Photographs and text by JFC Clarke | Contributions by Darryl Accone, Johnny Masilela and Zwelakhe Mthwethwa



Composite map of Greater Marabastad 1870 - 1975

The composite map includes all the settlements, or townships, that existed from the 1870s to the 1970s, north-west of central Pretoria and south of the Apies River on the farm Daspoort 319-JR. Old Marabastad and New Marabastad were two of five separate but adjacent settlements that were (and are) collectively referred to as Marabastad. The other settlements were Schoolplaats, the Asiatic Bazaar and the Cape Location. Only a section of the old Asiatic Bazaar still remains. The other settlements were demolished between 1912 and 1975. The main east-west axis through the area was Boom Street. The main north-south axis was once Jerusalem Street and it was originally as wide as Boom Street. In Old Marabastad it became Noord Street. Jerusalem Street has diminished in length as first Old Marabastad, followed by New Marabastad and finally the Cape Location and parts of the Asiatic Bazaar were either demolished or redeveloped. Jerusalem Street now only runs the length of three blocks between Bloed Street and Mogul Street.

A Old Marabastad
The original township of Marabastad was surveyed in 1888 and replaced the informal settlement that had developed around the kraal of Chief Maraba on the Apies River. Between 1912 and 1920 the township was slowly demolished as residents were moved to New Location, later renamed Bantule, to the north-west of Old Marabastad. The Daspoort Sewerage Farm now occupies the site of Old Marabastad.
B Schoolplaats
The Berlin Missionary Society bought the property Frischgewaagd in1870 and established a mission station that included a church and school and catered for about 100 black families. The property was sold to the Pretoria City Council in 1926 and all residents had moved by 1934. The church was demolished in 1953.
C New Marabastad
During the Boer War, 1899 - 1902, black refugees mainly from rural areas were allowed to settle in the area between Old Marabastad and the Asiatic Bazaar. The surveyed township became known as New Marabastad and it soon became overcrowded and there was a constant shortage of water. The situation was aggravated by the relocation of a portion of the Schoolplaats community to New Marabastad in 1934. Atteridgeville was established in 1939 and the majority of New Marabastad residents had relocated to the new township by 1960. Nothing remains of New Marabastad.
D Asiatic Bazaar
Indians first settled in the area between Old Marabastad and Pretoria in the 1890s and the Asiatic Bazaar was established in 1903. Under apartheid in the 1960s and 1970s residents were forced to move to Laudium, although many retained their business interests in the Asiatic Bazaar. Most of what is left of Marabastad can be found between Barber Street and Bloed Street. Originally Grand Street was named Aurungazeeb Street.
E Cape Location
In the 1890s a Coloured community began to establish itself to the south of Bloed Street. This area came to be known as the Cape Location and included a small Malay Muslim community. During the 1960s and 1970s Cape Location residents were forced to move to Eersterus on the eastern side of Pretoria, although many of the Malays chose to move to Laudium. Nothing remains of the Cape Location except a few garden trees.
Existing buildings of historical interest in Marabastad

Religious buildings 1. Old Marabastad church and school room, Daspoort Sewerage Farm;
2. The Nawab Miriammen Temple, 6th Street;
3. Ismaili Mosque, Boom Street;
4. Mosque of the Pretoria Islamic Society, 291 Mogul Street;
Cinema theatres 5. The Orient, Boom Street;
6. The Empire, Boom Street;
(6a) Site of The Royal, corner of 5th Street and Grand Street, now demolished;
Recreation hall 7. Columbia Dance Hall, corner of Jerusalem Street and Boom Street;
Shops 8. Makuloo Hopaan, Bloed Street and old shops in the following streets:
Boom, Grand, Mogul, Jerusalem and Lorentz.

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