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Orlando East comes of age

Orlando East, the first township to be established in Greater Johannesburg area, is turning 80 this year and in celebration of this remarkable milestone the City of Joburg has declared many of its various landmarks heritage sites.

 
Established in 1932 as a segregated African township on the outskirts of “white” Johannesburg, Orlando East has a rich political and social history. It bears great significance to the history of Soweto, the world’s largest racially-based segregated township.
 
At its monthly council meeting last week, the City of Johannesburg noted the heritage status bestowed on the Orlando Communal Hall, the first recreational centre in Soweto and a popular venue for high-profile political meetings; and the James “Sofasonke” Mpanza House.
 
In 1944 Mpanza led a group of people from nearby slums to set up a squatter camp known as Masakeng or “Place of Sacks”, which evolved to become a self-governing settlement of more than 20 000 people. Mpanza’s home was the headquarters of the Sofasonke movement. 
 
Mooki Street, one of the important Orlando East landmarks, was also identified at the council meeting as a provisional heritage site. Today Mooki Street is a busy thoroughfare but its significance as Soweto’s first “high street” is often unrecognised. The street also boasts a cluster of public facilities and places of historical significance. These include Orlando Stadium, Orlando Communal Hall, New Church and Mooki Memorial College, Orlando High School, Orlando Police Station and Donaldson Orlando Community Centre (DOCC), all of which have already been declared heritage sites.
 
Before Mooki Street gets the go-ahead, approval for the Provisional Protection under Section 29 of the National Resources Act, Section 4 will be made, followed by an extensive public consultation process.
 
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Applying for residential tariffs for Property Owners who are billed at a business rates tariffs 

PROPERTY owners who are being billed at a business property rate tariff can apply to the City’s rates and taxes department to be charged at residential rates. Completed Individual Application can be emailed to: ratescomment@joburg.org.za , or dropped off at the nearest City's walking Customer Service Centre. Rates Policy
 
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