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HomeNewsJohannesburg unveils the completed S-bend wall mural project

Johannesburg unveils the completed S-bend wall mural project

The City of Johannesburg has unveiled the completed S-bend wall mural project along the Louis Botha Transit corridor bringing color and life to the stretch that was once termed as a ‘death bend’.

The wall which is 451m long and has a 2 800 meters square surface area runs east-west along the corridor cutting through the suburbs of Upper Houghton, Yeoville and Observatory.

Significance of the mural to the city

The project which was commissioned by the City’s Department of Transport was implemented by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and is considered a great addition to the city’s development in terms of changing its face and also reflecting its history. The mural portrays histories through social politics, architecture, landscape, and mobility. To capture all this in the wall, the city sourced input from the local community for stories, ideas, and personal anecdotes to make up one of the largest murals in the city of Johannesburg.

The Mural begins by showing the history of the area which was a trade route for Ndebele cattle traders coming from Zimbabwe to markets in Pretoria, prior to the gold rush. Moreover, the design process for the project took about six months with about ten design revisions while painting works of the entire stretch took three weeks due to the nature of the corridor which is a busy place.

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Painting the mural

Furthermore, to ensure that the wall would not be defaced, the project sought graffiti artists who are well known for their design styles as it was the most cost-effective means to execute the designs. According to City officials, a total of thirteen artists participated in the painting as well as six technical assistants and three facilitators. About 267 liters of the ultraviolet protective coating was used to ensure that the art remains intact for at least ten years and also to prevent paintings and wash off.

The Louis Botha corridor will soon also accommodate Rea Vaya infrastructure according to transport MMC Nonhlanhla Makhuba who noted that despite the challenges the project is progressing well and will be operational in 2020.

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