Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Soweto Centenary

Today Soweto, arguably South Africa's most famous and internationally known township, celebrates 100 years of existance. Soweto, an acronym for South Western Townships, started off as Klipspruit in 1904. It was created to house black workers, mainly miners, to keep them separate from white urban areas. Soweto is also one of the most cosmopolitan townships in the country, although it has expanded tremendously over the years, it remains a predominantly working class area. The City of Johannesburg, says they have plans to develop business in the area.

BBC online puts a positive spin on the centenary.

"Alastair Leithead reports that the area is a vibrant, energetic township where community seems to mean so much more than in Johannesburg's sterile, security-ringed suburbs. While Aids and unemployment are still huge problems in Soweto, there is a real feeling of optimism that the next 100 years have good things in store for the sprawling township."


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