Fourways at a glance
The district referred to as Fourways (which is a collection of suburbs, including the traditional suburb of Fourways) is the fastest-developing commercial and residential hub in northern Sandton, north of Johannesburg, South Africa. The main access routes to Fourways are off the N1 at R511 William Nicol Drive, or alternatively along R564 Witkoppen Road. It is located mostly in Region E. It is roughly as far as one can go in the city before metropolitan Johannesburg dissolves into rolling hills, gamefarms and the capital Pretoria, 55 kilometres to the northeast. Hartebeespoort Dam and the Magaliesburg Mountains lie half an hour to the north-west. It is bordered by Bryanston to the east and south and Randburg to the west.
Long before the district came to be called Fourways, it was a 245-hectare (605-acre) residence and game farm owned by the Eriksen family. The residence they built here in the early 1940s was named Norscot Manor (after their nationalities 'Nor'wegian and 'Scot'tish). The house is in the classic Cape Dutch style, although it is far too large and misshapen to be considered a true Cape Dutch.
After being sold off piece by piece, the stately manor house was given to the City Council of Johannesburg in the 1970s, who named the suburb that was planned around it 'Norscot'. The mansion now serves Fourways as Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, the majority of it being a library, but also encompassing an art gallery, lessons for children in Irish & Highland dancing, Ballet, Biodanza, Indian and Modern dancing as well as Judo and Karate, a playground and a tea garden. There has been much alteration to the manor. It contains Art Deco finishes which abound and remain, such as seashell-inspired window fastenings, and air grates above windows delicately molded of plaster and depicting classic Art Deco ideas: the stag and a silph-like female form in a forest. In 2015, the Norscot manor house was awarded 'blue plaque' heritage status from the City of Johannesburg, which was unveiled by local Ward Councillor Chris Santana on the 18 February 2015.
Fourways was so named because of the four-way stop where William Nicol Drive and Witkoppen Road met. Today William Nicol Drive cuts under Witkoppen Road and is 3 lanes wide. The Fourways name is symbolised with two four-way roundabouts on Kingfisher Drive, the main thoroughfare of the Greater Fourways suburb, intersecting Robin Drive and Alexander Avenue. This suburb also has the original (circa 1905) house the Eriksen lived in before Norscot Manor was built, and it can be found on Flamingo Avenue.
Fourways has several reputable schools. They include the government school Fourways High School in Greater Fourways (grades 8-12), the private Crawford schools: Pre-Primary, and Preparatory in Craigavon (grades 000-7) as well as Crawford Pre-Primary, Preparatory and College in Lonehill (grades 000-12). Dainfern is served by Dainfern College (grades 0-12). Residents of Fourways have a precedent stake in entering their children in Bryanston's elite government primary schools Bryandale Primary School and Bryanston Primary School, because of Fourways' close proximity to Bryanston.
The poor soil quality of the area is owed to the fact that the top-soil was sold off between the 1920s and 1960s.
Some of the main attractions in Fourways are:
- Fourways Mall, the first of the large malls in the area.
- Cedar Square, home to various restaurants, a Virgin Active and the country's first 65m ski slope.
- Montecasino, a faux-Tuscan complex designed by architect bureaus Creative Kingdom and Bentel Abramson & Partners.
- Fourways Crossing, a "factory mall" style complex.