Start-ups and social entrepreneurs are mitigating the high costs of renting and bandwidth by embracing the concept of co-working spaces. Here is a list of ten co-working spaces in and around Cape Town and Johannesburg worth checking out. Mostly these spaces offer fairly affordable rental rates and provide the businesses with the option of a pool of like-minded individuals as colleagues.


Cape Town 


1. Khayelitsha Hubspace

Offers entrepreneurs, creative professionals and world travellers access to hot desks, meeting rooms, chill out areas, reception services, high speed internet and business equipment. Hubspace provides a communal zone that provides a space for events and a think tank environment for like-minded people. The space is also available for workshops, conferences, labs, parties and other cause-driven events.

Offers : Office space, reception services, high speed internet and meeting rooms.

Location : Ncumo Road, Harare Business Square, Khayelitsha.

Contact details : Meli Gqobo – 021 201 8579 for more details on their rates.


2. Bandwidth Barn

The Barn has been in operation since 2000 and is regarded as a leading ICT business incubator worldwide. It started with four start-ups who wanted to overcome the high cost of renting and expensive bandwidth. They work with entrepreneurs and business owners in the tech and design industries.

Offers: Co- working space, private office, high speed internet and hot-desking.

Location: 3rd Floor, Block B, Woodstock Exchange, 66 – 68 Albert Road, Woodstock.

Contact details: Nina Valentyn – 021 409 7000


3. Twenty Fifty

This is a membership based co-working community for individuals and small teams from a multitude of disciplines. Their goal is to attract a diverse pool of tenants to interact, learn from each other and collaborate.

Offers: Office space, Wifi and cleaning services.

Location: 36 Buitekant Street, Cape Town.

Pricing: monthly membership R1500/monthly

Base membership: R150/day

Contact details:


4. Inner City Ideas Cartel

The ICIC is a membership-based co-working space that provides luxury office suites and premium shared office space. They offer start-ups, freelancers and creative professionals office space.

Offers: Co-working space, semi private and private suites.

Location: De Waterkant, Cape Town.

Pricing: Co-working from R2000/month, shared from R3500/month, private from R12 500/month

Contact details:


5. 80 Hout Street

An open plan co-working studio space for creatives, this loft-style studio in the Cape Town city centre is home to designers, coders, writers, photographers, and start- ups.

Offers: Office space, Wifi and a cleaning services.

Location: 80 Hout Street, Cape Town.

Pricing: R100/day, R500/week, R2000/month

Contact details:



6. NewARC Studio

Non-profit organisation Assemblage opened the Newtown Artist Run Centre and Studios (NewARC) in Newtown in April 2012. The creation of this space was aimed at creating an artist-run initiative that: supports the visual arts community of Johannesburg, benefits the industry and gives artists the space to fulfill their potential.

Offers: Internet access, furniture, access to a library and a collection of art-making resources (which are all covered by rent alongside the costs of water, lights and security).

Location: 41 Gwi Gwi Mwrebi Street, Newtown, Johannesburg.

Contact details: For general enquiries, email, for workshops,, and for peer mentoring,,



7. Jozi HUB

JoziHub is a co-creation space in Johannesburg dedicated to creating sustainable change in Africa. It provides a space to share ideas, collaborate and explore the opportunities created by the social and technological changes that are transforming our continent.

Offers: access to a network of innovators, events as well as activities hosted by the hub (exclusively for members) as well as WiFi

Location: 44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark, Johannesburg.

Contact Details: Matthew de Gale


8. OPEN Johannesburg

Set in the Maboneng Precinct, OPEN offers the ideal workspace for those who are not tied down to the conventional office as part of a larger company nor are they able to work efficiently in the commotion of a coffee shop.

You can rent one of three spaces for a few hours or for an entire day – each room comes equipped with different amenities. With hourly rates ranging from R200 to R700 and daily rates ranging from R1300 to R4500, you could rent one of two smaller boardrooms, the main boardroom or the larger creative space. Each space has the capacity to hold a particular number of people; the least being 8 and the most being 60.

Location: 4th Floor, Mainchange, 20 Kruger Street, Johannesburg

Contact: Jessica (reception and memberships) Phone: +27 10 900 2000



9. The HUB

Impact Hub Johannesburg is a multi-stakeholder community that fosters social innovation through collaboration to create sustainable, social change.

Offers: the space to network and to create as well as expert facilitated programmes. Members enjoy access to training and support, meeting and working space; a flexible exhibition and events space; and a programme of lectures, talks, training workshops, and networking events.

Location: 4 De Beer Street (corner Smit Street), Braamfontein, Johannesburg



10. The Common Room

The Common Room provides creatives with a professional, out-of-agency working alternative. Pricing options are based on their 12-month package and range from about R2000.00 for a full month to R1200.00 for 10 days, R140.00 for a one day pass (boardroom access not included) and a R50.00 hourly rate (boardroom access not included)Offers: high-speed Wi-Fi, coffee, desk space, boardroom access, reception services, print and scanning facilities (all covered by a membership fee). They describe their membership as “flexible and affordable. Pay-as-you-go or come-and-go as you please, you choose which contract option works best for you.”

Location: 49 6th Street, Parkhurst, Johannesburg

Contact: 076 752 2723 or email:



by: Live Stuff – 3 October 2014

Written by Sinethemba Ndleleni and Kay Selisho


Over the past two months, ACTIVATE! hosted three Media Workshops to equip Activators with the necessary skills to communicate their messages and issues through broadcast media. The workshop was facilitated by Fiona Lloyd, a Southern African journalist with more than 20 years’ experience who specialises in training journalists in conflict and political transition situations.


Here are a few key elements drawn from the workshop on how to hone your message for broadcast media.   




We all do important work and every project has many aspects that the public need to know about. But radio is not the place for long, complicated speeches. On radio we only hear something once, and it’s gone, with no chance to go back and listen again.

This is why it is important to compose a Golden Message: a short soundbite that sums up the most important point you want to convey.  One way to do this is to ask yourself: “If the listeners only remember one thing from my interview, what should that be?”

You should also ask yourself:


  • How ready are people to receive my message?
  • What prior knowledge do they already have about the issue?
  • What might block, or prevent, them from being open to my message?
  • What might persuade them to listen to me?

Preparing your Golden Message in advance will make you feel and sound more confident.  It will also help you to stay focused and in control of the interview.


When talking on radio, also remember to KISS: Keep It Short and Simple! 




Why is it that headlines are always screaming about doom and gloom? Could it be that this is what attracts public attention? It’s a sad fact that important issues aren’t always communicated in an interesting way. That’s why the impact is lost.


So how do we make our listeners identify with our Golden Message?  Fiona Lloyd says it’s not just what we say – but how we say it!


According to Lloyd, the secret of effective radio presentation is simple: Imagine that you’re talking to ONE listener and that she or he is sitting on the other side of the microphone.

This principle applies to all types of radio presentation. Why? Because as soon as you start talking to more than one listener, your tone changes. You lose the intimacy and warmth that we associate with good radio.

And remember to SMILE! You might think that the listener can’t see you, but on radio a smile is the equivalent of making eye contact with your listener. if you can’t see someone, you can immediately tell from their voice whether they’re smiling or not. Smiling lifts your voice and makes you sound more confident and fresh. Even

Extra tips to connect with your listener include:

  1. Motivate your listeners, without preaching or trying to sound “clever”. Talk with them, not down to them. In other words, “Meet them where they are”!
  2. Repeat key words and key ideas during the interview – especially your Golden Message. Listeners may not catch what you say the first time round.
  3. Back up your Golden Message with “real life” examples. Don’t only focus on victims. Share inspiring stories of people who are drivers of change in your community. People who have turned their lives around. People who have made a difference in small but important ways.
  4. Avoid complicated statistics and focus on the human angle. For example, imagine that you are running an anti-malaria campaign. You want people to understand that malaria is a real danger – and that thedisease could affect them personally if they do not take the correct precautions.


Don’t say: “20% of the population is likely to be affected by malaria this rainy season”.

Instead, say: “One person out of every five may get malaria this rainy season. Is that person going to be you?”


Now you have your listener’s full attention. He or she is ready to receive your message.


Lloyd adds that it is also important to relax.


“It’s important to relax, smile and empathise with your caller,” she says. “If the caller is emotional or angry, try to understand why they might feel the way they do. Don’t treat them as though they’re the enemy always try to use their name.” 


And the final word of advice?


“Prepare, prepare and prepare some more! Then, when you’re in front of the microphone, focus on speaking from your heart so that you can reach out to the people who most need to hear your message.”



*For more information about giving media interviews, writing op-eds, social media and creating podcasts, visit the Media and ICT Hive in the Connections Hives and download the ‘Communicating Our Messages’ Media Handbook compiled by Fiona Lloyd. Link: http://localhost:8888/activate/cells/view/914


In August 2014, Marishane travelled to Indonesia as one of a hundred youth leaders from around the world who gathered at the 6th Global Forum United Nations Alliance of Civilisation in Bali from the 28 – 30 August to unpack the 2014 theme ‘Unity in Diversity – Celebrating Diversity for Common and Shared Values’.

Prior to the event, youth delegates were asked to submit their expectations from the forum for inclusion in the conference booklet which would serve as guidelines for discussion at the main forum. Marishane contributed the following question statement to the forum.  

Being born into a generation that, on the one hand, is faced with the most complex and daunting challenges that mankind has ever known, how do we transform oppressed people into a conscious history-making force, to make them grapple with the making of an anti-thesis which they inherited from the oppressor?

How do we quench a culture of powerlessness in a people previously excluded? How do we create leaders or, better still, pioneers, out of a class which seems so consumed by an excruciating hunger for assimilation?

I thus wish to propose that the forum may innovate tangible solutions addressing issues of migration permits (VISA), land reform, 21st BC leadership identity and cross-cultural identity within the context of globalisation.”

On his return from the event, Marishane says that the Forum was an amazing opportunity to gain exposure to international thoughts and perceptions on issues affecting his reality as a global youth.

“Not only was I able to showcase my work internationally, but I was immensely privileged to get the opportunity to interrogate world leaders at that level,” he says.

As part of the Forum structure, delegates were divided into groups, each with a different purpose to fulfil during the event and, further to participating in the conference, Marishane was chosen to head up a committee of Narrators – journal compilers who wrote stories about the forum for the feedback book – leading 10 people reporting directly to the UN Editor-In-Chief.

After recording the discussions and talks held over the three days, Marishane pulled the following comments which stood out for him the most during the event.

We need to listen to learn and understand about each other (culture, tradition, religion) to understand more about ourselves as the human race before judging ourselves thus causing material and immaterial damage” – Dr. Kamar Oniah Kamaruzaman- Associate Professor in Comparative Religion at the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

I’ve accepted my status as a global citizen because for as long as I embrace freedom and liberty, these rights and privileges are inter-connected to so many others around the world. It’s a sign that we all need each other”- Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi (Among the richest persons in Asia).

We need to tackle the issue of ‘unity in diversity’ from a holistic approach. For the fact that my livelihood depends on others, is prove that I need to connect (unite) with the world of diversity. We need to infuse strong educational curriculums relevant to the needs of the present world”- Prof. Candido Mendes- Rector of University of Candido Mendes.

People make countries, not the other way round”- Prof. Dr. Salim Said- Indonesian Ambassador to Czech Republic.

From a South African perspective, Marishane says that there were many lessons to be drawn from the Forum.  

“Indonesia does not compromise,” he says. “98% of the artists that performed in all settings were from Indonesia. Only during the youth dinner were other participants given the chance to showcase their materials.”

Further points that stood out for Marishane during the discussion forums around the role of youth in promoting Unity in Diversity and youth development included:  

  • Literature & outdoors: Good readers are good leaders and good leaders are well travelled. Be exposed to the world. Exposure, you either get it via travelling or reading. If you’re not exposed, don’t attempt to lead.
  • Global trailblazers: Within the context of globalisation, there’s no limits to what we can achieve. We’ve become known for our great innovations making us, the youth, the smartest generation the world has ever known.
  • Action Expresses Priority: Talking does not cook rice (Chinese proverb): Beyond talking, we (the youth) need to act.
  • Global Identity: For a peaceful future, we need to make this a world where gender doesn’t count, where race doesn’t count and where sexual preference doesn’t count.
  • Think Ahead-think globalisation: Allow yourself the eye of the imagination not to see your present circumstance as your destiny, but the possibility of what your future could hold.
  • Pro-Active Citizenship: The cost of inaction is now bigger than the cost of action.
  • Driving Change: We (the youth) are the first ever generation to be teaching our parents.

During the conference, Marishane also formed a working partnership with Harvard University, Oxford University and Western Sidney University for a period of two years or more, dependent on performance, to work on ICT digital projects in the scope of youth development.

In conclusion, he offers the following advice to fellow Activators, “Decide NOW if you want to be the Master of Change or the Victim of Change, because with globalisation, change is happening.”

Koketso Marishane is a consultant for the Es’kia Mphahlele Heritage Foundation, a researcher at the National Digital Repository of South Africa, Sponsorship Officer for the Limpopo ICT Forum, Stakeholder Advisory for the Limpopo Arts and Culture Association, co-founder of the Limpopo Reads Foundation and a member of the ACTIVATE! network. He was chosen as one of Mail & Guardian’s top 200 South Africans this year. 


Mokgadi Matlakala is an Activator on a mission. In the town of Botlokwa, north of Polokwane, Limpopo, she has been has been working tirelessly on various projects to uplift her community and encourage youth to dream big and follow their dreams.

While embarking on two new projects this year, Matlakala has been working with the young people of Botlokwa for a number of years and says that they are a group who refuse to just comment on the challenges of the youth, but take action to bring change or at least drive it.

One of the projects launched this year involves former students of Matlakala’s former high school, Sefoloko Secondary School, mentoring next year’s matriculants toward a 100% matric pass rate in 2015.

“Team Mauwane is a purpose driven programme championed by youth people who are passionate about youth development,” says Matlakala. “Sefoloko Secondary School has always had a reputation for producing the best results, so much so that kids from different areas would travel to attend this school. But the last time students achieved a 100% matric pass was in 2002. The principal will be retiring soon and we would like to fulfil his dream of it happening again before his retirement.”

The group launched their programme at Sefoloko Secondary on Friday, 24 October, just before the exams started partly to motivate the current matrics to do their best and to introduce the programme to the Grade 12s of next year.

“We wanted to sow the seed of a 2015 100% matric pass early so that the new matriculants can return motivated to achieve this,” she says.

Matlakala adds that another area of focus for the programme is parental involvement.

“Many parents are not involved in their children’s schooling and don’t care about homework. All they want to know is whether the child passed or failed. If parents are more involved and follow their children’s progress, they can identify when there’s a problem and take corrective measures to assist the child.”

A second project that Matlakala is championing is restoring and fixing up dilapidated schools in the community. 

“A group of us called The Botlokwa Education Activists Group have been going around to schools in need of reconstruction and, as youth, are ploughing back into our community by using our own money to fix it. Our motto is restoring the dignity of our local schools, more especially high schools,” she explains.

The first school to benefit from this project is Rasema High School situated at Ga-Ramatjowe at Botlokwa village which is in dire need of reconstruction.

“We will visit the school, identify the challenges and what’s needed and will be using our own money and effort to restore the school,” says Matlakala.

Matlakala is also the current Provincial Chairperson of the Limpopo Department of Home Affairs Youth Development Forum and aims to be selected as the National Chairperson during the next elections.

“The forum was created to represent youth in key decision making structures of the Department and to help us advance our leadership skills,” she says. “As the National Chairperson, I will be able to sit in the same meetings as the Minister and gain even more experience.”

In October, Matlakala was awarded the Young Community Developer Award by the Botlokwa Art Festival and Youth Awards in recognition of the great work she has been doing, including giving motivational talks given at the Matoks Arts and Youth Development Centre where she mentored kids and facilitating the Actioneers Drama youth group which is no longer running.  

Despite all of her projects, Matlakala says that one of the biggest barriers to driving change in her community is lack of resources.

“Finding a space to run the work we do is always a huge challenge. We don’t have a community hall and, while we try to use schools, sometimes they refuse because they think we will vandalise the school.”

She adds that support from community leaders who have access to resources would make a huge difference in fulfilling her vision, which is to see each and every youth have access to information, grabbing opportunities and making their dreams a reality.