About Us

About Joburg Theatre

What is Joburg Theatre and who operates it?

Johannesburg’s Civic Theatre was built by the then city council in 1962, creating a high-profile landmark on the top of the Braamfontein hill. The building was given a magnificent face-lift in the late ’80s, turning it into one of the most technically proficient theatres in the southern hemisphere.

In the year 2000 – when theatres across the country were considered to be both creatively and financially moribund – the city council decided to corporatise the operating company of theatre, which is now a Municipal Entity of the City of Joburg.

The Johannesburg Civic Theatre (Pty) Ltd was given a Board of Directors, and Bernard Jay, a veteran UK born theatre producer and administrator who had relocated to South Africa in 1993, was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the company.

In July 2013 Xoliswa Nduneni Ngema, an experienced South African theatre practitioner, was appointed as Chief Executive Officer. Desmond Ndzipho was appointed as chairman of the Board of Directors in March 2020.

Now in its 21st year as the operating company, “the Civic” – which morphed into the more street-wise and accessible Joburg Theatre in 2009 – has become one of the acknowledged success stories of Joburg City’s corporatisation policy. The complex’ largest auditorium, re-named The Nelson Mandela Theatre, regularly sees over 75% of capacity audiences and remains open a minimum of fifty weeks in each year.

In the past decade, The Mandela at Joburg Theatre has hosted many hit shows, including William Kentridge’s acclaimed interpretation of Mozart’s THE MAGIC FLUTE, the West End and Broadway musicals WEST SIDE STORY, CHICAGO, THE COLOR PURPLE and SPAMALOT and top-of-the-line global touring shows, such as LE GRAND CIRQUE, LORD OF THE DANCE and BRAZOUKA.

Joburg Theatre’s annual festive season pantomime productions, written and directed by Janice Honeyman, have become the most popular highlight of South Africa’s theatrical calendar.

Joburg Theatre is also the permanent home to Joburg Ballet, Jill Girard and Keith Smith’s Peoples Theatre Company – performing throughout the year to children between the ages of 3 and 13 – and one of the country’s most respected community development projects in the arts, the tiny ‘black-box’ theatre known as space.com.

History of the theatre from 1962 to 2007

For a detailed history of our theatre, please visit www.joburgcitytheatres.com.

Joburg Theatre (SOC) Ltd – a municipal entity of the City of Joburg

The Joburg Theatre complex is owned by the City of Joburg: visit www.joburg.org.za.

The theatre’s operating company, Joburg Theatre (SOC) Ltd, is a Municipal Entity of the City of Joburg.
The city’s Community Development sector retains political oversight of the operations of Joburg Theatre, Soweto Theatre and The Roodepoort City Theatre.

To read and/or download the company’s most recent Mid-Year Report and Annual Report, please visit www.joburgcitytheatres.com.

The Board of Directors

The following were elected to the Board of Directors at a 2 day special general meeting held on 10-11 Feb 2021:

Mr. Desmond Ndzipho (Chair)
Ms. Ashley Hayden
Mr. Bonga Kwenyama
Mr. Thembinkosi Masina
Ms. Sebenzile Mkondo
Ms. Nomveliso Mpongo
Mr. Mande Ndema
Ms. Moipone Qhomane
Mr. Moripe Rabone
Mr. Junior Ramovha
Mr. Mabutho Sithole
Ms. Dineo Sitole
Mr. Johannes Collen Weapond

Solomon Mphakathi (CFO)
Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema (CEO)