Soweto is an urban settlement or 'Township' in South Africa, South West 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 cordon sanitaire (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 2023, the population of the City of Soweto, South Africa was - 1 895 921 people.
  • As of August 1, 2023 the population (permanent residents) this include children under the age of 6. - 187 696 people, teenagers (schoolchildren) aged 7 to 17 years. - 225 615 people, young people from 18 to 29 years old - 225 615 people, adults aged 30 to 60 years - 817 142 people, elderly people over 60 years old - 413 311 people, and the centenarians of Soweto, over 80 years old - 26 543 people.

Orlando, is a Township in the urban Area of Soweto, South Africa. The Township was founded in 1931 and named after Edwin Orlando Leake, Mayor of Johannesburg from 1925 to 1926. It is divided in two main areas: Orlando West and Orlando East.

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.

What's in a name?

William Carr, chair of non-European affairs, initiated the naming of Soweto in 1959. He called for a competition to give a collective name to townships dotted around the South-west of Johannesburg. People responded to this competition with great enthusiasm. Among the names suggested to the City Council was KwaMpanza, meaning Mpanza's place, revoking the name of Mpanza and his role in bringing the plight of Orlando sub tenants to the attention of the City Council. The City Council settled for the acronym SOWETO (South West Townships). The name Soweto was first used in 1963 and within a short period of time, following the 1976 uprising of students in the township, the name became Internationally known!

-26° 13' 16.9214", 27° 52' 54.8383"