Things To Do In Joburg When You're Broke

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

The New Year brings with it many things – hope, opportunity and new beginnings. However, in these first few days of 2014 we are more likely to experience a negative bank balance, debt collectors and a diet that consists of food that’s been in the cupboard for months.

If the festive season is the party, the first month of the New Year is surely the hangover. I could do the sensible thing and write a well-thought-out column about saving money, being responsible over the festive season and ensuring that you enter the New Year with a positive bank balance, but sense has never been my forté. Frankly, I’d rather live it up in December and worry about the New Year when it arrives.

But being broke doesn’t mean that January needs to be defined by sitting at home all weekend and becoming increasingly bored with television. Whether you need a day out or a dinner with friends, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg, even if you are on a tight budget.


Yamada Sushi in Rivonia does a killer buffet. While all-you-can-eat sushi deals are to be found all over town, Yamada offers something for those who can’t wrap their heads around eating raw fish and seaweed. Their buffet offers a selection of spring rolls, soups, and noodle and rice dishes.

The damage: the buffet and a drink or two will set you back less than R150 – not bad when you consider that you can eat your bodyweight in food.


The suburbs around Bedfordview once again seem like safe places to hang out now that a certain Czech “businessman” is spending quality time in the slammer. If you need a day out, visit Gilooly’s Farm where you can picnic for free. Given that you are on a budget, you can spend a few bob on dry Salticrax and boxed wine.

The damage: to your wallet? Almost none. If you finish the box of wine your head may feel damaged as a result.


Let’s face it, January is a tough month to get through. You need a laugh. Pop in to MishMash in Greenside for stand-up comedy. Shows take place on Tuesday evenings (starting on 14 January) and punters can look forward to reasonably-priced wine, half-price pizza and top-notch performers.

The damage: R20 entrance.

Go Fish

If you want to gather your thoughts or just forget your troubles for a while, head to Brookwood Trout Farm in the Cradle of Humankind. It’s a tranquil setting where you can attempt to catch bass, trout and carp. Pack a picnic basket with wine and go invent stories about the one that got away.

The damage: R60 entrance for adults; children under 12 are R40. You can hire a rod for R40. Take note – you will be charged for any trout you may catch. Save money by fishing in the bass and carp dams.

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