BENONI CITY TIMES
www.benonicitytimes.co.za | Friday September 29 2017
Many docked at the Van Riebeek Hotel
One of Benoni’s landmarks was the Van Riebeeck Hotel at the top end of Tom Jones Street towards Airfield and Farrarmere.
Built in 1952, the hotel became a well-known landmark. Many motorists will remember it as the first sight that met them when entering Benoni from the northern side. Many families who immigrated or who were transferred from other towns in South Africa to Benoni, stayed there for some weeks at a time until they moved to their own house.
In 1967 it was enlarged to cater for such families. One of the important guests who stayed in the Van Riebeeck Hotel was the first president of the Republic of South Africa, CR Swart. It was reported that Van Riebeeck Hotel was the first swanky hotel to be built in northern Benoni and offered the best in comfort and service.
The hotel was built on ultra-modern lines and boasted more amenities and facilities than most hotels in the area. It was furnished throughout in kiaat and the lounge furniture was supplied by I Lubner & Company, Benoni in Prince’s Avenue.
The hotel had 22 rooms and suites, four lounges, three bars and one of the most modern equipped kitchens in South Africa. The hotel’s owner at the time was 80-year-old Isidore Jassinowsky. As he was getting too old to run the business, he sold the building and property. As a result, the hotel made way for a service station and garage which is still there today.
Marietjie Joubert, curator of the Benoni Museum in the 1980s said that even though the hotel was not registered with the SA Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), it was still a landmark and will certainly be missed for its delicious Sunday lunches, wedding receptions, Christmas dances and other events.
Information supplied by Glynix Cox Millett- Clay.