Support Local: Johannesburg
The city of hustle and bustle has quietened down due to lockdown but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy everything the city has to offer. We have collaborated with Joburg.co.za and Johannesburg in Your Pocket to find out the top places to support during and after lockdown.
Bryanston Market is Joburg’s original organic market. There’s a major focus on health and wellness with organic fruit and vegetables on sale sold by a collective of small-scale organic farms based in Lanseria, homemade vegan and vegetarian treats and healthy foods made by local small businesses such as indigenous African baobab ‘superfood’ supplements and dairy-free ‘raw treats’. The market also supports dozens of traditional crafters working in wire, beads, clay, steel, stone, fabrics and wood to conjure magnificent gifts and statement homeware items that can also be custom made.
While the market remains closed you can order all food from the markets online and buy vouchers for craft stalls to spend at the market after lockdown.
Bridge Books is a small independent bookshop with two branches in the Joburg City Centre; at the historic Rand Club and at the beautiful Edwardian-era Cosmopolitan building in Maboneng.
Selling both new and second-hand books, there’s a focus on fiction, non-fiction and poetry by South African and African writers including 20th Century classics and new works by contemporary authors. Bridge Books also leads the African Book Trust’s Literary District project, which promotes libraries and supports informal book traders who work in the city’s informal street markets.
You can visit the store or buy online and have them delivered. They are also running specials on underground booksellers tours and IsiZulu courses that can be taken after lockdown.
44 Stanley is a collective of small owner-run boutiques and independent cafes spread across a series of pretty interlinked courtyards. There’s an emphasis on ethical, eco-conscious and Fair Trade retail and selling high-quality unique items that are made to last a lifetime. Many of the stores are trading under Level 4 restrictions or offer delivery after lockdown.
Regular city visitors have come to know and love the Bioscope Independent Cinema which has made its home in the city for the past decade. Offering unique screening experiences, The Bioscope has become a firm favourite for those seeking the latest
Among the more than a dozen stores, look out for names like Chocoloza, a delicious confectioner making the best handmade Belgian chocolates, vinyl record store Mr Vinyl, Fair Trade coffee roasters Bean There, fashion labels such as Guillotine, Lunar and MoMa, Mungo Designs, known for their gorgeous hand-loomed textiles and linens and the beautiful Bonsai Studio. Meanwhile for the best lunch there’s the delightful Salvation Cafe, Andrea Burgener’s friendly deli Leopard+ and the heavenly Vovo Telo bakery.
In 2018, Victoria Yards, a sprawling formerly derelict light industrial complex of buildings in eastern Joburg, began its spectacular re-imagining. Gardens were installed, lush with herbs, medicinal plants and fruit trees, and more than 30,000m2 of old warehouse space has been transformed to become home to a community of makers, artists and artisans.
Among the many inspiring small businesses based at Victoria Yards is Hannelie Bekker’s irresistible knitwear studio Wrapt, the gorgeous glass workshop Smelt, cult denim brand Tshepo The Jeanmaker and the gorgeous Madi a Thavha Craft Art Shop, which sells an incredible collection of decorative items made by traditional crafters based in northern Limpopo.
Victoria Yards is not open to the public during lockdown but you can support the individual business http://www.wrapt.co.za/ses by buying products online for delivery or supporting the greater community through positive change-making NPOs such as Makers Valley.
Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers
Also known as Lebo’s, this justifiably celebrated establishment was one of South Africa’s first township tourism pioneers. They have it all – comfy dorms, single or double rooms, private cottages or space to pitch your tent in the back garden. Founder Lebo Malepa has a green thumb and has transformed this part of Soweto’s famous Orlando West suburb into a lush oasis.
A former dumping site has become a community park home to the chilled Lebo’s outdoor restaurant and a small organic vegetable farm. There’s also a wide range of cultural experiences you can take part in including bicycle and tuk tuk tours, cooking classes, fireside storytelling evenings and early morning yoga sessions.
While the backpackers remains closed Lebo’s is selling vouchers for a variety of experiences that you can enjoy after lockdown.
Experience Dlala Nje
Explore inner Joburg with Dlala Nje. Their inspiring, immersive and interactive walking tours are famed for showing both local and international adventurers the beauty of the Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville suburbs. Other than being educational and interesting, these tours are imperative to revitalising the inner city through tourism and social initiatives.
Help Dlala Nje stay alive during the lockdown and beyond by joining their #KeepPonteLoveAlive campaign.
Shop at Jacksons Real Food Market & Eatery
A small family run business, Jacksons Real Food Market & Eatery is the place to shop for fresh, organically grown produce or to indulge in wholesome, nutrient-dense food. Dining and grocery shopping from Jacksons not only supports their business, but also the small, local and emerging farmers and producers they source from.
Their Kyalami restaurant, with the help of other organisations, have supported the community during the lockdown by cooking and packing meals to feed those less fortunate.
Eat at Thava Indian Restaurant
Thava offers some of the most authentic Indian cuisines in the city and is definitely a must-visit once we’re allowed to dine out. But for now, you can order your favourite.
Jazz & Art at The Artivist
A must-visit in the heart of Braamfontein once life goes back to normal after lockdown is the bar, bistro, gallery and live music venue, The Artivist. This multifaceted hidden gem in downtown Joburg is an artsy hotspot for those who enjoy the creative side of life. Expect everything from fantastic jazz music, poetry and art to fantastic cuisine and more.
Find more businesses to support here.