What is now known as Gandhi Square has been a feature of Johannesburg since 1900, when it was the site of the city's first courthouse and played a pivotal role in the end of hostilities between the Boers and the British.
Formerly named Government Square and later Van der Bijl Square, the Gandhi Square of today was renamed in Mahatma Gandhi's honour in 1999. Gandhi spent his younger years practicing as a lawyer in Johannesburg, where he began his influential journey.
A 2.5 metre tall statue of Gandhi was erected in the square and is one of the few portrayals of him in his legal garb, rather than in the simpler garments he is well known for during his passive protests.
In the 1990s, OPH Property approached the Johannesburg Development Agency with the idea of upgrading the square to create a lifestyle experience for the Johannesburg residents who passed through the bus terminus daily. At the time, it was a run down bus station facility that was regarded as one of the crime hot-spots in the CBD.
During year 2000, after 7 years of persistence, OPH was able to secure a 45 year lease on the land and the Gandhi Square of today was finally set in motion.
The revamping of the district included the purchase and upgrade of several of the buildings that overlook the square, which became home to leading franchises like Nando’s, Capello, Woolworths and Spar and is filled with commuters popping in on their way to somewhere else.
Gandhi Square continues to act as the main central bus terminus for Metrobus - However, it is so much more.
the square is an icon of how South Africa should be, as visualized by Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela – thousands of people passing through daily, in racial harmony.