

South African architectural tours: explore the urban design that built a nation

South African architectural tours: explore the urban design that built a nation

South African urban architectural design tours introduce visitors to the eclectic array of styles and influences behind the country’s most iconic buildings.

South African cultural museums: rich traditions and history all over

South African cultural museums: rich traditions and history all over

South Africans are a diverse mix of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and the many museums scattered around the country preserve rich histories, heritages and cultural traditions.

Historic places of worship in South Africa: cathedrals, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples catering to religious diversity

Historic places of worship in South Africa: cathedrals, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples catering to religious diversity

South Africa is a country of rich religious diversity, protected by the Constitution, so explore sacred architecture and spiritual traditions at our many historic places of worship.

A showcase of African art – Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg

A showcase of African art – Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg

Wits Art Museum – part of the University of the Witwatersrand – houses an African art collection that was started in the 1920s and includes masks, photographs, paintings and more.

The Swazi people

The Swazi people

The Swazi people, part of the Nguni tribe, originated from east-central Africa in the late 15th century and settled in the area known as Swaziland.

South African art museums

South African art museums

There are many well-known historic and contemporary art works on display in art museums and galleries in each of South Africa's 9 provinces, with many important permanent art collections centred in the country's major cities.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2020 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy