Kliptown Heritage

Kliptown Heritage is explored in your self-guided visit through your Passport to Kliptown.

Kliptown, the example of what the Apartheid Government did, in order to segregate our country, today, only the remains of what the Apartheid policy left behind.

We tend to believe, that the separation and segregation policies of the Apartheid Government, were aimed to removing the Black, Coloured and Indian groups, from the precious white population, the question that we should ask, is why did they not allow those whites who were living in Kliptown, part of the cosmopolitan community, to continue living there by choice?

Why could the Coloured and Blacks live side by side, when in Soweto, they were only separated by the Soweto Highway, yet they were separated in Kliptown?

Was Kliptown destroyed to make space for Coloured people. living in the white areas, as the Nancefield small-holder farmers are removed, and Eldorado Park is extended into what was Kliptown.

The Indian community in Kliptown, mainly business people, Doctors, Chemists, Teachers, why were they not permitted to continue living in Kliptown, where thy provided their services?

Instead, just like Alexandra was ruined, so Kliptown was decimated, by a Government, that defined the living areas of its people, by the stroke of a pen, from their Offices in Pretoria.

It is easy to tear these areas apart, through remote instruction off an area map, separating white and black spots, but both the Apartheid Government, and the now ANC Government, through their lack of understanding their people, of all groups, have created a monster, that they do not know how to tame.

The Passport to Kliptown, is aimed at allowing the South African to venture into areas where our heritage is virtually buried, the passport should become a text book for senior Government and Municipal Officials, an interaction with the community, receiving schooling on the problem that our country faces, while sitting under the tree, visiting unofficially with the various communities, allowing a mutual solution to emerge.


Kliptown origins date back to 1903, an semi-urban rural area that developed outside the control of the Johannesburg and controlled by an Urban Rural Board.

Following the Anglo Boer War, many Afrikaner farmers had lost their land, and settled on small agricultural plots in the Kliptown area, with these areas still known as Chicken Farm, Tamatie Vlei and Nancefield.

One of the most damaging pieces of legislation passed in South Africa was the 1913 Native Land Act, the greatest separation between the South African black and whites.

Blacks forced of their farms in the ‘white areas’, drifted into the Kliptown, Klipspruit / Skomplaas areas, where grazing lands were available for rental.

Off this ‘uncontrolled ‘ development, Kliptown developed into the ‘food chain link’ into Soweto, small-holder farmers providing meat, milk, vegetables, fruit, mielies, while the Indian and Jewish businessmen developed wholesaler businesses, that passed 80% of all goods supplied into Soweto, till 1983.

Through till the early 1970s, Kliptown community consisted of the white, black, Indian and Coloured communities, with many Chinese families settling from 1911.

In the early 1970s, the Apartheid Government , expropriated the Nancefield small-holder, mainly white farms, moving the white farmers to the Eikenhof area. Today, many of these farmers have passed away, and as the Government allows informal settlements to invade this farming area, so the white farmers children abandon the farms, and the Government allocates land to black emerging farmers, on land that is hardly sustainable.

As the farmers were removed, so the Government developed Eldorado as a Coloured Residential Community.

All the Kliptown Residential property was expropriated, blacks were moved to Soweto, whites were moved to the suburbs, the Indians to Lenasia, and the majority of the Coloured community, over time, relocated into what is today, Eldorado Park, many remaining behind.

As with Alexandra, the Government solution was the establishment of the 1982 Black Local Authorities Act, (or Black Local Government Act of 1983).

This followed by the establishment of the UDF, targeting the Apartheid Government, and promoting rest and service boycotts, although the Black Consciousness groups did not support the UDF due to the involvement of the whites in the UDF structures, the impact on the Townships was felt.

As the Black Local Authorities became a target for the youth on the ground, many Councillors attacked, homes petrol bombed, for supporting the Apartheid structures and being seen to be sharing in the wealth of the white structures, so the intended plans of the Government, for what they wished to do with Alexandra and Soweto, were crushed.

The conflict on the ground through till 1994, caused deterioration in both the attitude of the people, and the living conditions in these areas.

Today, it is almost impossible for the Government structures to find a solution to the problem, sitting in the Government Offices, the paper-work, and what is on the ground, does not include the devastation during the period 1983 to 1994, and the language and thinking that needs to take place, is not prescribed for.

During 1970 to 1983, Kliptown was removed from the statute books, or what ever legal terms would define the de-proclamation of a Township.

Prior to your visit, search Google Maps for;

Kliptown;   As an area it does not exist.

Your Passport to Kliptown, takes you into the Kliptown that no longer exists, a heritage that is worth visiting, before the system completely destroys our heritage.

Walking through what is left of the streets and houses of Kliptown, you can only imagine what South Africa could have been like, if the 1950-60s did not destroy the multi-cultural communities that existed.

Kliptown is famous for the signing of the Freedom Charter, although we only visit the Freedom Charter tourist site last, ensuring that we can get into the heart of the heritage and the community first, we provide directions and information before the site visit, giving the Passport to Kliptown knowledge allowing them to interact with the community.