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Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication
Kliptown, Soweto, Gauteng

studioMAS: Architect

Type:Public Square


The site is located in Kliptown, Soweto. It is one of the most historically significant and vibrant places in Johannesburg, where the historic signing and adoption of the Freedom Charter in 1955 took place. This project commemorates and celebrates the events that took place at the 1955 Congress of the People, during which 2884 delegates as well as 7000 spectators attended the proceedings.


The conceptual idea for the Square is to celebrate and commemorate the birth of a democratic South Africa, by embodying the principles of the Freedom Charter. To create an equitable environment that gives a tangible expression to the aims of the Congress of the People and the principles of the Charter. The design resulted in a square split into two halves with the Freedom Charter Monument at the centre. To the west, the square commemorates past struggles and pays tribune to heroes and heroines who fought for freedom and equality. This space is intended to be used for large functions and meetings. The square on the eastern side celebrates the ideals of a Democratic society, and is a utilitarian space for everyday use (trading, resting etc). This space is characterised by 9 smaller squares, symbolic of South Africa's 9 provinces and a symbolic mark of freedom represented as an X. The Square is bordered by a retail wing and multi-purpose hall to the north and by the market and hotel to the South. To the east, it is bordered by ten Freedom Charter Columns.

[studioMAS, 2010]

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Raman, Pattabi Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication: in Joubert, 'Ora (Ed). 2009. 10 years + 100 buildings: pp 134-135