| Share


Soweto [acronym for south-west townships], city, now part of City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality, Gauteng prov., NE South Africa. Located 10 mi (16 km) SW of Johannesburg, Soweto grew as black workers came to the industrialized area after World War I; the name for the city was collective term for what was originally a group of segregated townships inhabited by blacks. In 1976, Soweto was the scene of a massive uprising that began as a student protest against the government's use of Afrikaans in black schools. The rebellion soon became a violent expression of outrage at blacks' inferior position under the South African policies of apartheid; it spread to other cities and more than 600 were killed as the revolt was put down. Needed improvements in infrastructure, electrification, and living standards have been made since the 1980s.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Soweto from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: South African Political Geography

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring