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Rivonia - Johannesburg Suburb

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Conference Venues in Rivonia, Johannesburg
Africlassic River Lodge Conference Venue
Courtyard Hotel Sandton Conference Venue
Sand River Guest House Conference Venue
Sandton Lodge Rivonia Conference Venue

Rivonia is one of the most affluent residential and business suburbs of Johannesburg, and regarded as the hub of upstart I.T. companies. The main retail thoroughfare in the area, Rivonia Boulevard, is the location of the Rivonia Square and Rivonia Village shopping complexes as well as many other shops and restaurants. Hewlett Packard's main Southern Africa office is also situated in Rivonia. The Rivonia Road, which starts as an extension of the Oxford at Illovo, has become a focus point for a great number of new office parks and commercial headquarters along its entire length, passes through Rivonia at its northern end and joins Witkoppen with an on ramp to the N1 circular highway.

Rivonia is also home to the famous Browns Restaurant. Formerly a rambling old farmhouse, Browns is a Johannesburg landmark. This spectacular restaurant boasts one of the finest wine cellars in the country as well as offering total tranquility in its private gardens. The large, though intimate, dining area spills out onto an airy patio that is opened up or closed in depending on the weather. In addition, Browns is possibly the first South African restaurant to introduce a French Cheese room boasting over 30 varieties of international cheeses. This restaurant is not to be missed and will definitely add a unique dimension to your dining experience.

History of Rivonia
A Carmelite Convent sat in the centre of the village until displaced by commercial pressures. In a nice, commemorative move, the large shopping centre first built on the site was named The Cloisters. The earlier village lay on the direct path of access along Rivonia Road to the south to the new 'concrete' highway, with a nasty dogleg in the road at 12th Avenue. When it was decided to redesign and improve Rivonia Road through to the highway, the bowling greens and tennis courts of the Rivonia Recreation Club were in the way, and the Club relocated to a handsome new site in Achter Road in Paulshof, leaving only the Rivonia Hall and Library on the original site. Rivonia Produce, a landmark and long established family business, supplying inter alia hay to the many local horse owners, was also forced to move from the dogleg on 12th Avenue to a new building on 11th Avenue. It has since been swallowed into a national hardware chain and disappeared.

Rivonia was the location of Liliesleaf Farm, where in 1963 many of the accused in the Rivonia Treason Trial were arrested. Often referred to as "the trial that changed South Africa,” in October 1963, ten leading opponents of apartheid went on trial for their lives on charges of sabotage. In arguably the most profound moment in the Nelson Mandela made a speech in the dock in which he condemned the very court he was appearing in as illegitimate. He then proceeded to argue that the laws in place were equally draconian and that defiance of these laws was justified.

In the Rivonia Trial, the ‘accused’ addressed this problem by using the courts as a site of struggle. They argued that the law was drawn up without the consent of the majority; it was enforced to ensure the perpetuation of an unjust system, and therefore the struggle would be waged to establish a new system, including a legal system that would embody the values of a non-racial constitution that protected human rights.

Map of Rivonia

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