Southern Cemetries
Region D, Zone 1

Avalon Cemetery represented the place to honour struggle heroes, and today holds the graves of many South African heroes. Hector Pieterson, Tsietsi Mashinini, Joe Slovo, Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph and many more are buried here. During the height of the struggle in the 1970s and 1980s, funerals became one of the most powerful expressions of defiance against the apartheid government. In many ways, Avalon is associated with a history of defiance and struggle. Thousands of mourners would congregate at the cemetery to sing forbidden songs of freedom and chant banned slogans until they were driven away by security forces.

Located in the south-western corner of Soweto, the cemetery spans 172 hectares and holds graves of more than 300 000 people. The main gate is reached through Chiawelo, passing by the Soweto Mountain of Hope (Somoho), a small koppie showcasing arts and artefacts by Sowetan artists.

Just beyond the entrance, to the left are memorials dedicated to struggle activists Lilian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph. To the north, near the train station, lies the Mendi Memorial.
Area Manager

Thembi Mahlinza
074 177 5889

Tel: 011 412 7192

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Tshabuse Street, Chiawelo, Soweto