Nancefield Hostel favourite Soweto lunch spot, allows the Passport to Soweto holders, to use the directions provided on this webpage, to enjoy this lunch time option, as part of the Orlando East visit.
Approach from Orlando East;
Leaving the Junk Shop, continue walking down Rathebe Road, the Donaldson Hall has many activities, if you are in Orlando East on a Sunday, you will be welcome to stop and join the Church service for as long as you wish.
Continue past the Library on the Left, cross at the pedestrian crossing, carefully, and turn left, move past the front of the SAPS Orlando Offices.
When you get to the next corner, at the Orlando Police Station, you will be able to board the Rea Vaya T3 back to Johannesburg, if you wish, an option for a further R 15, would be to take the Rea Vaya one stop the Boom Town station, at the cost of R 15, this will save you a walk, but not necessarily time.
Down the road to the left, are small market places, servicing the rail commuters, a peak would be of great interest.
Across the road, is the Sasol Petrol Station, where you will find a ATM, water, snacks, and a toilet.
Continue along Mooki Street, the Boom Town Rea Vaya Station is up ahead.
As you walk along the side walk, you will have sight of Orlando west, on your right, just across the highway.
In order to access transport to the Nancefield Hostel for lunch, my favourite eating spot, you follow this instruction.
Walk past the Boom-Town Rea Vaya bus station to the T-Junction, turn right, cross the rail line, down the steep incline, and at the traffic light, cross to your left, onto a small traffic island.
If moving direct to Orlando West, it is possible to board the F4 Rea Vaya bus at Boom Town station, and this will drop you on a few spots on Vilakazi Street, as an optional R 15.
On this traffic Island, you are now wishing to take a local shared taxi to Nancefield Hostel. See the Orlando West Map on page 32, showing this position.
When you see a taxi approaching, your required hand-sign is to point your index finger down, this is a sign for a ‘local distance’, and most taxis that are not full will stop.
In the position where you are, the taxi travelling along this route, can only pass the Nancefield Hostel.
When you get into the taxi, you may advise the driver that you are heading for the Nancefield Hostel.
The present rate is R 8, but for purposes of this exercise, we budget for R 10.
*** When you get into the taxi, you pass the money, forward, or if you are in the seat just behind the drivers to his passenger alongside him.
The payment system in the taxi is a great experience.
The taxi will pass through a traffic circle, and as you approach the next traffic circle, the buildings on your left, are the Nancefield Hostel.
100m from the traffic circle, announce to the driver that you wish to get off at the circle.
Take the sidewalk to your left, and feel the energy of Africa, as you approach the Nancefield eating house, shown on the map as Muthwa Butchery. (Walk from the Taxi Drop Area, along the arrow)
Approach from Lakeview Rea Vaya bus station.
Using the T3 or T2 bus alight at the Lakeview bus station, on the corner of Klipspruit Valley Road, and Chris Hani, you may catch the C2 bus, or alternatively catch the F 10 bus, and alight at Kenny’s Brick and Tile, opposite the entrance to the Maponya Mall.
We suggest that you consider the Sun Valley visit first, and then, on your return from Sun Valley, pass through Maponya Mall, to the Nancefield Hostel.
The Nancefield Hostel, one of eleven such hostels built in the 1950s, to accommodate migrant male workers in the Johannesburg area.
There was one female hostel, situated between Orlando West and Meadowlands.
Prior to 1994, 3 000 males were accommodated in this Hostel, that stretches on both sides of the road. Today, family groups are accommodated, and we believe the occupants total 13 000.
From 1988 to 1992, the hostels were used by the system, to destabilise the local community, Zulu’s of the IFP group, attacked non-Zulus in the area. This was all part of the black-on-black violence, which some would claim was backed by the National Party, and targeted the youth of the PAC and other Black Consciousness groups.
Today, many non-Zulu’s would still keep away from the hostels.
Very few Zulus in the Hostel area, are able to speak English, part of the Colonisers suppression. I believe the English, used Welsh speaking people, to learn the Zulu language, and off that basis, the employers language skills were developed. In Kwa-Zulu Natal, all Employers, White and Indian, speak a form of Zulu, restricting the rural Zulu from needing to speak English.
The hostel buildings, are divided into four sleeping rooms, of different sizes, a communal kitchen / living area, and toilets.
The hostel conditions are in terrible condition, the occupants wanting the family units upgraded, and the Government, has intention to upgrade, but the end product, particularly in relation to cost, is far from reaching consensus.
Muthwa runs a very successful business, feeding hundreds per day, behind the stoves you will find a selection of cooked meat, from head meat to the innards, heart, liver, kidney, and pieces that I have never been exposed to.
In the shop, they will have a beef stew, sometimes chicken, served with pap, (their traditional porridge) and you can buy a tomato and onion relish on the side.
If you have the time, the shop sells various cuts to beef, including heart, liver, and sausage/wors, that you can braai yourself. Buy this with a small helping of pap, and tomato relish.
If you wish to turn this visit into a ***** adventure, move to the cooking pots to the far-right of the store, where the cows head is a popular dish, predominantly for the males, and other ‘affal’ dishes are prepared. Should you select one of these dishes, your selection will be noticed and appreciated by the local patrons.
Your meal seldom costs more than R 25 per plate.
Beers are available to buy, both in the Muthwa shop, and also in the little store, run by the Sithole brothers. It is worth a walk though the passage, past the toilets, through the gap, to have a look at life in the Hostel.
The Sithole brothers are the first door on the right, marked with a X on the picture, their little business can do with your support for your drinks.
These boys, twins, father died when they were 15 years old, they continued their schooling, and the business, today they are still operating, and achieving.
Ask permission from the Sithole brothers to have a look at their accommodation area, giving you insight into living spaces, without invading on the other occupants privacy.
When braai-ing, you will receive your meal in a polystyrene plate, look after it, you will need to eat out of the plate.
There is normally an employee at the fire, who would either braai your meet, ‘well done’, or assist you if you would prefer to braai.
This is Africa, and they cater for groups of people, eating from one communal plate, using your fingers.
Should you have an issue, please ask the shop for a spoon.
Between the kitchen area, and the eating area, there is a sink, where you can wash your hands.
When you have cooked your meat, there will be a knife around, attached to an anchor of sorts, where you cut the meat into chunk size portions,
The salt will be in a plastic bottle, also anchored, so pour a little into your hand, and set on a corner of the meat plate. When washing your hands, if you require a cloth, please ask one of the ladies working there.
This is your closest that you will get to Africa, while in South Africa.
Leaving Mutwa, returning to Orlando;
Avoiding the use of the local taxi?
Should you wish to avoid the use of the local taxi, you would need to return via Maponya Mall, but we would recommend the use of the taxi, it will be quicker, and the stretch of road, fairly safe with the taxi.
Use of the taxi:
When ready to leave Muthwa, walk back to the Klipspruit Valley Road, cross at the pedestrian crossing, careful of the mixture of busses and taxis, move slightly to the right, ‘taxi return on the map’ and using the index finger pointing down, recruit a taxi driver to stop for you.
Ask him to drop you at the Orlando West traffic light, pay your fare, and call ‘robot’, when you are approx 100 m away. When alighting here, you amy either turn left to Orlando East, or, if Nancefield was your last stop, turn right, cross the highway, and proceed to the Boom Town Rea Vaya Bus station.
Enjoy Africa, with Passport to Kliptown / Passport to Soweto.