Fourways at a glance
The district of Fourways is the fastest-developing commercial and residential hub in the far north of Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. The main access routes to Fourways are off the N1 at William Nicol Road, or alternatively along Witkoppen or the R511. It is located mostly in Region 3. 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 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 605-acre (2.45 km2) residence and gamefarm owned by the Eriksen family. The residence they built here in the early 1920s 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. Nevertheless, it is well worth visiting to admire the superb 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.
Fourways was so named because of the four-way stop where William Nicol Drive and Witkoppen Road met. Today William Nicol cuts under Witkoppen 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.
The district of Fourways encompasses eight suburbs and three estates. The suburbs are Magaliessig (aka Little Fourways), Norscot, Greater Fourways, Norscot Slopes, Lonehill and Beverley, Craigavon, Broadacres. The estates are Cedar Lakes, Fourways Gardens, Dainfern, Dainfern Valley and Dainfern Ridge. The estates have come to be because of the city's high crime rate. Dainfern is centred on a golf course, while Cedar Lakes and Fourways Gardens are centred on family ideals and parks. The weather is warmer here than that to the South. Fourways will, on average, enjoy Pretoria's temperatures, owing to their proximity.
Of the 3 'Koppies' (boulders seemingly balanced on one another) located in Johannesburg, Greater Fourways has one located in the Fourways Nature Reserve, named the NorscotKoppies. Lonehill and Beverley has the other, located in the Lonehill Nature Reserve, named the LonehillKoppie.
Apart from Sandton's older and most prestigious suburbs, such as Westcliff and Sandhurst, this district has some of the cities priciest and most sought-after homes.
Central Fourways comprises the entertainment district. These centres are Design Quarter, just north of Magaliessig, Fourways Mall north of Greater Fourways, Montecasino to the east of Greater Fourways, Fourways Crossing just east of Fourways Mall and the newest development, Cedar Square to the north-west of Fourways Mall. It must be mentioned that Broadacres and Lonehill are served by their own smaller shopping centres. These centres are chic, and are frequented by stay-at-home moms, Broadacres being the particular favourite because of the large park-like grounds it encloses, making it a safe and enjoyable haven for children.
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.
• Montecasino, a faux-Tuscan complex designed by architect bureaus Creative Kingdom and Bentel Abramson & Partners.
• Fourways Crossing, a "factory mall" style complex.
These facilities are on the intersection between the R511 and Witkoppen Road, the intersection after which the area was named.
There is an urban legend that the Lonehill Nature Reserve came to be when alarmed residents heard that an American had bought the topmost rock of the LonehillKoppie. In a panic they had the surrounding area declared a nature reserve, and the American could no longer remove it. The reserve is open from September through April on Saturdays and Sundays and is an idyllic place to laze away or exert oneself - both koppies may be climbed, and original rock art can be observed.