It’s easy to view the Rand Club as one of SA’s monuments to the bad old ways, and its existence looked precarious and outdated just a few years ago. But its future, suddenly, is looking up. It is an unexpected comeback kid.

The club’s history mirrors that of the City of Gold, founded as it was in 1887, one year after Joburg was established in a dusty, haphazard canvas and tin camp. There was no shortage of drinking establishments in this early town, but what the club offered was a socially exclusive space for elite white men, modelled on the Kimberley Club and the great clubs of Europe...

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