Category Archives: Around JOZI

..a word from the pembury plaza hotel


April 2008

Dear Travel Partner and Guest

We are pleased to announce that our refurbishment projects at the Pembury Plaza Hotel are now completed. We do believe that the improvement of our services is an ongoing project, built on passion and integrity.

We trust the completion of these projects will further enhance and maintain the relationship with our tour operators and other business partners.

Our New STO rates, as well as Corporate rates and agreements, are in place and available on request.

The Pembury Plaza Hotel is ideally situated in the Financial Hub of South Africa and in an expanding city, Sandton. The Hotel is located 35km from the Johannesburg International Airport and is easily accessible by major freeways. The premiere Sandton City Shopping Mall is only 800m from the hotel.

The Hotel boasts 85 rooms with 3 room types ranging from a Superior Room, an Executive Room and a Business Suite. Each room is decorated with a Mediterranean ambiance and includes amenities. The Plaza Restaurant is open 7 days a weeks for a Buffet Breakfast and pre arranged lunch & dinner options. The hotel offers facilities for Conferencing and Banqueting with the Main Room seating 120 delegates Cinema Style and 80 Delegates Banquet Style. In addition there are 2 smaller meeting rooms seating 35 Delegates.

The renovation expeditions were not the only changes at Pembury; our new management team is enthusiastic and motivated with new and improved ideas to make your stay a positively memorable one with us.

We look forward to welcoming your guests to our hotel.

Thanking you in Hospitality.

Yours sincerely

Joycelyn Pillay

Assistant General Manager.

(Marketing & Administration)

Andrew McLachlan



The Pembury Hotel is located at:

84 Katherine Street

Sandown, Sandton 2196

PO Box 783449, Sandton 2146

Tel: 011 555 4000 Fax: 011 555 4007



VAT NO. 4640182855


Input Outreach Project Update

Updates on the venues for the Input 2008 Outreach Project’s township screenings are as follows:

2 May:

Atteridgeville – Ramushi Street – Ramushi Community Hall

Boipatong – Lekoa Street – Boipatong Community Hall


Kliptown – 45 Beacon Road – Bolo’s Place

Alexandra – 12 Avenue – Alexsan Kopano

Joburg’s vitals for the visitor

Visiting Joburg? Here are some this buzzing African city’s vitals:

Joburg City Centre Skyline


Johannesburg is a city located in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.

(For an overview of South Africa for the (tourist) visitor, click here.)
Emmarentia Dam located in the Parkview suburb of JoburgEmmarentia Dam in the Parkview suburb of Joburg
Stretching all the way from Pretoria in the north to Vereeniging in the south, Gauteng (Sotho for place of gold, although the ‘gaut’ is also thought to originate from the Dutch ‘goud’ for gold) came about in 1994 after the country’s first democratic elections, uniting six regions, including part of the old Transvaal province, into what might be the smallest South African province, but serves as the gateway into Africa.
Whilst Gautengs history lies embedded in the discovery of gold, today Gauteng not only has one of the best infrastructures, but its population of over 9 million people form part of a vibrant mix of energy and diversity that make it one of the wealthiest provinces in Africa, and the entertainment epicentre of the country.
Tu-Nokwe on guitar performs at the Bassline

The energy of the Highveld, with its intense summers broken only by intermittent electric storms, is echoed in the sheer buzz of the place. In Johannesburg people walk and talk fast, they drive at high speed too, and the ever increasing skyline – as glass and chrome structures rise like mushrooms seemingly overnight – reflects the rapid development that has taken place in the city in the last 10 years.

There is more to Gauteng than the art of business and money-making. Johannesburg and Pretoria – the two major cities in Gauteng – are diametrically opposed. Pretoria provides a more laid-back, gentrified alternative – its jacaranda lined, wide streets and lovely old buildings a more sedate choice for many who readily make the daily commute to Johannesburg.

Violet Jacaranda Trees line Cradock Avenue in Gauteng
The Vaal River, which separates Gateng from the Free State Province, provides a number of avenues of escape; the Magaliesberg Mountains, virtually on Johannesburg’s doorstep, another effortless flight into days of heady blue quiet spaces; and Limpopo Province – just to the north of Gauteng, with its allure of game reserves, waterfalls, forests and streams – one more escape of note.

Dialling code

27; all local numbers dialled, even from within Johannesburg, should be preceded by the area code (011).


Approximately 4-5 million (Johannesburg city); 8-9 million (Gauteng Province) – these are estimates.

From left to right:Thousands of young people fill the FNB stadium in Joburg on Youth Day, 16 June; A school trip to the Joburg Zoo; the Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) situated in the heart of the city.

Time zone

GMT + 2.


220 volts AC, 50Hz; round three-pin plugs are standard.
A map of Joburg: a city of contrasts and diversity.

Left to right: The 1957 Bus Boycott in Alexandra township; Alexandra township today.

Average January temperatures

20°C (68°F).

Average July temperatures

10°C (51°F).
Did You Know? Gauteng is said to offer one of the world’s best climates: summer days are warm and wind free (relatively) and winter days are crisp and clear. Johannesburg and Pretoria differ in temperature by about 2% (Pretoria being the warmer of the two). []

Annual rainfall

720mm (28.8 inches).

For an updated 5-day Weather guide, click here.

(the above information extracted from

From left to right: The Joburg railway station in the city; Newtown cultural precinct on the city’s outskirts and the Sandton Convention Centre in the Sandton Central Business District, and venue for Input 2008.

Airport Transfers for INPUT 2008 delegates:

Input delegates flying into O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg are encouraged to book transport between the airport and their accomodation beforehand with the recommended Input 2008 Transport Company SoWhere2.

Delegates can make suitable payment arrangement with SoWhere2 beforehand or upon arrival as long as you are registered for the Input 2008 conference and provided these are arranged before landing in Joburg.

For more information and to book your airport transfers now visit: or email

Happy travelling!

(All pictures from the City of Johannesburg website)


Johannesburg At Dusk

Art In The City Project Johannesburg Metro Buses

When I got there it was a bit like finding roots, or a heritage, because I knew nothing of Africa. I went there ignorant of everything except the script I was doing. I didn’t know what I would encounter. I didn’t know if I would be living in the bush. Phillip (Noyce) said we’d be living as if on safari, and I got very excited. So I get out there, and Johannesburg looks like New York!” – Derek Luke

Just over 100 years ago, the economic and industrial centre of South Africa today was an endless untouched savannah. This changed very fast when the first gold was found in 1886. The news spread like wildfire and the area experienced an unprecedented gold rush. The government sent two deputies, who founded a little settlement and named it after the first name they both had in common, Johannesburg. Three years later the place was the biggest town in the country. By 1875 almost 100,000 people lived in Johannesburg and the mines employed more than 75,000 workers.

Johannesburg or Jo’burg, as the locals call the city of the gold, is the biggest metropolis in South Africa. With its 3,2 million citizens (sensus in 2001) the city on the Witwatersrand is the predominant commercial centre and the economic motor of the Republic of South Africa.

Johannesburg is famous for it’s Gold Mines and it’s gold industry is one of the largest in teh world.


In the northwest of Johannesburg – some 10 km north of Krugersdorp – lies an area of about 50.000 hectares called the “Cradle of Humankind”, proclaimed a World Cultural Heritage Site by the UNESCO. In the centre of the site are a number of dolomitic limestone caves containing extraordinarily many fossillized remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and, most importantly, hominids which had fallen into these caves millions of years ago.
The latest opinion in palaeontology says that the evolution of humans and primates took different directions some 5 to 10 million years ago. The hominids (hominidae) are seen to be the oldest humans on the human branch.

Skull of the Australopithecus Africanus called “Taung Child”, found in 1936 in Sterkfontein and Reconstruction of an Australopithecus Africanus hominid

Entrance to the sterkfontein Cave

The fossil findings in the “Cradle of Humankind” caves have contributed largely to an understanding of the evolution of the human species. In 1936 the fossillized bones of an early human, the “Australopithecus africanus” – were discovered here, in the Sterkfontein Caves. In 1947 the almost complete skull of an adult female Australopithecus Africanus was found. Initially named Plesianthropus transvaalensis (“near-man” of the Transvaal), which inspired the nickname ‘Mrs.Ples’. It is estimated to be between 2.6 and 2.8 million years old, ranking high on the long list of australopithecine discoveries which made Sterkfontein world-famous.

In total, some 850 fossillized remains of hominids were discovered in the caves around Sterkfontein – Swartkrans, Plover’s Lake, Bolt’s Farm, Coopers, Gladysvale, Kromdraai, Drimolen, Haasgat, Gondolin and Wonder Cave, and also many stone and bone tools and indications for the use of fire.

Of all the caves in the “Cradle of Humankind” at present only the Sterkfontein Caves and the Wonder Cave are open for visitors. Further information to be found on

Attention All Democracy, Documentary and Culture Lovers


Bram Fischer’s 100th birthday is being celebrated in high intellectual style at Jozi’s hottest new culture space, the House of Nsako, the night before his birthday, on the 22nd of April. The evening will kick off with a screening of the award-winning documentary Love, Communism, Revolution, and Rivonia – Bram Fischer’s Story, presented by the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association of South Africa (DFA). The film is followed by a thought-provoking hour-long discussion on “Democracy, Revolution, and Reconciliation.”

Panelists include:

Sharon Farr, producer and director of the documentary;

Hugh Lewin, the renowned journalist who was in jail with Bram Fischer;

Deon Maas, the controversial producer, media personality, and well-known contemporary “leftist” Afrikaner;

Dan Roodt, co-founder of PRAAG (Pro-Afrikaans Action Group), an extra- parliamentary movement devoted to the rights of Afrikaners;

other surprises….

Joining in will be student representatives from the University of the Free State, the University of Johannesburg, and WITS University. Other guests from the world of human rights, democracy, film, and culture will also be on hand.

After this, everyone will be able to work out whatever issues linger by dancin’, arguin’, on until midnight

The evening promises to be inspirational, educational, insightful confrontational, and full of surprises!


Bram Fischer, a child of Afrikaner aristocracy, came to lead the SA Communist Party during the struggle. At the Rivonia Trial, he saved Mandela and others from execution. When all his comrades were jailed or exiled, he took a defiant solitary stand, living in disguise as apartheid’s most wanted man until his capture and sentence to life imprisonment in 1966. The documentary is a personal and moving story of courage, conviction and an unswerving vision of a non-racial South Africa and was the winner of best South African documentary at Encounters in 2007. Nominated for a 2008 KANNA Award in the feature-length film category.

Mahala Media and DungaMunzi Films are producing this screening series every Tuesday night at the House of Nsako, screening local and international truths and fikshans through an AfriKan lenz. Dinner and drinks are served at the venue.

ABOUT THE HOUSE OF NTSAKO The House of NsAkO is a Museum and Institute of African POpular KAlture – MIAPOKA! Music, Art, Film, Food, Fashion, Literature & Dance all come together to create Josi’s most unique, inspiring venue that ACCURATELY reflects the contemporary South African experience. NsAkO was recently featured in the City Press. More info at

To reserve a seat or for more information please contact Neo at 072 619 6203 or Michael at 082 223 5432. email:

Input into township & urban spaces

This year, Input 2008 and the Gauteng Film Commission and its partners Rishile Bosele Communications and Coalstove Pictures present an Outreach Project that will target communities and young people in both Urban and Township screenings.

Audiences will be treated to some of the best television programmes in the world at a screen near them and be able to engage in discussion with filmmakers and facilitators.

The Gauteng Film Commission’s partners in the Input outreach project – Rishile Bosele Communications and Coalstove – have been running successful outreach screenings with audiences in urban centres and townships. Above is pictured an outdoor township screening that attracted both committed and incidental audiences.

Township Screenings

Input 2008 and the GFC partners with Rishile Bosele Communications to bring the following screenings to:

Atteridgeville 2nd May @ 14h00

Alexandra 2nd May @ 14h00

Kliptown 3rd May @ 19h00

Boipatong 3rd May @ 14h00

Urban Screenings

Input 2008 and GFC partners with Coal Stove Pictures to bring the following screenings to these unique city venues:

Hatfield Galleries, Pretoria

Hector Pieterson Museum, Orlando West, Soweto

Private Practice, Jeppe Street, Johannesburg

Carfax, Newtown, Johannesburg

Watch the blog for updated details on venues, dates and times of the outreach screenings.

Airport Transfers for Input 2008

The company SoWhere2 is the preferred airport transport company for Input 2008 that offers Input delegates an efficient and reliable airport transfer, taxi and chauffeur booking service to and from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

This is for registered Input 2008 delegates only. If you still have to register for Input, you can do so on the website by clicking this link.

For more information and to book your airport transfers now visit: or email

SoWhere2 offers an excellent fleet of safe and comfortable cars with outstanding drivers and the latest technologies to ensure clients are satisfied, safe and secure. Their services are backed by sophisticated databases offering secure online bookings, credit card payments, efficient scheduling and co-ordinated customer relations.

As an Input delegate you can be assured of:

* A meet and greet service at the airport

* 100% dependability with safe, reliable and comfortable vehicles

* Full insurance cover and legal protection

* Friendly, safety-conscious and well-informed staff.

All the best with your travel plans! – the Input 2008 organising team.