OR Tambo Cultural Precinct
The O.R. Tambo Cultural Precinct is a must-visit attraction that attributes to the legacy of Oliver Reginald (O.R.) Tambo and his stature as a leader. The precinct is located in Wattville Benoni, where the Tambo’s resided during their fight against apartheid. The precinct is close to O.R. and Mama Adelaide Tambo’s gravesite at Tamboville Cemetery and has been declared a National Heritage Site by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in October 2012. The precinct was developed in recognition of O.R. Tambo’s national and international status and the significant historical context of his residence in Wattville.
The precinct comprises the O.R. Tambo Narrative Centre, interpreting the life and legacy of O.R. Tambo through exhibitions; a Craft Centre, an Amphitheatre for live cultural events, an Environmental Education Centre and a Craft Trail between the O.R. Tambo Precinct and Tamboville Cemetery.
The O.R. Tambo Education and Narrative Centre is not just a dedication to the life’s work of one man but is also about educating children and adults on caring for the environment while encouraging sustainable living and providing jobs right on the banks of the Leeupan Wetland. This centre is part of the OR Tambo Precinct and geared towards giving an out of classroom experience for learners studying natural science in schools, with classrooms and laboratories designed for lectures and hands-on- experiments.
The centre boasts hi-tech educational equipment, such as science and technology and environment interactive equipment with plug-in sound devices meant to assist learners with their school research work. It has three pavilions, marked with upside-down steel roof trusses resting on steel columns and cob earth floors, the walls are made of straw bale. All the straw bale walls were plastered with cow dung and mud by local women using traditional methods.
The narrative centre’s walls contain ‘truth windows’. This is so that people can see the materials used to construct the building. Outside, the walls are wood and steel poles, which resemble the reeds from the pan.
The structure includes several ducts through which wind flows into the house to cool it during the day. Once the ducts are closed, the room remains warm.
In memory of O.R. Tambo, the month of October has been declared an O.R. Tambo Month and the City of Ekurhuleni hosts annual events every October based on the values and achievements of O.R. Tambo where diverse cultures unite in song, dance, and music, the spoken and written word and in arts and crafts.
3061 Tame Ave, Wattville, Benoni
Opening and Closing Times
8am – 5pm (Monday –Sunday)