Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Johannesburg Zoo, Hillbrow Tower, Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, SAB World of Beer, Moyo Restaurants, Satyagraha House, Constitution Hill, Brenthurst Gardens, Apartheid Museum, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Radium Beer Hall, ABSA Art Gallery, The Bag Factory, Bensusan Photographic Museum, Standard Bank Gallery, Rand Easter Show, MuseuMAfricA
Back in the early 1970s when the apartheid government forced out Indian traders from their 14th street businesses in Pageview (also known as Fietas), they were presented with a single option of moving into the poorly situated and planned centre that had been labelled the Oriental Plaza. But, typical of this sector of the community, the forced removals didn’t deter them and instead they took on the challenge and most were able to successfully resurrect their businesses and make a success of the centre.
The Oriental Plaza in Johannesburg is today the city’s favourite bargaining centre where shop owners are open to price negotiations. The haggling is always done in a friendly and engaging way and generally leaves both buyer and seller happy with the settled price. The Plaza consists of over 300 stores selling jewellery, designer bags, home decor, fabrics, spices, branded clothing and footwear, trinkets, toys, watches, mobile phones and accessories. There are a number of food outlets too and a popular purchase is a take-home packet of spicy samosas.
Towards the end of each year, parents visit the centre accompanied by their final year school children to either select material to tailor unique dress designs for the girls or to purchase suits for the boys, as they prepare for the biggest school send-off, the Matric Dance. Expert on-site tailors are kept busy making the dresses in time for the dance.
The Oriental Plaza hosts several competitions and events throughout the year with big prizes on offer, including cars and gift vouchers. Fridays are prayer and charity day for the store owners who close during lunchtime to attend mosque and hand out small change to anyone in desperate need who approaches their shop, none are turned down.
Visiting the Oriental Plaza is a unique experience and one that will leave your wallet somewhat lighter.