Oriental Plaza Johannesburg – South Africa

by Kojo Pocu

Fordsburg is a picturesque historical district in Johannesburg (Gauteng’s business and retail centre), renowned for its rich history and Indian culture and customs. Oriental Plaza Johannesburg is a big shopping complex in the centre of the City of Gold that promises a unique and satisfying session of retail therapy.

This large mall, which dates back to the 1970s, is as diverse and nuanced as the people that visit it, reflecting South Africa’s actual diversity.

Each of the 360 stores is independently owned, and their variety caters to a wide range of tastes, preferences, and shopping requirements. Hardware, home décor accessories, jewellery, apparel, novelty products, presents, upholstery, wedding accessories, leather, cosmetics, and luggage are just a few of the items available at the shops. There are also a variety of restaurants serving traditional Indian and South African cuisine, as well as fast-food joints. Surprisingly, the Oriental Plaza is known as South Africa’s jewellery pricing hub, ensuring top quality at the lowest possible costs. This is a true one-stop shop for travellers and locals that require assistance.

Oriental Plaza Johannesburg

History Of Oriental Plaza Johannesburg

Fourteenth Street in Fietas was a busy business district, with Indian businessmen owning shops. Despite concerns from authorities from the Johannesburg City Council, the apartheid administration insisted that the area be designated as “white” under the Group Areas Act. Initially, all traders were to be relocated to Lenasia; however, the government’s Department of Community Establishment and the council established a strategy that culminated in the development of the Oriental Plaza as a huge retail centre in Fordsburg. The construction began in 1971 and was completed in 1975, with the first retailers moving in in 1974.

The compensation granted to Indian merchants who were evicted from their enterprises across Johannesburg was insufficient, yet they were forced to move into the plaza. Café (convenience store) owners and general dealers were driven to open stores that catered to white clientele, competing with merchants who had more expertise selling those lines. The department initially had tight supervision over the business, and shops were not allowed to consolidate. Restrictions were loosened by the 1980s, and owners were permitted to purchase their properties.

Car Park 4 and the Oriental Plaza’s South Mall now cover Red Square, which was a political meeting spot in the 1940s and 1950s.

Oriental Plaza Johannesburg

What You Need To Know

There is ample parking available, and the Plaza is open Monday through Saturday. On Fridays, however, certain stores are closed for Friday prayers at the mosque between 12h30 and 13h30.

The Oriental Plaza is nestled in the heart of Fordsburg’s historic district. The Nelson Mandela Bridge, Ghandi Square, and the Market Theatre are just a few of the nearby fantastic sights. The OR Tambo International Airport is about a 50-minute drive away, and there are a variety of lodging alternatives in and near Fordsburg.


38-60 Lilian Ngoyi Street, Fordsburg, Johannesburg, 2092

When To Visit

Open daily>