SOWETO is the most populous black urban residential area in the country, with a population of around a million. Thanks to its proximity to Johannesburg, the economic hub of the country, it is also the most metropolitan township in the country - setting trends in politics, fashion, music, dance and language.
Soweto's origins go back to 1903, when Kliptown was established after authorities cleared an inner city slum on the pretext of trying to eradicate an outbreak of bubonic plague.
June 16, 1976
Soweto exploded in violent riots on June 16, 1976, when schoolchildren took the struggle against apartheid into their own hands. Hundreds of children around the country died on this day, but South Africa was never to be the same again – the slow road to democracy had begun, culminating in the elections of 1994 and the established of democracy in the country.
A tour of Soweto is a must for every visitor to Johannesburg. Here is a list of tour guides to the township:
Johannesburg has some great places to eat at, serving authentic African dishes. Some are in Soweto.
Enjoy Soweto's special brand of hospitality. Stay over in a B&B in the township.
In the last few years Soweto has had its heritage recognised in the form of several museums. The Hector Pieterson Museum recognises the young 12-year-old's sacrifice and hundreds of other children who gave their lives for freedom. The Kliptown Open-Air Museum acknowledges the people who contributed to the drafting of the Freedom Charter. Mandela House is the restored house where Nelson Mandela lived with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and his first wife, Evelyn. And on the outskirts of Soweto is the Apartheid Museum, a museum that traces the horror of apartheid.