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Soweto's new lease on life

By Penwell Dlamini Business Reporter | May 25, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 107 ]

Will businesses benefit from the new R150-million state-of-the-art theatre?

MOST of the business community surrounding the Soweto Theatre is optimistic that it will cash in from the new development.

But some are not as optimistic and think it will bring an audience that is beyond their reach.

Today the theatre officially opens its doors to the public.

The R150-million state-of-the-art theatre is expected to bring new life to Soweto and small businesses surrounding the area believe they will get a piece of the cake.

Reggie Makhetha, manager of Roots & Gallery in Central Western Jabavu, is one of the optimists.

"I am expecting the traffic from people before they go to the show or after the show to increase. They can come and have a drink and something to eat."

His business offers township food, art and live music performances on Dimakatso Street in Central Western Jabavu.

Makhetha said he would attend the official opening of the theatre.

He said he was expecting more people to come into the area when the museum, which is under construction, also opens its doors.

"In the past people have been focusing on Vilakazi Street in Orlando, but now things will change."

Lerato Koena, MD of Lendinde Cleaning and Projects, said the theatre should not just bring shows to the community but also other opportunities.

"Here there is no establishment which can teach kids acting or drama," she said.

"I expect the theatre to bring projects that will give people jobs."

But Tony Mkhabela, owner of T&N Butchery, was not so optimistic about benefiting from the theatre.

Mkhabela said there had not been any communication with the business community in the area about the theatre.

"Personally I do not think it will bring extra business to me because I do not know what type of people will be going there," he said.

"Usually people who attend theatre, in my view, are more middle-class people and they do not come to my butchery or have a braai at my shisanyama."

Titus Mandlazi, who runs a fresh produce market, was hoping that the traffic to the new theatre would bring money to his business as previous developments did.

"Since they built the Jabulani Mall, more people are passing here and they buy fresh produce from me."

Just three streets away from Mandlazi, Rambelani Pilusa runs a restaurant called Leshala Cuisine which serves game meat.

"With the theatre, Soweto will be more interesting now. The route to the theatre will be more interesting. The Tsietsi Museum is coming up, so it will be positive."

Pilusa said he had already started planning for more people visiting the area.

- penwelld@sowetan.co.za

COMMENTS [ 107 ]

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Mornachies4? Yesterday it was Mornachies3, What's happening broer? I guess someone is after you. Maybe it's that sh!t of yesterday who wanted to draw your attention.

Fede ho jwang boi?

May 25, 2012 9:49 | 0 replies

@Shredder
Kgabalatsane. thanks joe. mara its true..what about Mohohelo, Stinkwater,
Ngobi, Serope mperekele, Mmakau, Makapanstad and the rest of Hammanskraal?

May 25, 2012 10:42 | 0 replies

Shredder

Nightclubs are all well and good but actual business is sparse around Mams. I don't know if it is the crime problem or if it is the people of Pretoria but there appears to be very little investment by the residents of Mams into Mams. Most people seem to abandon it for the suburbs as soon as they can

May 25, 2012 10:52 | 0 replies

Now I know why they boycott Marray painting they wanted in Soweto to see ahahaha

May 25, 2012 10:57 | 0 replies

Hoola! i am b.ack...

May 25, 2012 11:1 | 0 replies

Zacoz_, ne ba go kobile? Why a changed nick? LOL, la tshwenya zacoz_, LOL

May 25, 2012 11:20 | 0 replies

hahahah @Zacoz_ o dramatic these days ne_,drama king kikik

May 25, 2012 11:23 | 0 replies

dimpho_4U
hi..my dear_ i think my comments on monday prompted continous block on my name...eish!
otherwise o grand sisi....( drama king....). :))))))

@shredder
Mfanakithi, i think i am associating with a wrong group...eish look what i am attracting now_ this is unlike a man of my CALIBRE....My stature u know______kikikiki...lol

May 25, 2012 11:33 | 0 replies

tlogelang mona soweto ya di busa...TjoVo...ikasi lama kasi.aweee

May 25, 2012 11:52 | 0 replies

MAARKENG-JANONG

Another fact about RDP houses that is not well known.

South Africa is the only country IN THE WORLD that provides its citizens with free housing, yes in the world. We have to appreciate just how unique our situation is and give credit where it is due. When the DA brags about delivery so many houses truth in the Western Cape truth is they would not be doing this had it not been for ANC policy and our constitution where the right to housing is noted as a basic human right and the state is compelled to provide social housing.

May 25, 2012 11:58 | 0 replies

I think population size and buying power matters when it comes to township investments. I will make no sense to open a Theatre in Kgabalatsane when the majority of people there are more worried about where their next meal will come from.

Theatre in Soweto, great but I am more worried about patronage, those tasked with responsibility to lure people back to Theatre needs to ensure that they promote a culture around theatre going.

May 25, 2012 12:1 | 0 replies