Share this article

Construction is going ahead on the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani. A business and residential node is planned for the suburb, with cluster homes, a technikon and a mall, among other elements.
THE Soweto Theatre is taking shape, with construction on the go at the precinct, in Jabulani, in Soweto.

The theatre will be complete before the end of the year, says Lali MahlabanyeThe theatre will be complete before the end of the year, says Lali Mohlabane, Region D manager for programmes and strategyWhen complete, the theatre will comprise a 420-seat main venue with an end stage, furnished with wings and buttress; two smaller venues of 180 and 90 seats, respectively; an indoor foyer serving all three venues; multilevel change rooms; storage rooms; and a greenroom, where the performers will be able to rest or have visitors.
The regional manager for programmes and strategy in Region D, Lali Mohlabane, said about 30 percent of the theatre was complete. “We are expecting to be finished by November this year, if all goes according to plan.”

Though building will end in November 2011, the facility will be opened to the public in early 2012.

Once the theatre is finished, it will “provide [an] opportunity to the many theatre groups and individuals living and working in Soweto”, explained the City’s spokesperson, Nthatisi Modingoane. “It will provide residents with entertainment on a regular basis and will include opportunities for education and training.”

He said it would eventually have 55 employees. “However, not all 55 positions will be filled immediately. Filling positions will be phased in as theatre requirements grow.”

The Soweto Theatre will be managed by the department of community development. A comprehensive business plan has been drawn up and submitted to the Budget Office. It includes a complete assessment of the staffing, management and running costs.

An artist's impression of the Soweto TheatreAn artist's impression of the Soweto TheatreConstruction started in June 2009, but stopped in October of the same year because R60-million of funding from the developer had not yet been released. However, the misunderstanding was corrected.
The theatre was identified as a legacy project of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. In all, seven such legacy projects were announced in January 2007, to make sure the city and its residents continued to benefit from the sports tournament long after it had finished.

At the time, Joburg earmarked about R1-billion for these projects, which were designed to stimulate economic and social development in previously neglected areas.

The building of the Soweto Theatre is part of a fully fledged business and residential node planned for the suburb of Jabulani, with a variety of elements including cluster homes, a technikon and a fire station.

The precinct will also have a R320-million shopping mall, the 300-bed Jabulani Provincial Hospital and a residential area with three-to-five storey walk-up apartment blocks. Unit prices are expected to range between R300 000 and R500 000.


Related stories:

The Soweto Theatre
Business node for Jabulani
Sod turned for Soweto theatre
There are big plans for Soweto
Developers: buying into Soweto
Seven 2010 legacy projects identified
Lehae becomes a home