Johannesburg Soweto


Overview

Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, began as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement. Its sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former residence is now the Mandela House museum. Other Soweto museums that recount the struggle to end segregation include the somber Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, a former prison complex. Johannesburg represents the spirit of South Africa, and in some ways a visit to the country is not complete without an introduction to the city. It is the capital of Gauteng province and the largest city in the country; and is endearingly known to locals as Joburg, Jozi or Egoli (place of Gold). Indeed, mine dumps are never far away, rubbing shoulders with the fruits of its labour - shiny modern skyscrapers intermingled with 19th century architecture, Indian bazaars & African muti shops (where traditional healers dispense advice & traditional medicine). Johannesburg is the largest city in the world not situated on a lake, navigable river or by the coast (the only reason that it was born was because of gold). It is home to Africa's tallest building, the Carlton Centre. Soweto is a township of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng, South Africa, bordering the city's mining belt in the south. Its name is an English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships. Soweto is an urban settlement or 'township' in South Africa, southwest of Johannesburg, with a population of approximately 1.3 million (2008, Joburg archive). Soweto was created in the 1930s when the White government started separating Blacks from Whites. Blacks were moved away from Johannesburg, to an area separated from White suburbs by a so-called <em>cordon sanitaire</em> (or sanitary corridor) this was usually a river, a railway track, an industrial area or a highway etc., they did this by using the infamous 'Urban Areas Act' in 1923. Soweto became the largest Black city in South Africa, but until 1976 its population could have status only as temporary residents, serving as a workforce for Johannesburg. It experienced civil unrest during the Apartheid regime. There were serious riots in 1976, sparked by a ruling that Afrikaans be used in African schools there; the riots were violently suppressed, with 176 striking students killed and more than 1,000 injured. Reforms followed, but riots flared up again in 1985 and continued until the first multiracial elections were held in April 1994. In 2010, South Africa's oldest township hosted the FIFA Soccer World Cup final and the attention of more than a billion soccer spectators from all over the world was focused on Soweto.

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Trip Ideas:

Adrenaline activity

The world’s longest over-ocean zip-line, Mossel Bay, Garden Route

Situated over the beautiful Ocean, this zip line glides you over the cliffs of the Bay while giving you an uninterrupted view of the town and famous lighthouse. Going down this zipline, which is 1,100m (3608 feet) long, you’ll have ...

Cultural events

Route 62 – a scenic drive between Cape Town, to Oudtshoorn and Joubertina.

When travelling from Cape Town to the Garden Route, Route 62 makes for a very interesting alternative to drive through the Karoo. Geologically it covers two thirds of South Africa. “It’s big and it’s dry and it’s full ...

Route 62