The Working Class History Programme regularly offers Workers' Walks at the Workers Museum in Newtown. At these Walks, ex-residents of the Newtown Municipal Workers' Compound, guide visitors through the heritage site and permanent exhibition of the museum. Visitors can engage with the former residents on historical and contemporary issues of compound life, migration and work. The Walks offer a very unique and first hand individual account of the history of compounds in Johannesburg and are not to be missed. For more information on the next upcoming Walk, please contact us.
Workers Museum and Newtown Tours
In addition to the Workers' Walks, the Working Class History Programme also offers tours of the Workers Museum and Newtown's cultural precinct with accredited tour guides on demand. The young heritage guides have been especially trained to give visitors an informed and entertaining experience of Newtown, its heritage buildings, arts and cultural highlights like the Workers Museum, the Market Theatre, Mary Fitzgerald Square and Museum Africa.
The following tours are on offer:
There are two options of either a 1-hour tour or a 3-hour tour.
1-Hour Tour of Newtown
The 1-hour tour of Newtown begins in the Market Theatre parking area and our site guide navigates Newtown moving from heritage marker to heritage marker, telling the story of the birth of Newtown, Kippies, Potato Sheds and Railway Sidings, Market Theatre, Museum Africa and Mary Fitzgerald Square. The next stop is the Electrical Precinct which covers the story of Johannesburg’s first power stations and includes the Electric Workshop, Turbine Hall, SAB World of Beer, and the Workers Museum. The Transport Precinct is next and covers the city’s transport history, as well as Newtown’s cultural organisations which are situated within this area of Newtown, and include Dance Factory, Moving into Dance, Bassline, Market Photo Workshop, Artist Proof Studio, and Market Lab. Due to limited time, the tour does not include exploring the inside of these buildings.
1-Hour Tour of the Workers Museum
The 1-hour tour of the Workers Museum will give you an insight to how life was like in a 1913 built migrant labour hostel and how the history of migrant labour has shaped South Africa's society and that of the neighbouring countries. You will get a comprehensive overview of the museum's highly informative permanent exhibition and heritage site. Our tour guides are always happy to accommodate your own particular interest allowing you a better understanding of the history and heritage of migrant labour. If on show, access to special exhibitions is also included in the 1-hour Workers Museum tour.
3-Hour Tour of Newtown
The 3-hour tour of the Newtown precinct covers the same buildings and venues as the 1-hour tour (see above), but visitors are given the opportunity to visit the Market Theatre, Museum Africa, the Workers Museum and Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. An optional extra on request is a look inside the majestic and exquisitely restored Turbine Hall.
Short tour (approx 1 hour)
R250 for groups of 1 to 3 and R80 per additional person (up to 10)
Long tour (entering venues; approx 3 hours)
R450 for groups of 1 to 3 and R120 per additional person (up to 10)
Non-commercial rates including schools, NGOs, communities and unions
Short tour (approx 1 hour) R250 per group (up to 30 in a group)
Long tour (approx 3 hours) R450 per group (up to 30 in a group)
For bookings of all our tours, please phone us on 011 336 9190 (Kwanele) or email firstname.lastname@example.org