The South Western Townships, or what is better know for its English abbreviation Soweto (by taking the first two letters of each word and combining it), is a city of Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa.  In 1886 the discovery of gold in Soweto created a large migration to its goldmines.  By 1903 the first black settlement on the outskirts of Johannesburg called Kliptown, was formed.

Today, Soweto is an urban area, which is made up of a lower-class population of about 1.3 million people.  It ranks among some of the poorest towns in all of Johannesburg.  It was also the home of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, two Nobel peace prize awardees who spent many years living there.

On June 16th, 1976, Soweto become known around the world because of the uprising within the city, which is known as the Soweto Uprising.  High school students reacting toward their poor education and demanding that they get better schooling brought about this uprising.  Today the day is commemorated as “Youth Day” honoring all the young people who died for standing up for their right to learn.  Although this was the case, the apartheid government put into effect The Bantu Education Act.  Written by Dr Hendrik Verwoerd, this act was intended to make limit the education of blacks.

In more recent years, Soweto has become a huge tourist attraction. With the highest amount of soccer teams in the country, Soweto is home to the Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Cheifs, and the Moroka Swallows.  Also, development has grown significantly throughout the city with the building of the Orlando Ekhaya entertainment centre, a hotel in Kliptown, and malls such as the Protea Mall, Jabulani Mall, and Maponya Mall.


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