Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Johannesburg Zoo, Hillbrow Tower, Sandton City, SAB World of Beer, Moyo Restaurants, Nelson Mandela Square, Satyagraha House, Constitution Hill, Apartheid Museum, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Brenthurst Gardens, Radium Beer Hall, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, ABSA Art Gallery, Rand Easter Show, The Bag Factory, Oriental Plaza, Bensusan Photographic Museum, Standard Bank Gallery, MuseuMAfricA
At night, the Nelson Mandela Bridge brightens the Johannesburg sky with masterful lighting placed at strategic points along the bridge’s 280m length. Completed in 2003, South African citizens gladly accepted the huge bill for the bridge, partly because it’s named after an icon and partly because it has aided in the regeneration of Johannesburg city.
The Nelson Mandela Bridge has made a huge impact on the landscape by blocking the drab motorist’s view of over 40 train lines below. It’s also done wonders in attracting visitors to the inner city, and Newtown suburb on one end of the bridge is officially the revitalised cultural soul of Johannesburg.
The architects chosen for the bridge design was Danish company Dissing and Weitling and the Fulton Award for Aesthetic Design was bestowed on the company in 2006. Engineers utilised ground-breaking techniques to construct the lightweight bridge that included the use of stranded cables linked to 2 tall pylons. The bridge was shifted into place high above the railway lines without impacting on any transport services. It took 2 years to complete, from design phase through to final construction.
Aside from the 4 lanes of traffic, the bridge has bicycle and pedestrian lanes and is monitored 24/7 to ensure a smooth flow of traffic and people.
Johannesburg Fashion Week has in the past been held on the bridge and on each occasion was deemed a massive success. Another event soon to take place is the CEO sleep-out when business leaders are asked to pledge donations to the homeless and see out a night in their shoes. This means spending one night on the Nelson Mandela Bridge with only a sleeping bag and piece of cardboard for shelter, and soup and bread offered as a meal. See #4Leaders4Change.
The Oxford dictionary describes a bridge as ‘something intended to reconcile or connect two seemingly incompatible things’ and in a way, the Nelson Mandela Bridge has connected the old Johannesburg with the positive and progressive new one.