Soweto is a township in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, that is bordered on the south by the city’s mining belt. Its name is an acronym for SouthWestern Townships in English.
It is currently part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Suburbs of Johannesburg, after formerly being a distinct municipality.
Soweto is an abbreviation for South Western Townships and was originally used in 1963 to denote a set of townships to the south west of Johannesburg. These townships were founded during a bubonic plague epidemic in Johannesburg’s inner city slums in 1904, but many black South Africans were forcibly transferred from the city and its suburbs to Soweto and other townships under the apartheid administration.
Soweto – Info Card
|TIME ZONE :|
|LANGUAGE :||IsiZulu 350,940 40.87 IsiXhosa 88,474 10.3 Afrikaans 5,639 0.66 Sepedi 41,179 4.8 Setswana 106,419 12.39 English 3,047 0.35 Sesotho 157,263 18.32 Xitsonga 62,157 7.24 SiSwati 8,696 1.01 Tshivenda 29,498 3.44 IsiNdebele 2,801 0.33 Other 2,531 0.29|
|RELIGION :||Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1%|
|AREA :||200.03 square kilometres (77.23 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||1,600 m (5,200 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||26°15′58″S 27°51′57″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.62|
• Female: 50.38
|ETHNIC :||Black 1,253,037 98.54 White 1,421 0.11 Coloured 13,079 1.03 Asian 1,418 0.11 Other 2,674 0.21|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||4309|
|DIALING CODE :|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Tourism in Soweto
Soweto landmarks include:
- Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Diepkloof
- Soweto Wall of Fame
- Orlando Towers
- Mandela House
- Tutu House
- Credo Mutwa village, Central Western Jabavu
- Walter Sisulu Square, Kliptown
- Regina Mundi, Rockville
- Freedom Towers
- SAAF 1723, a decommissioned Avro Shackleton of the South African Air Force is on static display on the roof of Vic’s Viking Garage, a service station on the Golden Highway.
Climate of Soweto
|Average high °C (°F)||26.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||20.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||14.4|
Economy of Soweto
Although local townships tend to include a mix of wealthy and poorer people, several portions of Soweto rank among the lowest in Johannesburg. Households in the northwest and southeast have lower earnings, while those in the southwest have greater incomes.
The apartheid regime greatly hampered Soweto’s economic growth by providing inadequate infrastructure and prohibiting citizens from starting their own enterprises. Roads remained unpaved, and many inhabitants, for example, had to share a single tap between four homes. Soweto was intended to serve as a dormitory town for black Africans employed in white-owned homes, factories, and businesses. Between 1923 and 1976, the Natives (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act and its predecessors limited people in Soweto to seven self-employment categories. Sowetans might run general stores, butcher shops, restaurants, sell milk and vegetables, or hawk things. The total number of such businesses was rigorously regulated at all times. As a consequence, informal commerce arose outside of officially sanctioned operations.
Only two theatres and two motels remained in 1976, and only 83 percent of homes had power. There was no flowing water for up to 93 percent of the population. Using fire for cooking and heating caused respiratory difficulties, contributing to high infant death rates (54 per 1,000 vs. 18 for whites, according to 1976 estimates).
In 1977, the prohibitions on economic operations were eased, allowing the taxi sector to flourish as a viable alternative to Soweto’s insufficient bus and rail services.
In 1994, Sowetans earned over six and a half times less than their colleagues in Johannesburg’s affluent districts (1994 estimates). Sowetans make up less than 2% of Johannesburg’s population. [requires citation] Some Sowetans are still poor, while others live in shanty settlements with little or no amenities. Informal housing makes up to 85 percent of Kliptown. [requires citation] Soweto’s impoverished, according to the Soweto Power Crisis Committee, are unable to pay for electricity. The group thinks that the government of South Africa’s privatization efforts will exacerbate the problem. According to research, 62 percent of inhabitants in Orlando East and Pimville were either jobless or retired.
Recently, there have been hints of economic progress. The Johannesburg City Council started installing additional street lights and paving roads. The building of Protea Mall, Jabulani Mall, the development of Maponya Mall, an expensive hotel in Kliptown, and the Orlando Ekhaya entertainment complex were all planned as private ventures to tap on Sowetans’ combined purchasing power of R4.3 billion. Soweto has also evolved into a cultural and nightlife hotspot.