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.
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