Braamfontein (English: blackberry fountain) is a central suburb of Johannesburg, in South Africa, seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and some of South Africa's major corporations such as Liberty Holdings Limited, JD Group (part of Steinhoff Africa), Sappi, Bidvest (formerly Rennies) Bank and Hollard. Situated due north of the city centre, Braamfontein is the fourth-largest office node in the city of Johannesburg containing many multi-storied buildings representing various architectural styles including Art Deco and Brutalist. Numerous office buildings have and are in the process of being converted to residential apartments. The offices of the Johannesburg City Council and the University of the Witwatersrand are situated in Braamfontein. The Nelson Mandela Bridge is a landmark that connects Braamfontein to the city centre, traversing South Africa's most extensive passenger train marshalling yard. Jan Smuts Avenue and Empire Road are two major road thoroughfares that run through the suburb.

Ameshoff St. and Bertha St. streetscape
Ameshoff St. and Bertha St. streetscape
Braamfontein is located in Gauteng
Braamfontein is located in South Africa
Coordinates: 26°11′28″S 28°02′16″E / 26.19111°S 28.03778°ECoordinates: 26°11′28″S 28°02′16″E / 26.19111°S 28.03778°E
CountrySouth Africa
MunicipalityCity of Johannesburg
 • Total3.28 km2 (1.27 sq mi)
 • Total7,007
 • Density2,100/km2 (5,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code010


De Korte Street
De Korte Street.

The name "Braamfontein" dates from as early as 1853, when a farm with this name to the north-west of Randjeslaagte belonged to Gert Bezuidenhout. In that year he applied to the government to have his farm surveyed. In 1858, Gert sold his farm to F.J. Bezuidenhout.

Like many farms on the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein was subdivided early on, indicating a fairly dense population in the area. Two other Bezuidenhouts, Gerhardus Petrus and Cornelis Willem, each purchased one third of the farm in 1862, and a third part went to Frans Johannes van Dijk. Between 1862 and 1886 different portions were further subdivided.

Three other well-known owners were Johannes Jacobus Lindeque, who in 1884, bought a section where the Country Club was later established in 1906, and Frans Eduard and Louwrens Geldenhuys.

The first suburb established on the farm Braamfontein in 1888-1889 was unofficially named after the farm, as an official extension of the city of Johannesburg. This area is still called Braamfontein. There was, however, an earlier but unsuccessful effort to create a suburb prior to this.

On February 19, 1896, a freight train containing 56 tonnes of dynamite exploded in Braamfontein, killing 78 people.

During the apartheid era, large-scale commercial development in the area was encouraged. Until the middle of the 1980s an electric trolley-bus line traversed some of the area's roads. After the abolition of apartheid, the area began to deteriorate. However, intervention by both the city of Johannesburg and large corporate business, acting as the "Braamfontein Management District", initiated a process of urban renewal in this district. Urban renewal efforts and the establishment of the Braamfontein Management District by the Johannesburg Development Agency and property owners have prevented the district from decaying to the same extent as the Johannesburg CBD however considerable work remains to be done in order to restore the area's economic infrastructure to developed-country standards, eliminate dangerous and unsanitary buildings owned by the private sector, eliminate violent crime, reduce petty crime to tolerable levels and prevent infringements of road traffic laws.

As of February 2018, the Hollard Group has commenced with refurbishing the area's iconic Rennie House building, named after the South African shipping magnate Thomas Rennie.


  1. ^ a b "Sub Place Braamfontein". Census 2001.

External links

Bidvest Wits F.C.

Bidvest Wits Football Club, previously known as Wits University F.C. is a South African football club based in the Braamfontein suburb of the city of Johannesburg that plays in the Premier Soccer League. It is nicknamed "The Clever Boys" or "The Students" because of the close affiliation with the University of the Witwatersrand.

Braamfontein Explosion

The Braamfontein Explosion was an explosion in Braamfontein, a suburb of Johannesburg, in 1896. It was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history.

Braamfontein Spruit

The Braamfontein Spruit (from the Afrikaans for "spring of brambles") is the longest stream in Johannesburg, South Africa. It originates in Barnato Park High School, Braamfontein. It is covered and canalised near its source, but once the river runs out of the Parkview Golf Course, it runs through parkland, right to the edge of the city, so that Johannesburgers can still enjoy it in its original state. Walkers, runners and cyclists use a path along its banks every weekend in Gauteng, South Africa. From Berea the stream runs through Pieter Roos Park, down Empire Road to the Frank Brown Park, then on towards the German School in Auckland Park . The stream then flows towards the Parkview Golf Course, where sections of it are canalised. It exits the golf course and runs through Parkhurst, where it meets the second small tributary, the Westdene Spruit. The stream then flows through River Club, Bryanston, Rivonia and Sunninghill. Its largest tributary, the Sand Spruit, joins the stream in Sunninghill before it joins the Jukskei River in Leeuwkop Prison.

The Emmarentia Dam and Westdene Dam are situated on this stream.

There is an ongoing effort to make this space a world class river park for the use of all Joburg residents.

Braamfontein Werf

Braamfontein Werf is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is located in Region F of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. Braamfontein Werf is part of the area known as Milpark, along with small parts of neighboring suburbs like Parktown. [1][2]

Helpmekaar Kollege

Helpmekaar Kollege is an Afrikaans private high school in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Braamfontein

Holy Trinity Catholic Church is a Catholic parish church located in Braamfontein in north-central Johannesburg.

Johannesburg Park Station

Johannesburg Park Station is the central railway station in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, and the largest railway station in Africa. It is located between the Central Business District and Braamfontein, in the block bordered by Rissik, Wolmarans, Wanderers and Noord Streets. Park Station lies on the main Witwatersrand railway line that runs East-West from Krugersdorp to Germiston. The first four stations to the east are Doornfontein, Ellis Park, Jeppe and George Goch Stations.

Park Station is the centre of the Witwatersrand Metrorail network, with daily commuter rail services running west to Carletonville, Randfontein and Soweto; east to Springs, Nigel and Daveyton; north to Pretoria and south to Vereeniging. Park Station is also the terminus of Shosholoza Meyl long-distance services to Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Bloemfontein via Kimberley, Komatipoort via Nelspruit and Musina via Polokwane.The southern terminus of the Gautrain rapid-rail service is located underground, in a separate station adjacent to the existing main-line station.

Liberty Holdings Limited

Liberty Holdings Limited (JSE: LBH) is a financial services and property holding company with registered head office situated in Johannesburg, South Africa at Liberty Centre, 1 Ameshoff St., Braamfontein. The company was founded in South Africa as the Liberty Life Association of Africa Ltd in 1957, by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Donald Gordon.

Melville, Gauteng

Melville is a bohemian suburb of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. It is the location of many restaurants and bars, which are mostly frequented by students from the nearby University of Johannesburg, located in Auckland Park, and the University of the Witwatersrand, located in Braamfontein. It is one of the city's most popular tourist destinations. The suburb is west of the Johannesburg CBD. It is located in Region B of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

Nelson Mandela Bridge

Nelson Mandela Bridge is a bridge in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the fourth of five bridges which cross the railway lines and sidings located just west of Johannesburg Park Station, the first being the Johan Rissik Bridge adjacent to the station. It was completed in 2003, and cost R102-120 million to build. The proposal for the bridge was to link up two main business areas of Braamfontein and Newtown as well as to rejuvenate and to a certain level modernise the inner city.


Parktown is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, the first suburb north of the inner city. It is affectionately known as one of the Parks, others including Parkview, Parkwood, Westcliff, Parktown North, Parkhurst and Forest Town. Parktown is one of Johannesburg's largest suburbs, neighbouring Hillbrow, Braamfontein and Milpark to the South; Berea and Houghton to the East; Killarney and Forest Town to the North, and Westcliff, Melville and Richmond to the West. Originally established by the Randlords in the 1890s, Parktown is now home to many businesses, hospitals, schools, churches and restaurants, whilst still maintaining quiet residential areas. It is also home to three of the five campuses of the University of the Witwatersrand including the education campus, medical school and Wits Business School. Parktown is now divided into Parktown and Parktown West with Jan Smuts Avenue forming the dividing line. It is located in Region F of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

River Club, Gauteng

River Club is a suburb of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.

It is a residentially zoned area near Sandton in Johannesburg's Region E of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

Residents of the area consist mostly of middle and upper-middle class citizens.

River Club borders the suburbs of Duxberry and Bryanston with the boundaries delineated by East Hertford in the east, Coleraine in the south, the Braamfontein Spruit in the north and William Nicol Drive in the east.

The suburb also contains one of the most exclusive golf course's in the country, a small community restaurant and an office-zoned development.

The postal code of the area is 2149 or 2191.

Schlesinger Building

The Schlesinger Building is a skyscraper in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa. It was built in 1965 to a height of 110 metres.

South African Class 3E

The South African Railways Class 3E of 1947 was an electric locomotive.

In 1947 and 1948, the South African Railways placed twenty-eight Class 3E electric locomotives with a Co+Co wheel arrangement in mainline service.

South African Class DS1

The South African Railways Class DS1 of 1939 was a diesel-electric locomotive.

The second diesel-electric locomotive on the South African Railways was a single Class DS1 AEG diesel-electric shunting locomotive which was placed in service in 1939. Two of these locomotives were delivered to South Africa, one for the Railways and another for the Electricity Supply Commission.

South African Class S 0-8-0

The South African Railways Class S 0-8-0 of 1929 was a steam locomotive.

In 1929, the South African Railways placed fourteen purpose-built Class S steam shunting locomotives with a 0-8-0 wheel arrangement in service.

Voice of Wits

Voice of Wits (VoW FM) is a campus radio station operated by students of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. VoW FM broadcasts on the 88.1 MHz frequency from a 1 watt transmitter located at University Corner, just outside the Johannesburg CBD in Braamfontein.According to the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF), as of January 2011 VoW FM had a listenership of 11,000 people. In July 2011, VoW FM and BBC World Service entered into a partnership, and BBC news and sports bulletins are now broadcast by VoW FM.

Westdene, Gauteng

Westdene is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. Westdene lies between the historic suburb of Sophiatown and Melville with the Melville Koppies West nature reserve to the north of the suburb. Westdene derives it's name from it's location, literally meaning west-valley. 'West' since it's located west from the city centre and with 'dene' derived from the Old English denu, meaning valley.

Wits Theatre Complex

The Wits Theatre Complex is a performing arts complex in Braamfontein, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is part of the University of the Witwatersrand, although it also caters for professional companies, dance studios and schools. It is run by the University's Performing Arts Administration (PAA).The Wits Theatre Complex opened in July 1983. Plans for the construction of the theatre complex were first announced ten years before that; in the interim, money for construction had been raised from public and private sources. Before the construction of the theatre complex, the Schools of Dramatic Art and Music had been staging productions in a building on campus called the Nunnery, a former convent. The Nunnery has been retained as a teaching venue.

The Wits Theatre Complex has three venues:

the 367-seat Wits Theatre

the 120-seat Amphitheatre

the 120-seat Downstairs TheatreIn addition, the 1035-seat Great Hall is also used by the PAA, although it is not part of the Wits Theatre Complex.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.