Soweto Guided Tour
Soweto is a sprawling collection of residential townships that form part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitain Municipality. The history of the area dates back to the early 20th century, even before the Union of South Africa came into being in 1910. In the 1930’s, the area began to expand more rapidly, as new townships were needed to house the black African workers supplying their labour to the ever-growing city of Johannesburg.
The name Soweto is an English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships and was only officially adopted in 1963. As the name suggests, Soweto lies to the south-west of Johannesburg. Soweto’s history became inexorably tied to the political events unfolding in South Africa, with the signing of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown in 1955. Twenty one years later, on 16th June 1976, Soweto captured the attention of the world, when mass student protests erupted over the government’s policy to enforce education in Afrikaans, rather than their native languages. The events of that day are memorialised at the Hector Pieterson Museum, one of the stops on this tour.
Today, Soweto covers an area of 200 square kilometres (77 square miles) and houses approximately 1.3 million residents, which is roughly 40% of the population of Johannesburg.
This tour will give you an opportunity to take in some of the history of Soweto, experience the hospitality of its residents and taste some of its food! The tour includes:
- a visit to a private residence in the Orlando West township;
- visits to Hector Pieterson Museum and Regina Mundi church;
- a visit to the Kliptown Youth Programme (an after school tutoring and personal development program for the disadvantaged youth from the area);
- ‘tapas-style’ lunch at a small owner-run local restaurant (where the locals also come to eat);
- a stop at a local tavern for a beer or soft drink to reflect on the day’s experiences (one per person included).