Arts, Culture & Heritage

S-Bend Mural

Last Updated: September 27, 2023
Artist

Anser NineOne, Breeze Yoko, Dreda, Ekse, Jestr, Mars, Maja Maljevic, Mein, Page33, Plank, Sandile Radebe, Vivien Kohler and Zesta. During implementation, the collective was assisted by ArtMyOrangeGrove local artists. Coordinated and implemented by The Trinity Session.

A Brief History

Louis Botha Avenue has always been a significant path of migration throughout Johannesburg’s history. In the early 19th and 20th centuries, it was used by Ndebele cattle traders coming from Zimbabwe to markets in Pretoria. As the city developed surrounding the gold rush, so too did the road, which was home to the Louis Botha Avenue, now known as the S-Bend.

Today it is a primary transport route for thousands of South Africans who travel daily between Alexandra and the CBD.

Louis Botha has been integral to the growth and progress of Johannesburg over time into the city that we know today. It has also been home to people from all walks of life.

Description

The S-Bend Mural covers a 3000m2 wall along Louis Botha Avenue, cutting through the suburbs of Yeoville, Observatory, and Upper Houghton. The mural aimed to tell some of the stories of movement and migration in Johannesburg, and how the city has developed over time.

Key themes which informed the mural were:
● Historical transport routes, from sub-Saharan Africa to mining town Johannesburg
● The changing nature of transport
● Historical and contemporary landscape and architectural features
● The Alexandra Bus Boycotts
● The surrounding natural landscape

The wall forms part of the upgrades carried out for the Department of Transport’s Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport infrastructure.

The mural design invited input and collaborations from City, history and heritage consultants, public workshops, and a team of 14 visual artists (from fine art to graffiti and street art) who implemented the final design.

The combination of styles and backgrounds allowed for a unique skill exchange and learning opportunity. The variety of compositions and stylistic techniques employed in the mural is reflective of the diverse-and-layered character of Johannesburg and its inhabitants.

The artists involved in the design and conceptualisation phase include Anser NineOne, Breeze Yoko, Dreda, Ekse, Jestr, Mars, Maja Maljevic, Mein, Page33, Plank, Sandile Radebe, Vivien Kohler and Zesta. During implementation, the collective was assisted by ArtMyOrangeGrove local artists.

Artwork Signage

Louis Botha Avenue has always been a significant path of migration throughout Johannesburg’s history. In the early 19th and 20th centuries, it was used by Ndebele cattle traders coming from Zimbabwe to markets in Pretoria. As the city developed surrounding the gold rush, so too did the road, which was home to the Louis Botha Avenue, now known as the S-Bend.

Today it is a primary transport route for thousands of South Africans who travel daily between Alexandra and the CBD.

Louis Botha has been integral to the growth and progress of Johannesburg over time into the city that we know today. It has also been home to people from all walks of life.

Location & Address

M11, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg