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BARELY a week after it opened, the state-of-the-art Soweto Theatre clinched an award at the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) convention in Durban.

The theatreArchitectural masterpiece: The Soweto TheatreIt was awarded the social / environmental impact development prize, which recognises and measures the positive impact of any development on its surroundings and region. It was judged on property solutions, quality of designs and finishes, industry and community participation, community enhancement and adaptability, among other criteria.

Sapoa is the representative body and official voice of the commercial and industrial property industry in South Africa. The awards were announced on 30 May.

An ecstatic Helen Botes, the managing director of Joburg Property Company (JPC), who received the award, thanked her team for the hard work. “This is a symbol of unity, hard work and community involvement in creating an architectural masterpiece, one that has changed the landscape of Soweto,” said Botes.

The theatre opened on Friday, 25 May – Africa Day – which started a weekend of festivities. It will be used for dance, theatre and music productions. It comprises a 420-seat main venue with an end stage, furnished with wings and buttress, and two smaller venues of 180 and 90 seats each.

The two smaller venues are aimed at growing local talent, where local dramas and traditional dances will be staged. There is also an indoor foyer that circulates around all three venues, quality lighting and sound facilities, multilevel change rooms, storage rooms and administrative offices.

It is part of a multimillion-rand investment in Jabulani, which will eventually result in the construction of a R320-million shopping mall, the 300-bed Jabulani Provincial Hospital, and a residential area with three- to five-storey walk-up blocks of flats.

JPC spokesperson Brian Mahlangu said the quality of workmanship at the theatre had changed the landscape of Soweto. “We are proud to have contributed to the development of the world-class African City,” he added.

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