Gold Reef Citys attractions are visible from the streets of Southdale. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures
Southdale dates to the earliest days of Joburg and is attractive to buyers today because of its mixing pot of cultures and proximity to Gold Reef City, the CBD and Turffontein Race Course.
Southdale is part of Johannesburg’s “Old South”– where gold was discovered, where a few freehold, bigger homes are interspersed among later,
It is a relatively small node situated within rapidly developing residential areas close to the central Joburg business hub.
Demographically, Johannesburg Old South surrounds are culturally diverse; food and leisure on offer reflects a melting-pot of cultures. Southdale’s beginnings go back to 1886 when George Harrison discovered gold on the farm Langlaagte; thousands set up camps
to try to make a fortune on the Witwatersrand gold reef.
The spot where Harrison first found the ore is today a heritage site, but around the George Harrison Park small neighbourhoods such as Southdale have sprung up, offering accommodation to professionals and families seeking an area with good amenities close to town.
What began a century ago as a
site of tents and shanties is today a suburb of neat freehold properties offering family homes to starter buyers and middle-class professionals.
The market is consistent, but sales are limited as residents are content says consultant for
Defensiverock Properties, Martins Metu: “There has always been high demand for properties in this suburb; we have ready buyers.”
Metu says it is sought after because of the proximity to Southdale Shopping Mall, the Joburg CBD, a major mosque at
Robertsham, Gold Reef City Casino and Theme Park, and Turffontein Racecourse.
The Kliprivier and Rifle Range roads connect the node to major freeways leading to the east, west, and north of Johannesburg. The presence of the Booysens Police Station, schools and recreational parks also attract buyers; “it serves as a residential and commercial centre of the Old South,” says Metu.
The Nasrec exhibition centre is within a five-minute drive and the FNB Stadium, a popular concert venue and sporting arena, is easily reached. He says most buyers are between 30 and 45.
Southdale is perceived to be more secure than most adjacent areas because it receives better policing. Resident and bed-and-breakfast owner Thandi Nkomo likes to walk to “Gold Reef” to have breakfast
with her kids.
“I’ve lived in Southdale, running my B&B for 10 years. I am a widow with four children, two of them still at home. We enjoy the neighbourhood because it is quiet, yet near to places such as Southdale Mall. I like being healthy and try to walk as much as possible and I use the gym at the mall. When I’m not with friends at God Never Fails Church,
I’m hosting guests at Charity Bed and Breakfast. My neighbours are great, we all know one another.”